By Justice Worley, Sports Editor
If you were a fan you loved it. Both teams under the lights, no bands just hardnosed, smash-mouth football. The stage was set at Bolden stadium 6:00 on a Saturday evening due to the game being postponed from Friday’s rain.
The Raiders jumped out to an early lead with two touchdown passes from Junior Deion Trezvant to Junior Kendrick Gathers to take a 16-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Panthers weren’t going away easily, running a triple option attack to perfection and scoring one touchdown early in the second quarter to close down the gap to 16-6. Trezvant threw to Gathers for the last throwing touchdown for the night then Pelion ran the ball for a 22-14 score at half.
After half, coaches benched three key players Junior Tarik Williams, Senior Peter Easaw and Sophomore Jalon Wilson, due to nagging injuries during the game.
“In order to go far in the playoffs, you need a healthy team,” Gathers said.
Late in the game it came down to the fourth quarter with every possession counting and the Raiders were trying to overcome a four point deficit but could not hold on.
“In games like that one you must play all four quarters,” Coach Quin McCollum said. “You can’t play two quarters and think you won; you must physically dominate your opponent all game long. That’s the only way to be successful.”
The Raiders would go on to lose the game 38 – 42 and would finish the season third in the region, hoping to claim a first round home playoff game.
“As a fan, the game was the best I’ve ever seen in a long time; it kept us on the edge of seats the entire way, and as we started cheering, the game started becoming more intense,” said Mr. Derrick Jones, fan.
Final score: Raiders 38, Pelion 42