4 Downs: Raiders can win 3rd sectional in 4 years

Photo by Marlena Sloss/The Herald
Southridge senior Matt Springer (22) will try to help the Raiders to a sectional championship on Friday against Salem

Here is a look ahead to Friday’s Sectional 32 championship game.

Lions at Raiders

Teams: Salem (7-2) at Southridge (11-0), 7:30 p.m., Raider Field

1. Southridge set a couple of goals for the 2020 season — to win the Pocket Athletic Conference Small School Division — which it did, and to win the sectional championship, which it can attain on Friday. Coach Scott Buening said the Raiders are excited for the opportunity to attain their goals.

2. Buening told the Herald after the team bested Gibson Southern, 30-27, Oct. 30 that they need to clean up their procedural penalties — but playing a team that they’ve played so often like the Titans results in trying to find creative new ways to hide what they’re doing. He thinks they’ll be more attentive to detail in practice.

3. Salem, like Southridge, doesn’t always pass a lot, and can go to different options with the run game. One player the Raiders will have to account for on Friday is junior Porter Howey, who has rushed for 100 yards in each of Salem’s first two sectional games, and Buening likes how well Howey moves.

4. “(When) we get locked up with these guys, it’s going to be a challenge for us. We’ve played some big teams much bigger than we are through out the year, but I think it’s not just the fact that these guys are big, but it’s the quality of guys they have, too, combined with their scheme and the pressure that it puts on you to do well.”

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