Raiders Finish Regular Season With a Perfect Record
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By Mary Schwanke
On October 21, the North Shelby Raiders ended their regular season on a high note, scoring 92 points against the Braymer Bobcats. The Raiders went undefeated with a 9-0 record.
The Raiders’ first score took place only a minute into the game. Justin Lunsford ran 12 yards for a 1st down. Cale Stoneburner rushed the next 24 yards for the touchdown. Lunsford had the conversion.
The Bobcats scored as well, passing and handing the ball off to freshman Carter Shoe. With the Raiders back on offense a minute later, Kyle Smith rushed 64 yards for a touchdown, bringing the score to 16-6 only four minutes into the game.
The scoring frenzy was slowed by Raider defense. At 4th and 4, a pass to Wyatt Kincaid resulted in a gain of 15 yards and a 1st down. Lunsford sacked freshman quarterback Jordan Haley, causing a loss of five yards. A pass to Landon Baker resulted in a gain of 14. The Bobcats continued to inch further down the field. However, Robert Uhlmeyer intercepted a pass into the end zone, giving the Raiders possession of the ball. Play resumed at the 15. Lunsford proceeded to juke out Braymer’s defense for a 65-yard touchdown run with three minutes left in the quarter.
Many penalties plagued the Bobcats over their next possession, but many efficient passes moved them down the field. At 0:41, Griffin Hughson scored for the Bobcats, bringing the score to 24-12.
That was the last time the Bobcats scored in the first half.
“Braymer’s got an explosive offense,” said NS coach David Stuckey. “They made a couple of plays. We just kept our heads about us and kept doing what we do. We’ve got communication, and that’s what I love about these guys.
“They make a mistake and they communicate with each other to fix their issues. That’s where we shut them out after those first couple scores.”
Immediately after getting the ball, Stoneburner handed it off to Lunsford who rushed 43 yards for another touchdown. The score at the end of the first quarter was 32-12.
The Bobcats began the second quarter on offense at the 39 yard line. They only managed to gain 5 yards before turning over on downs. Lunsford made the score 40-12 at 9:31 when he rushed for another touchdown.
Braymer’s Griffin Hughson caught a pass for the Bobcats on their 4th down, but couldn’t quite get past the markers. The Raiders took over on offense again, and Lunsford immediately rushed 38 yards, scoring. Landon Bender secured the conversion and eight more points were added to the Raider’s tally.
The Bobcats gained five yards on their 1st down, but lost five yards on their 2nd when Noah Greenwell sacked the quarterback. Braymer threw an incomplete pass, and then turned over on downs when Robert Uhlmeyer disrupted their final pass.
Lunsford scored his fifth touchdown of the game on 2nd and 10. With a thwarted conversion, the score read 54-12.
Luke Schwanke forced the Bobcats to fumble the ball. It was recovered by Bender at the Raider’s own 35-yard line. Stoneburner found Lunsford deep and threw to him, gaining 25 yards. Greenwell proceeded to take the ball the rest of the way to the end zone, scoring a touchdown at 4:42.
The Bobcats fumbled the ball, which was picked up by Greenwell. Back on offense, Stoneburner passed to Uhlmeyer for a 1st down and gain of 12. Orr took the ball the remaining 28 yards, scoring again. 70-12.
On defense, Schwanke swatted the football mid-pass. After a couple more incomplete passes, Braymer turned over on downs. Lunsford ran 57 yards for the kick return, scoring his 16th touchdown of the season. Stoneburner himself has 15 touchdowns so far.
Before the buzzer, Kyle Smith recovered a Bobcat fumble and carried the ball 10 yards. At halftime, the score read 78-12.
The rest of the game was played with a running clock using North Shelby’s JV. The Raiders only allowed 18 points to be scored against them in the second half. Highlights of the half include quarterback JD Rich’s touchdown with 10:48 left in the last quarter. Amos Fredrickson also sped 41 yards to score with 5:16 left in the 4th. Gabe Orr and Jade Daniel had several tackles and stops. James Kelly and Louis Launius prevented a Bobcat conversion. The final score of the game was 92-30.
Coach Stuckey commented on some improvements the Raiders have had throughout their season so far.
“We’re consistently getting the ball in the end zone just about every time we touch it on offense now. I have to praise our offensive line. Luke Schwanke, Brayton Cook, Dylan McEwen and our tight ends Kyle Smith, Landon Bender and Noah Greenwell are consistently creating holes and making it easy for our running backs and our quarterbacks to score. Our consistency and the offensive line have definitely improved.”
North Shelby is currently ranked second in the state. The Central River Conference is broken into three divisions. The Raiders are Division Champions of both the Central River North Division and Central River League.
Now on to the postseason! The Raiders are the #1 seed in District 2. They have a bye next week, but that doesn’t mean they’re taking a break.
“We’ve got a week off and then we’ve got to play one game at a time,” said Coach Stuckey. “We’ve got big goals, but those don’t happen right now. It’s one week and then we win or go home, so we have to stay focused. We’re probably going to see the winner of the Keytesville vs. Schuyler County game. Both of them like to throw the ball.
“We made a couple mistakes in coverage, so we’re going to work on perfecting that. Each and every week, we’ve got to come ready to work.
“Those same things have kept us in this position so far: celebrate for two days and get right back to work on Monday,” said Stuckey.
Keytesville has since dropped out of post season play.
The Raiders will play Schuyler County on Friday, November 5.
Edit: Schuyler County has forfeited due to lack of numbers available.