The Racine Raiders (8-2) literally fumbled away an opportunity to beat the Dakota Lawdawgs (9-1) on Saturday, losing 22-19 to the fourth-ranked team in the North American Football League.
The Raiders got off to a slow start, allowing the Lawdawgs to jump to a 14-0 lead. The team came out of halftime looking completely different and managed to take a 19-14 lead over the Lawdawgs with 5:30 to play in the game.
The Lawdawgs would respond, scoring with just 46 seconds to play and converting a two-point conversion to take a 22-19 lead.
Raiders returner Charles Owens returned the ensuing kickoff to the Raiders' 38-yard line and then caught the first pass of the drive, setting the Raiders up in Lawdawgs' territory at the 32-yard line.
With just 14 seconds left, quarterback Brett Hall had trouble handling the snap, picked the ball up but was immediately hit by a Lawdawgs defender, causing him to fumble again. The Lawdawgs recovered the fumble and went on to victory, securing home field through much of the NAFL playoffs. The Raiders, meanwhile, may be on the road for much of the NAFL playoffs with the loss.
The Grand Rapids (MI) Thunder roll into Horlick Field next week. The Thunder play in the United States Football League and are a perennial top team. The game begins at 7 p.m.