Raiders nation was electric Friday night as they came to support their Raiders. Santa Fe’s opponent is the out-of-county Suwannee Bulldogs and they are entering into Friday’s game with a record of 3-3 and have outscored their opponents 48-7 in their past two games. Santa Fe is looking to score for the first time since their 14-7 win two weeks ago. Both teams came ready to play, but only one come out victorious.
Santa Fe got the ball first and their first play went backward for a three-yard loss. After a 5-yard rush, the Raiders’ drive was extended by a defensive pass interference to set up 1st and 10. A 2-yard loss and an incomplete pass established 3rd and long. Santa Fe attempted a sweep pass which went nowhere, so the raiders punted. KJ Johnson started the defensive campaign with a nice pass deflection but three straight first downs arose through the running game right after.
As the Bulldogs were driving into Raiders territory, sophomore defensive end Ethan Thomas had multiple pressures that caused incompletions. His presence alone caused Suwannee to keep in on the ground. Following yet another first down run, a late hit by a Suwannee offensive lineman set back the Bulldogs’ drive 15 yards. Unfortunately for the Raiders, Suwannee got the yardage right back with a 20-yard pass to the goal line. Three running plays later, the Bulldogs now lead 7-0.
The Raiders’ response was short-lived as they went three and out. As things couldn’t get any worse, the punt was blocked and gave Suwannee great field position at Santa Fe’s 33-yard line. Ethan Thomas once again got to the quarterback and caused the throw to be just out of the receiver’s fingertips and caused 4th and 10. The Bulldogs’ field goal attempt was no good and the ball was back to Santa Fe. This momentum was short-lived as the quarterback’s ball was too high and went right into the hands of the Bulldog’s defensive back, who ran in for a touchdown. Three straight runs were not enough to give the Raiders a first down and punted the ball away to end the quarter.
Immediately after the punt, Suwannee’s running back broke through 4 tackles and carried his way to the end zone. The Bulldogs now lead 21-0. The Raiders started their drive with a 7-yard pass to Ben Hockman. After a first down conversion, three straight short run plays to set up fourth down. A short punt gave Suwannee good possession. A first-down screen pass allowed the Bulldogs to move across midfield. However, a false start on the third down caused a long conversion attempt for the Bulldogs. Freshman Ben Hockman caused a pass breakup to stop Suwannee from driving any further.
On the ensuing punt, a helmet-to-helmet penalty against the Raiders backed their offense to their 10-yard line. Off a high snap, James Smith is to be sacked in the end zone for a safety. The Bulldogs now lead 23-0. To open up their next drive, Suwannee heaves the ball down to the field for a 39-yard touchdown to extend their lead to 30. Santa Fe’s response? Another three and out. The Bulldogs’ offensive line controlled the trenches all game long and it was evident in their next possession. Suwannee had four 9+ yard rushes and their shortest rush was for a touchdown. Santa Fe had under a minute to muster up anything before the half, but couldn’t find any success. The Bulldogs lead the raiders 37-0 at the half.
An unsuccessful surprise onside kick gave Suwannee the ball at the 45-yard line. Soon right after, the Bulldogs completed a 30-yard catch to bring them inside the red zone. But this time, Santa Fe won this battle. On third and short, KJ Johnson played great coverage to disallow a touchdown. Suwannee went for it and was unsuccessful, Santa Fe received the ball on their 12-yard line. Following a sack, a low snap caused a delayed handoff that was easily handled by Suwannee. The Raiders would eventually punt it back to the visitors to end the quarter.
Following an offsides penalty on Santa Fe, 6 straight run plays moved the Bulldogs well into Raider territory. But once again, Ethan Thomas came up big for the defense and got an 8-yard sack on third down. The Suwannee field goal attempt was successful and the Bulldog lead rose to 40. On Santa Fe’s last possession they went 3 and out for the fifth time. The visitors kneeled as time expired with the final score being, Raiders 0, Bulldogs 40.
Next week Santa Fe plays at Union County at 7:30 pm