Gorillas sink Raiders in season opener
The Raiders were stymied by The Davenport Gorillas’ rushing attack and stiff defense stymied the Lake Roosevelt Raiders last Friday as Davenport cruised to a 44-13 home victory.
It was the Raiders’ season opener as LR had pulled out of the Aug. 27 Bridgeport Jamboree because of eligibility issues.
LR opened the scoring on the second play of Friday’s game as Davenport bit on the fake, allowing Justus DeWinkler to break free for a 43-yard touchdown run.
The Gorillas responded quickly on the next series lining up in a modified double wing and proceeded to pound the ball down field for the touchdown, then an immediate two-point conversion to put them up 8-7.
For the rest of the first half, the Raider offense was unable to drive the ball into the red zone against the 5-3 defense Davenport employed. Raider Coach Steve Files even kept the offense in on fourth downs in the first quarter trying to see if the Gorillas would flinch and allow the Raiders to regain the momentum.
Beginning in the second quarter, the Raider punt team was sent out on fourth downs as the Gorillas scored quickly after the previously failed fourth down conversions. LR did have some big runs, and Austin Rosenbaum connected with Kyle Holt for a 48-yard pass.
On defense, the Raiders had a hard time tackling throughout the game. Davenport running backs gained yards after high Raider hits that allowed Gorillas legs to keep pumping.
“We need to focus on team defense,” Files said, “everyone executing their assignments properly, improve our blocking across the board, and shore up our kick coverages.”
After an interception for a touchdown late in the second quarter, the score at halftime was Davenport 30, LR 7. The Raiders’ second-half kickoff was returned 60 yards for a touchdown and a two-point conversion to put the score at 38-7.
The Raider offense continued to be stymied until late in the third quarter. Quarterback Austin Rosenbaum sat out a series with a leg cramp after a collision on a punt return. Freshman Chance Garvin stepped in and led the Raiders down to the one-yard line, where DeWinkler punched it in for the final touchdown of the night.
“Our team stuck together, fought hard, and didn’t quit,” Files noted. “We made some adjustments at halftime and played them pretty even in the second half. Broke some big plays running and passing. Our defense got stronger as the game went on.”
Freshmen Garvin and Bryson Goggles stepped up to fill varsity roles in their first high school game, and DeWinkler ran for over 100 yards in the game.
“DeWinkler had a solid all-around game on offense,” Files said, “ran with authority and also contributed a couple good runbacks.”
The Raiders look to get the first win of 2012 at home Saturday against the Seattle Lutheran Saints in an afternoon game starting at 1:30 p.m.
The Saints are also coming off a 48-21 loss in their opener to Graham High School of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
“We are a talented team, but young,” Files commented. “We expect to make significant improvement every week. I am very pleased with the work our players have put in so far. I’m proud of our guys and excited for the opportunity to play Seattle Lutheran this Saturday.”