ASHTON —The Raiders traveled to Orangeville on Friday night to face off against conference foe the Orangeville Broncos. The Raiders found themselves on the good side of an old fashioned shootout, 48-42 in double overtime.
The scoring came early and often for both teams. Andrew LeFevre found Nick McClanahan in the first quarter for a 33 yard scoring strike to open up a 6-0 lead. The Broncos followed that with a 55 yard kickoff return that eventually led to their first score and a lead of 8-6.
The second quarter saw Jake Kaecker score on an 8 yard run and he also converted the extra point for a Raider lead of 14-8. However, the Broncos countered that with a drive of their own and a touchdown with just 12 seconds left in the half to tie the score at 14-14.
Then the offensive explosion ensued for both teams. The second half and overtime saw a combined 62 points scored. The third quarter had 30 points scored alone with two touchdowns by each team. After falling behind by 14 points, Kaecker broke free and found the end zone on a 65 yard run and LeFevre converted the extra point. Five minutes later, LeFevre scrambled for a 7 yard score and McClanahan ran in the extra point to close the third quarter score with the Raiders leading 30-28.
The fourth quarter kept up the scoring outburst. The Broncos scored on a 14 yard pass play with five minutes left in the game to take a 36-30 lead. AFC’s offense was not going to be denied and they quickly marched 67 yards down the field and found themselves knocking on the door of the end zone.The Raiders were stonewalled on the 3 yard line after three unsuccessful tries. The Raiders faced a fourth and goal and a must score situation. LeFevre handed the ball to their workhorse, Jake Kaecker, and he barreled his way to the 1 yard line, but the Broncos forced him to fumble the ball. Ermir Ramadani saw the ball rolling loose through the end zone and pounced on it for the game tying score 36-36 with 2:00 left on the clock.
With a chance to take the lead, LeFevre looked to pass the ball to Troy Mairs in the back corner of end zone for the 2-point conversion, but the pass was batted away.
Now the Raiders defense was called upon to stop the Broncos offense. As Orangeville was driving down the field utilizing their passing game and looking to score, Cody Stahl recognized their game plan and jumped up and deflected a pass and it fell into Ramadani’s hands and forced overtime.
The first overtime saw the Raiders score first on another run by Kaecker, this time from 6 yards out. However, the Raiders failed on the extra point and the score was 42-36 and the Broncos now had their chance to score. The Broncos did just that on a 5 yard run and tied the score 42-42. But once again the Raiders defense denied them from scoring the extra point.
In the second overtime, the Broncos had possession first and had been stopped by a Raiders defense on their first three tries. Now they faced a fourth and goal from the 8 yard line.Once again Stahl recognized a pass play and elevated above the offensive line and batted the pass away for an incompletion.
The Raiders took possession on the 10 yard line and all they needed to do was score to win the game. Once again they called on Jake Kaecker to do the job. He answered the call and took a LeFevre hand off, dashed through the line, broke through four tackles and fell over the end line for his fourth touchdown of the game and game winning score 48-42.
“Our guys were not going to let this game slip away,” said Coach Brad Winterland. “They kept responding to the call over and over and over again. Jake Kaecker had an amazing game tonight, he led us on offense and defense. Andrew LeFevre showed great maturity at quarterback by making critical decisions. Cody Stahl came up huge tonight. McClanahan made an amazing catch. Everybody had a great game tonight.”
For the game the Raider offense accumulated 468 total yards. Kaecker led AFC in rushing with 215 yards, and LeFevre tallied 130 yards and McClanahan pitched in with 18 yards. Through the air LeFevre passed for 100 yards, 52 to McClanahan, 30 to Mairs, 14 to Ramadani, and 4 to Hahn.
Defensively, Jake Kaecker led with 12 tackles and was joined by Cody Stahl, Anthony Gendusa, and Josh Kaecker with eight each.
“We need to carry this momentum into next week,” said Coach Winterland. “We play Warren for our Homecoming and they will give us a tough game. Also, our cheerleaders and fans have been amazing this year. If they show up in force like the previous games, it will give us a big advantage and boost.”
The Raiders are now 4-3 and host Warren (3-4) this Friday for AFC’s homecoming game. The JV game starts at 5:30 p.m. and the varsity at 7:30 p.m..