The Racine Raiders (6-0) routed the River City Rough Riders of LaCrosse (0-6) 69-0 in front of nearly 800 fans at Horlick Field Saturday night.
Torie Ruffin (Concordia University) set the tone for the Raiders defense by picking off the first two passes thrown by Rough Riders quarterback Jed Neal.
Racine took advantage of the first interception when kicker Ben Aguilar (North Central College) booted a 47-yard field goal with 5:55 left in the first quarter.
Raiders linebacker Michael Leeman (Carroll College) took advantage of a bad snap on a Rough Riders punt attempt and ran the ball into the end zone early in the second quarter. Aguilar converted the extra point attempt to give the Raiders a 10-0 lead.
Just over a minute later, River City botched a snap on a punt and the ball went sailing out of the end zone, giving Racine 12-0 lead.
With 12:32 remaining in the first half, running back Eric Ervin (Westwood College) broke a run 65 yards for a touchdown.
The Raiders' dominance continued when Charles Owens (Eastern Illinois University) returned a Rough Riders punt 90 yards for a touchdown. After the extra point attempt, the Raiders led 26-0.
The Raiders momentum continued into the third quarter when Ervin ran the ball 13 yards for his second touchdown of the night less then a minute into the quarter.
A minute later, defensive lineman Brandon Hearns (Loras College) recovered a fumble which lead to a four-yard touchdown run by fullback Adam Chorazy (Monmouth College).
The Raiders' defense helped add to the rout when defensive back Philip Despopolous (Broken Bow High School, Oklahoma) sacked Rough Riders quarterback Julius Shelton in the end zone for the Raiders' second safety of the game and giving Racine a 41-0 lead with 5:08 to play in the third quarter.
Just two minutes later, quarterback Brett Hall (University of Albany) completed a 38-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Justin Miles (St. Norbert's College), extending the Raiders lead to 48-0.
Raiders' linebacker Will Caldwell scored a touchdown with 45 seconds left on the clock when he recovered a loose ball in the Rough Riders' end zone to extend the Raider lead to 55 points.
Caldwell would also recover another fumble on the Rough Riders' next play from scrimmage. The turnover led to another Raiders touchdown as backup quarterback Ron Ricciardi (Florida State University) hit wide receiver Curtis “Flash” Gordon (Greenville College) on a four-yard pass.
The Raiders scored the final touchdown of the game when defensive lineman Brandon Rogers (Tennessee State University) recovered a Rough Riders fumble and lateraled the ball to safety George Carpenter (Concordia University) who took the ball into the end zone from 45 yards out, giving the Raiders a 69-0 victory.
The Raider ground attack was led by Bryan Jennings, Jr. (Vermillion Community College) who gained 109 yards on just ten carries and Ervin who gained 93 yards on six carries. Jennings and Ervin entered the game first and tenth in rushing, respectively, in the North American Football League.
Hall completed 13 of 20 passes for 161 yards and a touchdown in his first start of the season. Gordon led all receivers with five catches for 48 yards and a touchdown.
The defense was equally as impressive holding the Rough Riders to 30 total yards; 22 rushing and 8 passing.
The Raiders hit the road for the next two weeks. They travel to Pecatonica, IL, next week to battle the Roscoe Rush (9-0) and then go to Dubuque, IA, to play the Dubuque Bruisers (4-2).
The Raiders will return home on August 29 to play the Traverse City Wolves (4-0).