By: Zahid Khan
With the sun setting on an early September night, there were many questions and unknowns for the Stuart Raider football team. This was the day all the players waited for, the offseason drills, practices, scrimmages, all their hard work came down to this kickoff. On Sept. 5th, the Raiders kicked off against the Thomas Jefferson Colonials, after years of struggling against a tough Colonials team. The Raiders made a bold statement after dominating and cruising to a 40-14 win.
The Raiders’ pounded the ball early, sophomore Dejaun Greene started the game and led the Raider’s down the field, Junior Lamont Lewis capped off the drive with a 23 yard touchdown. “Our running game was really strong throughout the game, all our running backs played really well,” said Lewis. The Colonials struggled to stop the run as the Raiders added on two more rushing touchdowns before halftime. The defense played a dominate first half shutting out the Colonies 22-0. With the game under control and the clock running down, senior Ibrahim Ahmed returned a fumble for a score finalizing the win with a 40-14 home victory. “I felt great picking up the fumble for the touchdown because it felt like my prize for working hard that game, the entire team was really excited,” said Ahmed. “We’re happy but we’re not just looking for one win, we want to continue to get better and make the playoffs,” said Head Coach Roy Ferri.
The Raiders’ went on the road against rivals the Annandale Atoms, the Atoms hype squad was in full effect during their “white out” vs Raider nation’s black out. From the start the Raider’s struggled to stop the Atoms offense trailing 14-0 early. The Raider’s scored a touchdown late into the fourth quarter, finishing the game with a 28-12 loss against an explosive and quick Annandale offense.
On the 19th, the Raiders’ were featured on Fox 5’s Friday night football against the Washington & Lee Generals. The Generals took an early lead after a 3 yard run. The Raiders’ replied after Lewis ran in for his fourth touchdown of the season, tying the game up 7-7. After a Safety, the Raiders’ took a 9-7 lead before things got out of hand. The Generals had a solid lead in the fourth quarter, Greene ran for a 20 yard touchdown ending the game with a 40-16 loss. “Our biggest thing right now is we got to take a look in the mirror. Not to focus on our opponents but ourselves,” said Ferri.
The Raiders’ clashed against the Mount Vernon Majors in their second conference game of the season. The Raiders’ got off to a hot start after a 32 yard touchdown by Lewis in the first quarter. The Majors would make a comeback and go up 10-7 before halftime. Senior Kevin Morgan broke through for a 23 yard touchdown giving the Raiders’ a 14-10 lead. In the closing moments of the game, the Raider defense would make multiple stops preventing the Majors from putting more points up on the board. The Raiders’ escaped with a 21-10 win placing them second in the conference at 2-0.
Photo by Zahid Khan