ARGENTA (Heartland Newsfeed) — A combination of penalties, timekeeping mistakes and questionable officiating calls didn’t do much to help to the Central A&M Raiders, as they went on the road to Argenta-Oreana to face the Bombers Saturday, October 28 in their first-round matchup in the IHSA Class 1A football playoffs. The playoff matchup was a rematch from the double-overtime nailbiter showdown in Moweaqua in the second week of the regular season, with the Raiders winning 42-40.
The Raiders kicked off to the Bombers in the first quarter with Trae Myers kicking to the vicinity of Bomber running back Makail Stanley, picking it up at the two-yard line and getting tackled at the 21-yard line for a 19-yard gain.
The Bombers’ first play in their starting drive has Skyler Peterson handing off to Stanley, tackled at the 31-yard line for a first down. A read option in the following snap from Peterson results in Josh Williams eventually getting tackled in Raider territory at the 29-yard line for a massive 48-yard gain. The Bombers would score their first points in the game, following a 29-yard run to the goal line and successful two-point conversion makes the score 8-0 in favor of the Bombers with a little over 11 minutes left in the first quarter.
The Raiders almost missed possession of a Bomber squib kick but opened their first drive of the game in good field position. The first play resulted in a whistled dead ball, but an offsides penalty on the Bombers would result in a repeat of first down with five yards to go. The next play resulted in a series of fakes from Riley Black, Jameson Smith, Tate Paradee with Black gaining 12 yards before getting tackled at the 49-yard line, nearing Bomber territory with a new set of downs.
The next snap is handed off to Black for a run and with limited available options, was stopped in Bomber territory at the 47-yard line for a four-yard gain. With second and 6 to go, a handoff to Paradee would result in a five-yard gain to the 42-yard line. A power run by Black on third and 1 would be stopped at the 32-yard gain for a first down.
With a new set of downs, Black’s attempt for a rush was immediately stopped, gaining a yard at most on the attempt. On second and 9, another handoff to Black would result in another first down, ending at the 17-yard line, shedding off a few tackles in the process. Their next drive on first and 10 at the 17 would be stopped at the line of scrimmage by the Bombers. On second and 10, a quarterback toss by Smith to Cord Fenton was reversed back to Smith and passed off to Paradee only to be stopped at the line of scrimmage. On third and 10 with 6:52 left in the quarter, a fake to Black by Smith could get the Raiders near a touchdown, but was stopped at the 2-yard line for a 15-yard gain.
On first and goal at the two-yard line, Black would drive into and fall into the end zone to score the Raiders’ first six points of the game. With a failed two-point conversion due to a loose ball, the Raiders would come back within striking distance with nearly six minutes left in the quarter, 8-6.
A kickoff from Myers would be picked up on the Bomber 15-yard line by Stanley and ending at the 38-yard line, with a flag tossed at the 28-yard line resulted in a holding penalty, pushing the Bombers back to the 21-yard line. Peterson starts the snap on first down to handoff to Williams for a gain of 10 yards and a first down. Peterson would be stopped at the line of scrimmage in the following play. A handoff to Williams on second and 10 and a holding penalty on the Raiders’ Gus McCoy would result in a four-yard gain on the drive and an additional five yards to make it a Bomber first down.
Another handoff from Peterson to Williams would result in a five-yard gain to midfield. In the next drive with second and 5, another Williams drive resulted in a four-yard gain, making it third and 1 with 4:30 left to go in the quarter. A brief two-yard run by Williams would earn the Bombers a first down, despite some confusion among the officials.
Isaac Woodard would chalk up a tackle for loss after sacking Williams for a 9-yard loss. On second and 19, a hit to the head on Williams by Torre Palmer resulted in a penalty call for 15-yards, resuming second down with 4 yards to go. Logan Whitney takes down Williams in the next play just shy of a first down. On third and two on the 37-yard line, a snap by Williams resulted in a 26-yard gain into the Raider red zone, with Williams scoring in the next play with an 11-yard run. Following a failed conversion, the Bombers would extend their lead over the Raiders, eventually ending the first quarter with the score of 14-6.
The Raiders’ troubles would be further extended in the second quarter, with the Bombers scoring two touchdowns – the first being a 15-yard run by Josh Williams and the other being a 5-yard run by Skyler Peterson. The Bombers would lead the Raiders at halftime, 28-6.
In the third quarter, the Raiders attempted to push for a comeback, with Riley Black scoring a touchdown. With a failed conversion, Central A&M were closing the gap on Argenta-Oreana, 28-12. However, the Bombers had different ideas, with two consecutive touchdown drives – a 56-yard run by Williams and a 40-yard run by Makhi Stanley. The third quarter would end with a score of 42-12.
Both teams would take turns at drives, with questionable officiating calls and bad timekeeping in tow, with the Bombers’ Stanley scoring a touchdown mid-quarter. In the final minute, while the Raiders were pushing hard for position, Smith threw right into a pick-six interception return by Braxton Norman for 30 yards. The game would end with the score of 56-12.
The Raiders end their 2017 campaign at 5-5 while the Bombers (9-1, 5-0 Little Okaw NW) will be hosting Athens (8-2, 7-2 Sangamo), who soundly defeated Warrensburg-Latham (6-4, 4-3 CILC) by the score of 49-20. Their second-round matchup will take place Saturday.
In other games around the region:
Tuscola 56, Chester 0
Mt. Sterling Brown County 42, Arcola 28
Bridgeport Red Hill 46, Pleasant Hill 20
Toledo Cumberland 26, Decatur Lutheran 21
Downs Tri-Valley 42, Bunker Hill 6
Shelbyville 44, Villa Grove 6
Hamilton West Hancock 36, Auburn 7
Maroa-Forsyth 56, Carthage Illini West 28
Carlyle 32, Sciota West Prairie 14
Pleasant Plains 51, Trenton-Wesclin 20
Williamsville 52, Spring Valley Hall 6
Vandalia 41, Fairfield 14
Anna-Jonesboro 22, Hillsboro 8
Decatur St. Teresa 34, Marshall 8
Carlinville 52, EAWR 19
Pana 39, DuQuoin 26
Monticello 35, Poplar Grove North Boone 14
Bloomington Central 35, Beardstown 31
Newton 17, Alton Marquette 6
Greenville 39, Sesser-Valier 20
Jameson Smith: 7/12 for 43 yards, 2 INT
Bryson Burgener: 0/1
Tate Paradee: 3 receptions for 17 yards
Connor Hutchins: 2 receptions for 19 yards
Brian Hardimon: 1 reception for 4 yards
Bryson Burgener: 1 reception for 3 yards
Riley Black: 32 attempts for 113 yards, 2 TD
Tate Paradee: 8 attempts for 31 yards
Jameson Smith: 6 attempts for 26 yards
Gus McCoy: 3 attempts for 7 yards
34 solo tackles, 49 assists, 3 tackles for loss
Special Teams Stats
Trae Myers: 3 kickoffs for 145 yards
Bryson Burgener: 2 punts for 38 yards
Gus McCoy: 4 returns for 56 yards
Tate Paradee: 1 return for 8 yards
Konnor Ohl: 1 return for 3 yards
Hunter Gregory: 1 return for 0 yards
A version of this article will be republished in this week’s issue of the Golden Prairie News.
Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.