By Jack Adams
There are sometimes no words. The Cardinal Ritter Raiders played a neutral game against the Bishop Chatard Trojans for the Sectional Championship. Each and every last one of our boys in red played their best and hardest all game long. However, in the end, Bishop Chatard came out ahead and won the game. The final score was 56-27.
As the game opened up, the Trojans lined up for kickoff. Brad “Big Play” Bacon returned the ball to the Raider 36 yard line and their first drive began. On 1st down, Bacon ran the ball for three yards. There was no gain on 2nd, but Diomoni “Supreme” Small completed a pass to Kyle “Kay-Pee-Zee” Price on the play after. This was followed immediately by Small launching a rocket to Bacon for a big gain to the Trojan 19 yard line. Ben “the Jet” Egenolf caught a ball for a pickup of eight yards and subsequently caught a touchdown pass from Small on the next play. Matthew “Ironfoot” Boberg kicked the PAT clear through the goalposts, putting the Raiders on the board just two minutes into the game. Boberg kicked the ball back to Chatard, who returned it to the Raider 21 yard line.
The Trojans gained a 1st down on their first run, but were stopped by Kendall “Demolition” Dalverny and Darrell “Quicksilver” Roberson on the next play after a gain of only a yard. From 2nd and 7, Chatard ran a toss, but Henry “A-Bomb” Woodcock made the tackle after a pickup of five. On the next play, Chatard scored, the PAT was good, and the Trojans kicked back to Roberson, who returned the kick to the Raider 25 yard line.
On 1st down, Small threw a huge 21-yard pass to Bacon. There was an incomplete pass on the next play and a loss of a yard on 2nd down, but “Supreme” fired a bullet to Woodcock for a 15-yard gain. Bacon followed this up by catching a 39-yard touchdown pass from Small with 6:24 left in the first. Boberg’s PAT was good and his return kick bounced into the Trojan endzone for a touchback.
Starting from their own 20, Chatard continued to utilize its running strategy. For the next two minutes, the Trojans pushed and shoved their way down the field against the Raider defenders. Donovan “Spiderman” Morris, Daniel “the Slammer” Ayala, Seth “the Kraken” Knutson, and Woodcock all made tackles with the D-line. With 4:12 remaining in the first quarter, Chatard scored again and the point after was good. The Trojans returned the ball to Cardinal Ritter and Egenolf carried it to the Raider 29 yard line.
On the first play of the possession, Small threw a long 20-yard pass to Woodcock. The Raiders were pushed back to their own 32, but Small carried the ball on 3rd down for a whopping 23 yards, just shy of the 1st down. Cardinal Ritter went for the conversion, but threw an incomplete pass, turning over the ball at the Trojan 45 yard line with 2:55 left in the first. Intentional grounding was called against the Raiders, moving the ball to the Raider 32.
Still, Chatard kept the ball on the ground. After four plays, the Trojans scored a touchdown. Along the way, they fought against “Charging” Trey Hunt, Jake “the Snake” Kluemper, and Dillon “Rube” Olejnik. The extra point was good and Chatard kicked back to the Raiders.
Egenolf returned the kick, but Cardinal Ritter was flagged on the return, forcing them to start from their own 9 yard line. On 1st down, Bacon ran the ball for a gain of four. However, the Raiders could not move the chains any further as the first quarter ended. The score was 21-14 Trojans.
As the second quarter began, Cardinal Ritter punted the ball, which Chatard returned to the Raider 23 yard line.
The Trojans passed the ball for 11 on 1st down and Knutson made the tackle. Chatard ran the ball and scored on the next play from the Raider 12 yard line, less than a minute into the second quarter. The PAT was good and Chatard kicked back to the Raiders for a touchback.
There was no movement on the first two plays, but Egenolf caught a ball from Small for a pickup of 10 yards for a 1st down. There was an incomplete pass on the next play, but Woodcock followed that with a 23-yard reception from Small, moving the chains to the Trojan 47. There was a loss of a yard on the 1st down play, but Woodcock caught another pass for six yards. After an incomplete pass, A-Bomb attempted to convert, but it fell short. The ball was turned over at the Trojan 44 with 8:46 remaining in the first half.
Within the next minute, over two long-pass plays, Chatard scored another touchdown. Bryce “Black and Blue” Giebel was a notable defender on the drive. The PAT was good and the Trojans kicked a touchback to Cardinal Ritter, 8:09 on the clock.
Xion “the Streak” Russell carried the ball for a yard on 1st down. Unfortunately, the Raiders could not convert and sent in Olejnik for the punt. “Rube” kicked the ball out of bounds at the Trojan 49 yard line with 6:11 left in the first half.
This time around, Chatard went with mostly passing plays. They again fought against Cardinal Ritter defenders, such as Morris, Ayala, and Egenolf. However, the Trojans were again able to make it into the endzone. The PAT was good and Chatard kicked another touchback to Cardinal Ritter with 4:35 left before halftime.
There was an incompletion on 1st down, but Egenolf caught a 13-yarder from Small on the next play. Small ran for a yard, followed by an 8-yard completion to Price on 2nd down. However, after another incomplete pass, Olejnik punted the ball away to Chatard. However, during the return, the Trojans fumbled the ball and Egenolf recovered it at the 50 yard line, allowing the Raiders to continue their drive. There was an incomplete pass on 1st down, but Woodcock made up for this with a 21-yard reception from Small at the Trojan 29 yard line. Price complemented this with his own 13-yard grab from Small. Pass interference on the next play gave the Raiders another ten free yards. After a few setbacks, Bacon managed to catch another ball from Small in the Trojan endzone for a touchdown. Boberg kicked the point after, which was good, and proceeded to kick a laser across the field for a touchback with one minute on the clock.
