The Gateway (MO) Soul (5-3) fought to their last gasping breath, but it wasn't nearly enough Saturday night at Historic Horlick Field against the powerhouse Racine Raiders (5-0). The Raiders beat the Soul 51-19 in front of about 800 fans.
Wide receiver Charles Owens (Eastern Illinois University) is used to being on the big stage. In 2007, as a member of the Kane County Eagles, he received the Most Valuable Player award for his efforts in the National Championship game. Saturday night, Owens showed some of the same explosiveness he did nearly two years ago. He returned punts 45 and 70 yards for touchdowns and caught a 26-yard touchdown pass from newcomer Brett Hall (Temple University).
Running back Bryan Jennings, Jr. (Vermillion Community College), the leading rusher and scorer in the North American Football League entering this week, added 67 yards rushing and a touchdown. The passing game also finally began to click as quarterbacks Ron Ricciardi (Florida State University) and Hall combined to pass for 200 yards and four touchdowns, two of which were caught by wide receiver Sam D'Alie (Racine Horlick).
The defense continued to excel, allowing just one touchdown and holding the Soul to 106 total yards in the game. The Soul completed just 8 of 29 passes. Linebacker James Cichon (Carthage College) intercepted two passes, returning one 62 yards, setting up a Raiders touchdown.
The Raiders host the River City Rough Riders (0-6) at Historic Horlick Field next Saturday at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, and $4 for children. Tickets can be purchased at Horlick Field beginning at 5:30 p.m. on gamedays.