Raiders take down SGA 30-14 in 2017 opener
Published 12:46 pm Saturday, August 12, 2017
By MICHAEL MURRAY
DAMASCUS – The Southland Academy Raiders kicked off their 2017 football season in style, dealing a 30-14 blow to longtime rivals, the Southwest Georgia Warriors on the Warriors’ home field in Damascus, Ga.
The Southland crew got off to a strong start in the road tilt and never looked back, eventually earning the victory.
To open the scoring, Southland quarterback, Alex Roach, connected with Brody Shattles, who took off for a 32-yard touchdown four minutes into the second quarter, giving the Raiders an early 6-0 edge in the tilt.
The Warriors responded with a touchdown of their own to even the score 6-6 before the Raiders struck again near the 9:45 mark in the third frame. After Southland’s drive was stalled near the Warrior’s red zone, Southland place kicker, Zane Hines, nailed a field goal to put the Raiders up 9-6.
SGA, once again, responded with a touchdown drive, giving the hosts a 14-9 lead.
The home team’s celebration wouldn’t last long, however. On the return kickoff, Southland’s Clay Owens received the ball and went the distance, dodging Warrior defenders for 84 yards to break the plane and put the Raiders up for good. Hines split the uprights on the PAT attempt to give the visitors a 16-14 advantage
The Raiders weren’t done, though, and they showed their Damascus foes that they meant business when Roach capped off a 10-play, 80-yard drive with a four-yard touchdown rush to dive break into the end zone and widen the gap to 23-14.
For good measure, Owens took off on another scoring run with 7:30 left in the contest, this time covering 27 yards on the second play of the Raiders’ late drive. This insurance touchdown brought the game’s final score to 30-14 after Hines expertly booted another single-pointer.
Owens set the pace for the Raiders on the ground in the match, contributing 92 of the team’s 151 total rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns to the Raider cause.
Roach connected on five of seven passing attempts in the tilt to give the Raiders 96 total yards through the air. Shattles was on the receiving end of three of these passes to lead the team’s receivers with 76 yards through the air.
In total, the Raiders’ determined defense held their opponents to only 171 all-purpose yards in the win.
The Raiders will put their record on the line again next Friday (Aug. 18) when they host the Westfield Hornets at Harvey Simpson Stadium in Americus.