Chatard picked up five on the first play, but were shut down by Javon “the Shield” Rodgers. The Trojans threw an incomplete pass on 2nd down and ran the ball for four on 3rd before being stopped by Giebel at their own 29 yard line. The first half then bled into halftime. The scoreboard read 42-21 Chatard.
When the second half began, Boberg kicked the ball to the Trojans, who returned it to their own 34 yard line before being stopped by Egenolf. Chatard made short gains, mostly keeping the ball on the turf. However, after duking it out against Rodgers, Giebel, Hunt, Woodcock, and the rest of the Raider D-line, the Trojans punted the ball. Egenolf received the kick on a fair catch at the Raider 21 yard line with 9:47 in the third quarter.
There was a loss on 1st down, but the Raiders gained six yards from a holding penalty against Chatard. Russell ran the ball for a yard on 2nd down, followed by a completed pass from Small to Price for nine. Bacon caught a ball for 13 yards, moving the ball to the Raider 45 yard line. However, the Trojans intercepted the ball on the next play at their own 41 yard line.
On the 1st down run, Dalverny made the tackle for a loss of three. Chatard held onto the ball for the next four minutes, utilizing several pass and run plays. After a long struggle against the Raider defense, including Kluemper, Egenolf, Hunt, Knutson, Morris, and Olejnik, the Trojans attempted a field goal from the Raider 9. However, the kick was no good and Cardinal Ritter took over at their own 20 yard line with just over three minutes left before the final quarter.
Egenolf caught a ball on 1st down for a pickup of five, but there was a loss of 10 on 2nd down. Unable to move the chains any further, Olejnik punted the ball to the Trojan 44 yard line. 1:49 was left in the third quarter.
Rodgers was quick to shut down the run on the first play after a gain of only one. Chatard completed a seven-yard pass on 2nd down, but Hunt and Giebel teamed up for the tackle on the following play. Chatard chose to punt the ball, sending it into the hands of Egenolf, who carried it to the Raider 20 yard line.
With just four seconds left in the third quarter, Small ran the ball for a yard. The score going into the fourth remained 42-21 Trojans.
As the final quarter of the game began, things were looking a little bleak. It seemed that Lady Luck had decided to take a vacation that day. But the Raiders were not founded on Luck, nor did they rely on it. The Raider Nation relies firstly on Christ and secondly on one another. Those two sacred bonds would carry it through anything, thick or thin.
On 2nd and 9 from the Raider 21, Small fired a rocket to Egenolf, who caught it for a massive 79-yard touchdown, mere seconds into the fourth quarter. The point after got loose and was no good. Boberg kicked a spinner to Chatard, who returned it to their own 45.
The Trojans controlled the ball for the next five minutes. They utilized several pass plays, but by and large kept the ball on the ground. Chatard fought against Giebel, Woodcock, Morris, Olejnik, Kluemper and the other Raider defenders before scoring once more with just 6:21 on the clock. The PAT was good and the Trojans kicked the ball to Egenolf, who returned it to the Raider 25 yard line.
There was an incomplete pass on 1st down, but Price caught a ball from Small for a pickup of five on the next play. Woodcock followed this up with his own 14-yard reception from Small. After being penalized and moving the ball back to 3rd and long, Price snagged another pass from Small for 16 yards, taking the Raiders to 4th and 6 from their own 48. The ball was turned over on the next play at the Raider 48 with 4:24 remaining in the game.
A bad snap on 1st down cost Chatard five yards. After gaining those yards back on 2nd down, the Trojans threw an incomplete pass, which was broken up by Egenolf. However, a questionable call by the refs of unsportsmanlike conduct against Cardinal Ritter gave Chatard a free 40-yard gain. Marlon “Hotshot” Anderson made the tackle on the next play after a gain of five. Woodcock tackled the runner on 2nd and 4 after a pickup of only two yards. From the Raider 2 yard line, the Trojans scored with 1:24 on the clock. The PAT was good and the Trojans kicked the ball to Cardinal Ritter. Bacon returned it and Chatard was flagged with facemask, allowing the Raiders to begin their final drive of the season from their own 31 yard line.
It was an emotional ending to an emotional season. There were glorious victories and marginally close losses. There were fantastic plays and remarkable feats of redemption. And through it all stood the proud Raider Family. We have stood by each other’s side as this journey has unfolded. We have watched our boys in red become men. Through it all, we have been united in our love for each other, our friendship, our kinship, and our faith in Jesus Christ, Our Lord.
We thank most especially, all the players who pushed themselves to their limits and gave it their all each and every game. We thank also our hardworking coaches and staff and the Lady Raiders who always cheered us on, no matter how cold or bitter things got. And we thank our students, parents, friends, and family who supported us every step of the way. This may be an end to the football season, but for the Raider Family, it is a new beginning.
We are brothers and sisters in Christ and we will always have each other’s back no matter what. Our profound bond is one that will never be broken. It is a bond that has been tested like gold in the fire, and it is stronger than ever. Thank you to everyone who has been along for the ride. It has truly been a great pleasure, and one that will never be forgotten. May God bless you and keep you. Amen. This is Jack Adams, signing off. I’ll see you all next season.
To see the stats for the game click here: Football Stats For 11/3/2017