Pictures By Lydia Schembre:
The Cardinal Ritter Football Team fell to Lutheran on Friday night in a match up that brings their record to 1-1 both in Indiana Crossroads Conference play and overall. Both teams threw jabs early to feel each other out, but ultimately the Saints landed some hay makers late to come away with the 35-14 win.
The Raiders received the opening kick-off and were unable to move the ball and were forced to punt on fourth down. After a botched snap, Lutheran recovered the ball deep into CRHS territory and it looked as if they would have an easy chance to score to go up early. But the improved defense led by sophomore sensations Gavin Crooke, Justin Browder and Jordan Johnson, was able to stop the Saints on 4 downs and give the ball back to the Raiders.
The Raiders looked to drive the length of the field as Jack “Rabbit” Henninger threw a bomb to Browder for about a 40 yard gain and it looked as if the good guys were swinging the momentum in their favor. Unfortunately a costly turnover gave the Saints the ball and a touchdown. After the extra point Lutheran was up 7-0.
Cardinal Ritter brushed off the error which could have been a momentum killer and rallied back on another drive from their own 47 yard line with 3 minutes to go in the 1st quarter. The connection of Henninger to Browder was instrumental in the drive as they gashed the Saints for another long gain. A couple of plays later, Henninger rolled to his right and connected with Nick “Slippery” Salmon in the back corner of the end zone. After a Ben Valle extra point, the Raiders had evened the score at 7 with 2 minutes to go in the 1st quarter.
The game went back and forth with neither team really gaining ground on the other, either because of costly turnovers or a failure to get their offenses moving, until 3 minutes to go in the 3rd when Lutheran was able to break a long run for a touchdown to go up 13-7. The Raiders drove the ball again, but another turnover gave the ball back to the Saints as they were able to capitalize and score again. After the 2 point conversion, Lutheran was up 21-7.
The Raiders continued to claw back, but get never pull the momentum away from the Saints. In the end the Raiders were able to score one last time when Henninger was able to connect with Timmy Godsil for another score.
Henninger led the passing game throwing for 156 yards and 2 touchdowns. Browder was his primary target as he caught 6 balls for 103 yards. Godsil hauled in 6 passes for 36 yard and a TD as Salmon caught 2 balls for 17 yards.
The Raiders used multiple players in the rushing attack with the “Round Mound of Touchdown” Ashton Hall leading all rushers with 40 yards on 9 carries.
The defense held their own with Crooke leading the team in tackles with 8 followed by Austin Sultzer with 7, Parker “Master P” Mead with 6, Hall with 5, Johnson with 4 and Browder and Antwann Dix with 3. Elie Gerth added a sack while Browder and Johnson each had picks.
The Raiders will look to right the ship this coming Friday as they will take on Brebeuf at Marian.