By Kevin Smalls.
- Newberry, Florida
The stands were packed to see the rivalry game between the Sante Fe Raiders and Newberry Panthers.
Both teams came into the game with the same game plan – that was to run the ball.
But, only one team was able to successfully put points on the board on different occasions. The Raiders came out the gate, pounding the ball on the ground.
It only took senior FB/MLB Darrius Powell two carries to put the Raiders on the scoreboard with a 7-0 lead—only taking 1:02 off the game clock.
The quick score didn’t startle the Panthers, as Junior RB/CB Kobe Delima carried the Panthers down the field with his rushing game to even the score at seven.
Both teams would tighten up their defense after the quick touchdowns.
In the second quarter, senior ATH Deron Reid ran a 40-yard quarterback keeper to put the Raiders up 14-7.
With a minute remaining the in the second quarter, the Raiders came up with a big stop by holding off the Panthers from scoring on a 4th-and-goal attempt.
In the second half, the Panthers were just not able to find their momentum on the offensive end. The Raiders defense had a lot to do with that.
After the game, head coach Doc Pollard said their plan was to establish the run with Darrius Powell to tighten the Panthers defense before they start throwing the ball a little.
“Running the ball is our offensive strength,” Coach Pollard said. “Our defense is the true strength of our team.”
He said their motto is “If they don’t score, they don’t win.” He encouraged his team to play sound, responsible, strong team defense, and they executed.
The Panthers did not score the remainder of the game.
The Raiders defense forced a safety late in the game, making the final score, 22-7.
After the game, Powell talked about watching his older brother play football as he grew up. He said his brother, who went on to play at University of Florida, taught Powell everything he knew.
Powell goals for this season are to maintain a 3.5 gpa, and attend college after high school.
Powell said in order for the Raiders to continue this success through the season the Raiders would have to “go hard in practice and continue playing as a team.”
Deron Reid quickly credited God for his talent and his teammates and coaches for pushing him to his full potential.
Reid’s goals for this season are to give 100 percent every game, encourage himself & his teammates to never give up, and always push forward.
Santa Fe hosts Suwannee on Friday, August 30 at 7:30 pm. Newberry, who’s still searching for their first regular season win since October of 2018, hosts Hawthorne on Friday at 7:30 pm.