RACINE — The hometown team’s scoreboard lit up with a 70-burger Saturday night.
“A 70-burger? Really?” Really.
The Racine Raiders had some fun in front of a season-high crowd of more than 500 people in a 70-0 shellacking of the visiting Seminoles from Grand Rapids, Mich. With this win, Racine improved to 6-2 overall.
To put things into perspective, the Raiders had mostly their full roster – or at least a good 50 guys – on the sideline. The Seminoles, not so much.
The squad on the field was an amalgamation of different players from several Grand Rapids area teams, all coming together to form the Seminoles. This was evident in the many different helmets worn by players from the visiting team as well as their gameplay.
Despite suiting up 17 guys, causing most players to play both offense as well as defense the entire night, they still made the four-hour trip. A 42-0 halftime lead quickly led to the running clock only two minutes into the second half.
Unworthy opponent or not, a win is a win for the Raiders, who won’t return home to historic Horlick Field in Racine until July 16.
No matter the score or how lopsided the game was, pancake blocks are still pancake blocks. Any time a grown man is able to overpower another grown man to a point where he pancakes him on the turf is impressive.
It was that kind of night for offensive lineman Isaiah Trussell, who was given a “pancake chain” after the game. The fake gold chain has a syrup pot hanging from it and everything.
Trussell helped lead a rushing attack that gained 286 yards, and Torin Turner racked up 164 yards rushing on 19 carries and a touchdown.
“It’s a pancake chain. If you get pancakes, you get this,” Trussell, a 2014 Case High School graduate, said Saturday night after the game. “This is my third year playing for the Raiders. I had an older cousin, Adonis, play here when I was a kid. It’s the legacy. This is pro for me. I made it (to) rookie mini-camps for the pros and other stuff, but this is the most fun I’ve had playing football in a long time. To say I’ve started and finished on this team means a lot.”
Trussell, who played college football at Carthage College, played guard and tackle Saturday night. He said the Raiders understood the Seminoles were undermanned, but he was excited that everyone got to play.
“It was nice having other people they can play, too,” Trussell said. “We’re very deep and talented. We have third and fourth-string guys that can go to any other team and start. But they want to be here. It shows how good our program is.”
Raiders quarterback Mitch Farr had a modest 162 yards passing on only 11 attempts, with six completions, three touchdowns and an interception.
Four different receivers caught touchdowns, led by Jordan Payne. The six-foot-two, 228-pound product of Park High School played Division 1 college football at Alcorn State University, and he was able to impose his will against smaller defensive backs for two late touchdown grabs from Antoine McKinney.
Payne has been working third shift this season, so he has had to leave games at halftime to get to work on time. On Saturday night, he was finally able to finish a game. He is currently going through training for the Kenosha Police Department, and he hopes to be a full-blown cop soon.
“We appreciate Grand Rapids coming to play,” Payne said after the game. “Sometimes if a team cancels, two teams canceled, and we didn’t want back-to-back bye weeks. It felt good. I’m just trying to get back into the flow of things.”
Payne said the Raiders have put the crucial loss to the Chicago Birdgang behind them, and he can’t wait to play them again. He is fully confident the Raiders will get their revenge the next time they play.
“We know we get to see them again, so we put that in the past,” Payne said. “We have the potential to be really good. I think we have all the pieces, we just have to put it together.”
With a 479-61 disparity in total yards, along with seven turnovers forced, the defense was active as well for Racine. Torie Ruffin opened the second half with a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown.
The Raiders return home to face the Illinois Cowboys Saturday night, July 16, at Horlick Field. The Cowboys handed the Raiders their first loss of the season, 14-12, back on June 4.
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