Raiders fight past Warriors, advance to title game


From Herald Staff Reports

After last week’s 49-7 rout of South Spencer in their sectional opener, Southridge football head coach Scott Buening praised the Class 2A No. 10 Raiders for an overall solid performance on all three sides of the ball — offense, defense and special teams.

Once again, the Raiders were able to put together a solid gameplan in all three facets as they defeated North Knox 40-22 in Bicknell on Friday evening in the Class 2A sectional semifinal.

“I was really happy with our players and coaching staff because we really got together at halftime and put together a really nice gameplan,” said Buening. “Offensively we played very well, we never punted and defensively we really had to work and grind out some adjustments. I thought the guys really did a great job.”

Southridge started the scoring off with 5:46 left in the first quarter when senior running back Tucker Schank broke free for a 15-yard touchdown to put the Raiders ahead 6-0. However, the Warriors answered back quickly as Gavin Doane’s 4-yard touchdown tied the game up at 6-6 with 1:55 left in the first quarter.

The Raiders scored one more time in the first quarter to go back on top as quarterback Colson Montgomery took off for a 27-yard keeper to make it 13-6 Raiders at the end of one. But once again, North Knox wasn’t going to go away easily as Doane found pay dirt once again and a two-point conversion put the Warriors up 14-12 with 6:43 left in the second quarter.

Southridge went on to score two more touchdowns in the first half — a 51-yard pass from Montgomery to Schank and a 65-yard touchdown run from Montgomery — to take a 26-13 lead into the halftime break.

The second half would be more of the same from the Raiders as Montgomery would add another 47-yard touchdown and Brad Springer would get in on the fun with a 33-yard touchdown as well. North Knox would add one more touchdown late as Cole Richter found the end zone on a 34-yard run but the Raiders hung on for the 40-22 victory.

Colson Montgomery was 4-of-6 passing with 90 yards and one touchdown while rushing for 150 yards and three touchdowns. Tucker Schank finished with 76 rushing yards on nine attempts while Brad Springer finished with 55 yards on five attempts.

Defensively, Garrett Voegerl and Sam Schroeder both recorded interceptions for the Raiders while Ben Hudson, Cole Calvert and Leyton Lauderdale all had sacks.

With the victory, Southridge will advance to the sectional championship where they’ll host Evansville Mater Dei next Friday evening.

The Wildcats and Raiders met in the sectional championship last year where Southridge escaped with a thrilling 38-31 victory in overtime.

Buening knows that Mater Dei is always a tough opponent to face in the sectional and believes that no matter what happens next Friday, both teams will be in for one tremendous battle.

“They play a tremendously tough schedule so we know they’ve been battle-tested and they’re always a pretty difficult team,” Buening said. “The thing is, you’re not going to beat a Mater Dei team 10-7 — you’re going to have to be able to generate some points and finish drives. They always have some good athletes and they’ll always put pressure on you.”

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