Raiders win thriller in series finale

Photos by Traci Westcott/The Herald
The Southridge Raiders celebrate as coach Brad Ohanian holds up the Goal Post Trophy after Friday's game at Jerry Brewer Alumni Stadium in Jasper. Southridge defeated Jasper 21-17. For more photos from the game, click here.


JASPER — The Goal Posts Trophy has not visited the Southridge trophy case very often over the 48-year history of the Raiders’ rivalry with Jasper.

But it will make a permanent home in Huntingburg after Friday night.

Cole Calvert scored the game-winning touchdown on an 8-yard rush with 91 seconds remaining in the third quarter and the Southridge stoned the Jasper offense in the final seconds of a thrilling 21-17 win at Jerry Brewer Alumni Stadium.

“This is awesome,” Calvert said of winning the game and getting the Goal Post Trophy. “That was our goal tonight, we did it and we are keeping it at Southridge.”

After the final horn sounded on the win, Southridge athletic director Brett Bardwell weaved his way through the mob of Raider fans and student section to hand coach Scott Buening the coveted trophy.

Buening mentioned having the trophy is good but the overall win is why the ear-to-ear smile on his face could not be removed.

“It feels good, but I am more excited about coming on the road and betting a good football team tonight,” the Raiders coach said. “Jasper is only going to get better and better.”

The Wildcats struck first when Joe Wood took a pitch from quarterback Nathan Rillo and raced 27 yards down the sidelines for a score with 3:56 left in the opening frame.

Two plays prior, Wood hauled in a reception from Rillo for a 39-yard catch and run.

The Raiders answered with a 12-play, 80-yard drive capped by a 9-yard reception by Camden Gasser from Chase Taylor.

The play came on third-down-and-seven when Taylor rolled out to his left and found Gasser in the front of the end zone just inside the pylon.

The Wildcats regained the lead on a 4-yard burst from Lance Dawkins to cap a 9-play drive covering 77 yards.

Again the Raiders answered.

On third-and-four, Brad Springer bounced off a tackle on the left edge and scored from 11 yards out to even the score with 2:01 left in the half.

Jasper carried a 17-14 lead into the locker room when Jackson Kabrick booted a 39-yard field goal through the uprights as time expired.

“We liked the way we were able to finish the first half,” Jasper coach Tony Lewis stated.

Jasper kept the momentum going to start the second half, as they forced a punt on the Raiders first possession.

But the Wildcats could not take full advantage as they ended up turning the ball over on downs at the Southridge 39.

“We talked about being able to end the half with momentum and start the second half with momentum as well but a couple penalties hurt us on that drive,” Lewis said.

A false start on second-and-four followed by a sack from Trevor Hunefeld helped halt the drive.

Then Calvet took over.

Southridge's Cole Calvert carries the ball down field during Friday's Goal Post Trophy game at Jerry Brewer Alumni Stadium in Jasper. Southridge defeated Jasper 21-17. For more photos from the game, click here.

The Raider back bulldozed his way to a 46-yard gain on the first play, before capping the drive three plays later for what turned out to be the game-winner.

Calvert finished the game with a game-high 142 yards on 13 totes.

“Our line did a great job tonight,” the humble back said. “Whether we were running buck sweep, power or whatever, they blocked their butts off all night. They did their job.”

Buening mentioned not many people may know about the senior.

“Cole is the best-kept secret in southern Indiana,” the Raiders coach said. “He is a warrior and a great leader for us. He is out there in the middle of our defense too...he just does it nonstop for 48 minutes.”

Jasper still had one final chance for the win.

The Wildcats started their final drive on their own 17 with just over six minutes left on the clock. In what looked to be a quick three-and-out, they ran a fake punt with Rillo finding Mitch Kaiser for a 19-yard gain on 4th and 6 from their own 21.

Two plays later, Jasper missed an opportunity for a potential score when a pass from Rillo was dropped in the open field on the left sideline.

A 6-yard run by Dawkins and a 7-yard rumble by Blake Mann moved the ball down to the Raiders 36 with less than a minute left on the clock.

Garrett Voegerl broke up a play in the back of the end zone on 3rd and 2, before a plethora of Raider players stuffed the fourth down run a play later.

“We said before the play that we were going to stop them, we were not going to let them get it,” Calvert said of the defensive stand. “And we didn’ was an amazing feeling...nothing but excitement.”

Southridge moves to 2-0 on the season, while Jasper falls to 0-2.

“Give them credit, they just made a couple more plays than we did tonight,” Lewis said.

Southridge hosts Pocket Athletic Conference foe Forest Park next week, while Jasper opens Big Eight Conference play at Boonville.

Southridge's Gabe Wilkey attempts to tackle Jasper's Nathan Rillo during Friday's Goal Post Trophy game at Jerry Brewer Alumni Stadium in Jasper. Southridge defeated Jasper 21-17. For more photos from the game, click here.

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