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Raiders defeat Irish in OT for first-round state spot


Tyrell Kiser starts his touchdown run after catching a pass from Steven Flowers.

The Lake Roosevelt Raiders defeated the DeSales Irish in an incredible comeback victory Friday to move on to the first round of state playoffs. The victory in Coulee Dam marks the first time the Raiders have gone on to state since 2001.

The now 7-2 Raiders will face the 9-1 Northwest Christian Crusaders this Friday in Spokane.

On Friday's game against DeSales, the Raiders found themselves down 14-0 at halftime after DeSales' tall senior quarterback Zach Leahy ran for two touchdowns. Those were the only points the Raiders would let the Irish score.

"I think defense is our powerhouse," said senior Raider defensive back Nathaniel Hall. "I know that we can go out and stop them when we need stops."

In the third quarter, LR quarterback Steven Flowers rushed for a touchdown. A missed two-point conversion left the score at 14-6, DeSales.

Penalty markers flew frequently throughout the entire game. An LR defender intercepted a pass that was called out of bounds, and emotions were high on the Raider sidelines.

"Don't worry about the refs," Endsley told his players. "Just get over it. Play through it because you're not going to change any of their opinions."

The Raiders found themselves with the ball on their own three-yard line. Down by eight points with 97 yards to go, and less than two minutes left in regulation to score, the Raiders were in a tough spot. But the LR team appeared extremely in sync with one another as they powered down the field.

"We all came together and started playing as one," remarked running back Beau Michel.

With 40 yards to go, Flowers found senior wide receiver Tyrell Kiser open. Kiser juked a defender, and with help from a huge block from Hall, sprinted to the end zone, making the score 14-12.

The Raiders needed the two-point conversion to tie, and they did just that, the offensive line opening a wide lane for Flowers to run right up the middle into the end zone to tie the game as the crowd roared.

"I kind of just blocked everything out," Flowers said of the 97-yard, game-tying drive. "I told myself to calm down, count to 10, and did what I knew I could do. I found my guy wide open and he made the play."

"He's a very clutch player," Head Coach Loren Endsley said of Flowers, who had 311 total yards in the game. "Something starts clicking, and all the sudden he hits the guys, right on target, perfect. He's done it countless times in games when we needed him to. It was good to see him step up when we needed him most."

In overtime, Lake Roosevelt started with the ball on the 25-yard line, as is standard in high school and college overtime rules. In a few short plays, the Raiders scored a touchdown on a Flowers rush, but missed the two-point conversion.

With the score at 20-14 LR, it was DeSales turn to try to answer back with a score of their own, but LR had all the momentum. On fourth down, the last chance for the Irish, Raider senior Beau Michel sacked their quarterback, ending their drive and the game, sending the Lake Roosevelt Raiders to state for the first time in 15 years.

"This is why you coach football ... for moments like these," said Endsley on a field crowded with celebrating Raider fans and players.

The Lake Roosevelt Raiders will play the first round of the state playoffs, facing off against the Northwest Christian Crusaders on Joe Albi Field in Spokane, on Nov. 11 at 7 p.m.

DeSales vs Lake Roosevelt Scoring Summary

DeSales 7 7 0 0 0_14

LR 0 0 6 8 6_20

First Quarter

DS_Leahy 4 run, PAT good

Second Quarter

DS_Leahy 10 run, PAT good

Third Quarter

LR_Flowers 5 run, 2pt conv no good

Fourth Quarter

LR_Kiser 40 pass from Flowers, 2pt conv good, Flowers run


Steven Flowers rushes through a wide hole for a two-point conversion that tied the game to force overtime. - Jacob Wagner photos

Flowers 4 run, 2 pt conv no good


PASSING_Flowers 8 for 16, 125

RUSHING_Flowers 23-186, 2 TDs; Michel 11-47; Nichols 5-24; Hall 6-10

RECEIVING_Kiser 2-74; PIcard 3-22; Bird 1-12; Nichols 1-2

DEFENSE_Flowers 18 Tackles, 1 TFL; Harris 6 Tackles, 3 TFL, 2 Sacks; LIndsey 5 Tackles, 2 TFL;

Hall 4 Tackles; Clark 1 Tackle, 1 Sack; Nichols 8 Tackles, 1 TFL; PIcard 3 Tackles; Morin 1 Tackle, 1 TFL; Bird 1 Tackle; Garcia-Atchinson 1 Tackle, 1 Sack; Kiser 1 Tackle; Michel 1 Tackle, 1 Sack

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