Raiders take care of business in 41-13 victory

Photos by Marlena Sloss/The Herald
Southridge's Cole Calvert scores a touchdown during Friday's football game in Huntingburg. Southridge defeated Tell City 41-13. For more photos from the game, click here.


HUNTINGBURG — The Big Red Machine kept up its irresistible march on the football season, as Southridge used every tool in its bag to defeat the visiting Tell City Marksmen 41-13 on Friday night.

Raiders coach Scott Buening believed the Marksmen (4-2, 2-2) would be a stiff test for his team, and praised what they had accomplished leading into their Friday game. It wasn’t always perfect, but Buening thought Southridge did a solid job executing its game plan against a team that had the potential to generate a lot of offense.

“Tell City is a good ball club,” Buening said. “They beat teams pretty badly, I’m really impressed by what their coaching staff has done with them. When you can go out and beat a team like that, We did a lot of good tonight. Of course we had plenty of mistakes and things we need to work on, but overall “(I’m) pleased with how we played.”

Southridge (6-0, 4-0) set the tone early with a pick-six from senior linebacker/fullback Cole Calvert on Tell City’s fourth play to jump out to a 7-0 lead. But the Raiders stalled in their first offensive series, which left the door open for the Marksmen to stamp their signature on the game.

Tell City drove into the Southridge red zone on their third possession, but they soon found themselves sputtering at the Raiders’ 18. A short third down at the Raiders’ 17 yard line turned into third and 9 after an illegal motion penalty, and a subsequent incomplete pass between sophomore quarterback Aden Dodson and junior running back Shane Braunecker brought up fourth down. The Marksmen decided to go for it, and Dodson went right back to Braunecker, cashing in on their shot with a 22-yard touchdown connection to tie the game.

But Southridge didn’t take long to counter with big plays of its own. After a first down rush from Calvert, sophomore quarterback Carson Niehaus hit junior wide receiver Camden Gasser for 16 yards into Tell City territory. Then senior running back Brad Springer cut loose for 25 yards to set up Southridge in the red zone. Calvert capped the drive with a weaving 15-yard touchdown run to put the Raiders up 14-7.

But that wasn’t it for the Raiders’ explosive plays. At the start of their next drive, senior wideout Garrett Voegerl took a pitch from Niehaus on what looked like an end-around play. But as he approached the line of scrimmage, he pulled up to throw and hit Gasser in stride for a 39-yard gain. A few plays later, Springer capped the drive with a seven-yard TD scoot that gave the Raiders a 21-7 halftime lead.

The Raiders then put up back-to-back touchdowns to sink their teeth into the game at the start of the second half. The first came from a one-yard carry from Calvert to end a methodical drive which covered 82 yards in 11 plays. The next one came shortly after as senior safety Jadon Culbertson sniffed out a screen and picked off Dodson’s pass for the second defensive touchdown of the night.

Tell City, to its credit, didn’t stop working in spite of the bad breaks the Marksmen endured. They lined up for their next drive, and junior fullback Bren Miller broke off a 28-yard run to spark the Marksmen. Miller struck again a couple of plays later, this time for 33 yards down to the Raiders’ 1 yard line. Dodson snuck it in for the score, but Tell City failed on the two-point conversion, trailing by three touchdowns.

Southridge's Brad Springer carries the ball during Friday's football game in Huntingburg against Tell City. For more photos from the game, click here.

Southridge used its final scoring drive to put the game out of reach for good. Using their playcaling to chew up clock, the Raiders used a 13-play drive that spanned into the fourth quarter to take the last bit of fight out of the Marksmen. Their march culminated with a 13-yard TD hookup between Niehaus and Voegerl, which put the finishing touches on the game.

Niehaus finished 4 for 6 passing for 53 yards and a touchdown. Calvert had 55 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 13 attempts, while Springer had 52 yards and a score on 11 carries. Voegerl finished with three catches for 37 yards and a touchdown.

Dodson finished 2 for 11 passing with 27 yards, a passing touchdown, a rushing touchdown and four picks. Miller fhad 89 yards rushing on nine carries. Braunecker had one catch for 22 yards and a touchdown.

“We did really well,” Niehaus said. “We had little mistakes, we had a couple penalties here and there, all stuff we can fix. My line did great tonight. I owe it all to them.”

“We went over every game they played so far this season, and we had our scout team running their offense strictly,” Calvert added. “We knew what was coming. We were prepared.”

Not only did the Raiders stay unbeaten, but Friday night’s win sets up a big game with the Heritage Hills Patriots, who trounced the Gibson Southern Titans 49-14. Their meeting Friday in Lincoln City will likely determine the winner of the Pocket Athletic Conference crown. But the Raiders aren’t trying to get ahead of themselves thinking about that kind of thing. For them, it’s another outing against a quality opponent, which excites them for the upcoming week of practice.

“We’re just going to have to get into film and a strong week,” Calvert said. “We’ll be good to go.”

“We’re still trying to get to the point where we feel like we’re playing really good football,” Buening said. “We feel like we’ve got a lot of work to do next week to give ourselves a chance against a team like Heritage Hills. They showed what they’re capable of against one of the best teams in southern Indiana. We’re excited about the opportunity to go play. These are the games you work for.”

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