Raiders win 34-8 in homecoming game

Published 12:35 pm Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Raiders force a fumble in the first half, which was recovered by Paul Parker and returned 65 yards for a touchdown. -- CAIN MADDEN | TIDEWATER NEWS

The Raiders force a fumble in the first half, which was recovered by Paul Parker and returned 65 yards for a touchdown. — CAIN MADDEN | TIDEWATER NEWS

COURTLAND—For the homecoming game, it was a chance for the Southampton Academy defense to shine against one of the highest scoring teams in the Colonial Carolina 8-Man football division.

Heading into the game, Rocky Mount Academy had scored 369 points, or approximately 53 points a game. The Raiders held the Eagles to just 8 points.

“Our defense has played well this year,” said head coach Dale Marks. “But it has been all about the offense this year. A lot of the time, we are subbing in guys in the middle of the second quarter because the game is out of hand.

“But not in my wildest dreams did I think that we would shut this team out for three quarters. They are a good team. They are deep, they’ve got size, and they’ve got speed. They have a very experienced head coach. We just had some kids who really played well tonight on defense.”

Marks also said he was nervous coming into this game.

“I did not think our preparation was where it needed to be, but either I was wrong, or we have got some guys that are a whole lot better than I thought they were on defense,” he said.

The Eagles’ one score came with 3:21 left in the fourth quarter. In that series, the Eagles had a long run, and Marks said his linebackers told him that they were out of position on that play. A Southampton penalty also gave them a free first down. When they got within three yards out, Brice Andracchio ran it in for the score, and Christopher Jenkins got the two point conversion.

“Hey, one score on one drive — I’ll take that against this team every time,” Marks said.

Southampton started off the scoring on the ground, with 7:28 left on the clock in the first quarter. Matt Rose ran it in from 27 yards out. The two-point conversion failed.

In the second quarter, with 7:48 left in the game, Matt Rose hit Tonee Hill from 20 yards out to make it 12-0. After Hill ran in the two-point conversion, it was 14-0.

The Raiders got one more score in the first half, when Paul Parker recovered a fumble from 65 yards out and ran it all the way in for the score with 4:14 left in the half. Rose ran in the two-point conversion to make the score 22-0.

In the second half, Rose again hit Hill, this time from 5 yards out, with 7:35 left in the third quarter. The conversion failed.

With 7:16 left in the game, Rose found Parker for the final Southampton score of the game, putting the Raiders up 34-0 after failing on the two point conversion.

With this win, the Raiders locked up the number one seat in the league playoffs, even if they lose next week.

“I just can’t say enough about the way these kids have played this year. It has been a long time since July 29 when we started,” Marks said.

“We accomplished one of our goals, to make the playoffs and then be the number one seed. Our next goal is to hopefully win another state championship. We took a step in the right direction tonight.”

He said there is a significant step off in the league from third place to fourth place, so having the number one seed will help in getting to the championship game.

“We’ll face the number 8 seed in the first round, and then the number 4 seed in the second round,” Marks said. “That’ll be two home games, which is good.”

Southampton (8-0), will end the regular season taking on Halifax Academy (4-3 at press time) in Roanoke Rapids, N.C.