Raiders fall to Deerfield-Windsor on Senior Night

Published 2:14 am Saturday, September 19, 2020

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From Staff Reports


AMERICUS – After their heartbreaking 13-10 overtime loss to Terrell Academy last week, the Southland Academy Raider football team (SAR) came into Friday night’s contest against Deerfield-Windsor (DWS) poised and ready to flush last week’s loss out of their system with a win over the Knights. However, DWS came into Harvey Simpson Stadium and spoiled the Raiders’ Senior Night by defeating SAR 15-12 on Friday night, September 18.

On this night, six seniors, Nathan Duke, Collins Bass, Colman Fort, Will Toms, James Griffin and Owen Exley were each honored and celebrated for their accomplishments throughout their football careers at Southland Academy.

“Our kids played hard. They were physical,” SAR Head Coach Rod Murray said. “We have to keep working and getting better each day. We will get better and keep getting better day by day. We are replacing 17 starters and it will take some time, but we have made progress.”

The Knights opened the scoring in the first quarter when Parker Jones scored on a rushing touchdown from 12 yards out. The extra point by Waylon Marbury was good and DWS had a 7-0 lead.

Senior defensive end Colman Fort and junior defensive lineman John Saye team up to make a tackle.
Photo by Sherri Bass

However, the Raiders fought back. The SAR offense was able to mount a drive and cap it off with a 30-yard field goal by Caleb Law, cutting the Knights’ lead to 7-3. Law would later boot a 29-yard field goal through the uprights to bring the Raiders to within one point at halftime.

The Raiders got the ball to start the second half and they made the most of their opportunity. SAR quarterback Nathan Duke led the offense on a drive that ended up down inside the DWS five-yard line. Then running back James Griffin capped off the drive with a rushing touchdown from two yards out. The Raiders decided to go for two points, but the try was unsuccessful. Nevertheless, SAR had taken a 12-7 lead.

The Knights struck back, however, as quarterback Thomas Ray found Gleaton Jones for a 19-yard touchdown pass. DWS decided to go for two and succeeded, as Jones scored on the try, giving the Knights a 15-12 lead.

Southland Academy Offensive Lineman Collins Bass battles in the trenches against Henry Hood of DWS (52).
Photo by Sherri Bass

It was a defensive struggle the rest of the way, as neither team was able to add to the scoreboard. Unfortunately for the Raiders, they ended up on the short end with a 15-12 loss on Senior Night.

“Our kids fought hard and gave it all they had,” said Murray. “Our assistants got them ready to play. We just have to finish. That will come.”

Southland Academy running back Owen Exley fights for yardage against Deerfield-Windsor.
Photo by Sherri Bass

With the loss, the Raiders fall to 0-2 on the season, while DWS improves to 2-1.

The Raiders will try to end their two-game losing streak next Friday evening, September 25, when they host Pinewood Christian. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.