THE RAIDER NATION IS BACK
By Jonah Woullard
(October 11, 2010)- The question that was asked all last week in the city of Palmetto is, “Is the Raider Nation Back?” Well, last Saturday the Palmetto Raiders led by Coach Knight took huge steps towards answering that very question.
As always, in Greater Miami Pop Warner there was another highly anticipated match up. This time it would be the undefeated Overtown Rattlers taking on a one loss, Palmetto Raiders in the midgets division.
The stage was set, after the Rattlers came off one of the biggest wins in Pop Warner football, defeating the defending national champs, the Richmond Giants. There was talk that the Rattlers expended a lot of energy and focus into that previous game, and would have trouble maintaining that level of play two weeks in a row.
In the first couple of series, the Rattlers looked like they picked up right where they left off defensively. With the first couple of downs, the Rattlers continually tackled the Palmetto Raiders in their own backfield, eventually pinning the Raiders against their own end zone. This would lead to the game’s first score which was a safety as the Rattlers defense, lead by (Terry Jefferson #51), forced the Raiders running back out of the back of the end zone.
Lighting would strike twice in the same place after a turnover on downs, the Raiders would find themselves trying to start a drive off their own 5 yard line. This time the defensive charge was lead by Overtown linebacker (Brandon Boyd #4), forcing another safety, which brought the score, Overtown Rattlers leading the Palmetto Raiders 4-0, with 3:47 left in the first half.
Raiders would get the ball back after a turn over downs, and after a poor punt by the Overtown Rattlers, Palmetto Raiders would end up with great field position at the Rattlers 34 yard line. Then the game would suddenly change after a 15 yard penalty against the Rattlers, would even put the Palmetto Raiders in an even better position to score before the half. Raiders quarterback, (Deundre Pickett-White), would drop back to pass, and deliver a high arching pass to Raiders wide receiver, (Davante Davis #12) towards the back of the end zone for the game’s only touchdown. This would put the Raiders in the lead 8-4 over the Overtown Rattlers.
The second half would be a highlight reel for both defenses as Overtown talented offense lead by Rattlers quarterback, (Treon Harris #5), and Rattlers running back, (Richie Roger #21), wasn’t enough to punch it in against a swarming Raiders defense lead by, Raiders linebacker (Jameel Cook #9), and linebacker (Johnnie Hankins #4).
Look for both of these teams to continue to battle all the way to the end for supremacy of the Greater Miami Pop Warner midget division. But for today the Raiders walk away with a big win, and answer the all the old faithful Raiders’ fans question, “Is the Raider Nation Back?”