Southland Raiders take first 2017 loss to Deerfield, 20-17
Published 12:15 pm Saturday, September 30, 2017
By MICHAEL MURRAY
ALBANY – The Southland Academy Raiders had their impressive winning streak broken on Sept. 29, as the team headed to Albany to continue Region 3-IAAA competition against the Deerfield-Windsor Knights.
After a hard-fought battle was waged by both teams, the Raiders eventually succumbed to the hosts, suffering a 20-17 loss; the Raiders’ first taste of defeat this season.
With the defeat, the Raiders drop to 7-1 on the season. Deerfield-Windsor improves to 4-3.
The Knights came out strong in the tilt, tossing 13 points on the board in the first half while preventing the Raiders from breaking the plane.
Early in the third quarter, the Raiders saw their opportunity to break their silence when a 50-yard, four-play drive left the visitors within field goal range. Southland place kicker, Zane Hines, booted a 27-yard field goal between the posts with 10 minutes remaining in the third frame to light up the visitors’ side of the board.
The Knights soon added another touchdown and an extra point to leave the Raiders playing catch-up through the final stanza.
Early in the fourth quarter, Southland’s Clay Owens took off on a 29-yard touchdown rush to cap off a three-play, 56-yard drive. Hines split the uprights once more to narrow the gap to 20-10.
The scoreboard fell silent for the next 10 minutes but, with 58 seconds of game time remaining, the Raiders struck again when quarterback, Alex Roach, connected with receiver, Townsend Ray, who took off for a 10-yard touchdown.
The visitors’ final; drive spanned 11 plays and 90 yards.
The Raiders were held to only 254 total yards in the tilt, with 141 yards coming through the air.
Roach connected on 11 passes, with Owens on the receiving end of three for 51 yards. Brody Shattles pulled down a pair of receptions for 34 yards and Ray also contributed two catches. Luke Law was on the receiving end of the 11th toss.
Owens also paved the way for the Raiders on the ground, rushing 13 times for 102 yards.
The Raiders will return to action on Oct. 6, traveling to Valdosta to take on the Valwood Valiants. The Southland crew will return to Harvey Simpson Stadium in Americus on Oct. 13 for their final regular-season match against region foes, the Brookwood Warriors.