Raiders fall to Terrell Academy on Homecoming Night

Published 2:25 pm Monday, October 2, 2023

AMERICUS – The Southland Academy Raiders (SAR) were hoping to avoid their third loss in a row when they hosted Terrell Academy (TA) on Homecoming Night. However, the Eagles (5-0) took advantage of two SAR turnovers and ended up defeating the Raiders 40-21.

“Our kids played very hard. Terrell has a fine team so we give them credit,” SAR Head Coach Rod Murray said. “We will get better as we know this is a tough region. We will keep working.”

SAR senior quarterback Banks Simmons completed five of nine passes for 98 yards and as a team, the Raiders rushed for 164 yards on 36 carries.

The Eagles scored first in the first quarter when quarterback William Massey found Quindon Wright for a 20-yard touchdown pass. The extra point was good and the Raiders found themselves trailing 7-0 midway through the first quarter.

Southland Academy senior Trey Sellers rushed for 45 yards on 12 carries in the Raiders’ 40-21 loss to Terrell Academy.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

Late in the first quarter, the Raiders had a response, as they were able to move the ball deep into TA territory. A few plays later, Simmons scored on a quarterback keeper from a yard out. The Raiders decided to go for two instead of kicking the extra point, but the two-point attempt failed. Nevertheless, the Raiders only trailed 7-6.

However, the Eagles would mount a drive that ended up down inside the TA 20-yard line. Then running back Ty Thomas scored a rushing touchdown from 12 yards out. The extra point was blocked by Southland’s Will Godwin, but the Eagles had a 13-6 lead on the Raiders.

Then just as the clock hit zero to signal halftime, the Eagles scored another touchdown, as Massey threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Wright. It was the second time that the duo hooked up and instead of kicking the extra point, the Eagles decided to go for two but failed. Nevertheless, the Raiders would go into the locker room at halftime, trailing 19-6.

Southland Academy senior Adaline Miles was named the 2023 Southland Academy Homecoming Queen.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

At halftime, the 2023 Southland Academy Homecoming Court was introduced and Adaline Miles was named the 2023 Southland Academy Homecoming Queen.

Early in the third quarter, the Raiders were mounting a drive into TA territory, but Simmons’ pass was intercepted by Hill Murdock. This gave the Eagles another opportunity to put together another scoring drive. Then on first down and 10 from the SAR 29, Massey threw a 28-yard pass to Murdock at the one-yard line. Then the Eagles finished off the drive, as Ty Thomas scored his second touchdown of the night. TA decided to go for two and succeeded, as Thomas scored from a yard out. At this point, the Raiders found themselves trailing 27-6 with 4:26 to go in the third quarter.

On the Raiders’ next possession, they were backed up deep in their own territory, but Simmons’s pass was intercepted by Carson Montgomery at the SAR 15-yard line.

This gave the Eagles another golden opportunity to expand their lead, which they did when Montgomery scored a rushing touchdown a couple of plays later. The extra point was blocked again, but the damage had been done, as the Raiders found themselves down 33-6 with 2:43 to go in the third quarter.

On the next SAR possession, the Raiders could not convert on third down and 13, but were given a first down as a result of a roughing the passer penalty on the Eagles. This gave the Raiders a little bit of life, as they were able to move the ball into TA territory thanks to a strong run by Mac McMichael.

Southland Academy sophomore defensive lineman Derek Lane and freshman linebacker Turner Simmons try to bring down Terrell Academy quarterback William Massey.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

As the fourth quarter began, the Raiders had the ball first and 10 on the TA 15-yard line. A few plays later on third and six from the TA 11, running back Luke Tarrer scored a rushing touchdown. The extra point by Cooper Boren was good and the Raiders trailed 33-13 with 10:05 to go in the game.

On the ensuing kickoff, the Raiders tried a squib kick and nearly recovered the ball, but the Eagles recovered at their own 12-yard line. However, on third and eight from the TA 14, Massey threw a screen pass to Quindon Wright, who ran the ball 86 yards for his third touchdown of the night. The extra point was good and the Raiders found themselves trailing 40-13 with 8:27 to go in the game.

On the ensuing kickoff, McMichael was able to come up with a nice return close to midfield. With the score the way that it was, Cooper Boren came in to play quarterback in relief of Simmons. However, the Raiders fumbled the ball and it was recovered by the Eagles. Fortunately for the Raiders, they were able to get the ball back by forcing a fumble. This gave the Raiders a chance to put some points on the board before the game’s conclusion. They were able to move the ball into TA territory thanks to some strong running by McMichael and Ashton Ray.

Then on first and 15 at the TA 30, McMichael ran the ball down to the TA three-yard line. A play later, Cooper Boren scored on a quarterback keeper. The Raiders completed a two-point conversion, as running back Turner Simmons ran the ball into the end zone untouched.

On the ensuing kickoff, the Raiders tried an on-side kick and succeeded, as it was recovered by JaMarus Walker. Nevertheless, however, the damage had been done, as the Eagles would go on to defeat the Raiders 40-21.

The Raiders (2-4) will be off this coming Friday, but will try to put an end to their two-game losing streak when they travel down to Thomasville, GA on Friday, October 13, to take on Brookwood. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.