STEVENSVILLE — The Red Arrow Raiders earned their first on-field victory in emphatic fashion on Sept. 18, routing the Twin City Sharks 82-12 in a game played at Lakeshore High School.
“It was really great to get this ‘W’ we’ve all been waiting for,” said junior Eli Thomas, who was playing the night after his 17th birthday and ended up scoring six touchdowns.
“We came out and played pretty fast and pretty hard said senior quarterback Michael Bombin. “We just kept scoring … our offensive line did a great job tonight.”
The Raiders and Sharks both are cooperative squads — with players from New Buffalo and River Valley on the Red Arrow roster and student-athletes from Lake Michigan Catholic, Countryside Academy and Michigan Lutheran playing for Twin City.
After the Raiders had rolled to a 46-0 first-half lead, the Sharks battled back with freshman quarterback Ty Johnson running for a touchdown and firing a scoring strike to Isaiah Howe for anther to make it a 46-12 game.
But the Raiders upped the lead to 54-12 before half-time on a touchdown pass from Bombin to Andrew Flick, and never looked back.
The second half was all Red Arrow as the visitors tallied 28 unanswered points — the final six thanks to freshman quarterback Travion Floyd’s first varsity touchdown on a sprint to the end zone.
Raider starters had big nights — Bombin completed 7 of 11 passes for 144 yards and five touchdowns while gaining 101 yards on six carries and accounting for a pair of two-point conversions; Thomas ran the ball 7 times for 107 yards and four TDs, also hauling in 3 pass receptions for 37 yards and two more scores; Ben Coffeen finished with two receptions for 71 yards and a touchdown, ran the ball seven times for 47 yards, and was successful on three two-point conversions; and Flick caught two passes from Bombin for 36 yards and a pair of TDs.
The Red Arrow defense held their hosts to 46 rushing yards on 17 carries, and 152 yards through the air on 13 of 32 passing (most of that late in the first half). Bombin had 8 total tackles, 2 for loss, and a pair of interceptions; Coffeen was credited with 6 total tackles, 1 sack, and a fumble recovery for a 52-yard touchdown.; Flick finished with 5 total tackles and 3 pass defenses; and Chris Israelite had a sack and caused a fumble.
Head coach Matt Johnson said the Raiders have been focused on correcting mistakes they made in the first two games, and also made it a priority on defense to prepare for the Sharks’ signal-caller.
He said both the offensive and defensive lines (David Fairchild, Caden Olson, Hunter Lynch, and Cameron Forker) had great games by putting pressure on the Sharks offense all night and providing solid protection when the Raiders were on offense.
The victory upped the Raiders’ record to 2-2 (Bangor forfeited the season-opener).