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Offense, defense shine in Raiders’ victory over Pirates

Tough play at the line of scrimmage and a diversified offensive charge proved to be the determining factors in Ben Logan’s 54-18 victory over Riverside during Friday’s season opener at Ben Logan.

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EXAMINER PHOTO | REUBEN MEES
Ben Logan running back Jeremy Brisson crosses into the end zone on his second touchdown of the opening game against Riverside on Friday night.

Watch a video clip of Brisson's 55-yard TD run below.

“I was real pleased with the offense and how they controlled the game,” Raiders Coach Carlton Cotner said. “I was also pleased with our line and the way they dominated, especially on defense.”

After marching down the field on their opening drive, running back Jeremy Brisson capped the drive with a 3-yard run just inside the eight minute mark. A failed kick attempt left the Raiders up 6-0.

But the Pirates quickly answered as their all-purpose workhorse Dallas Daniels took the ensuing kickoff back 85 yards for a touchdown on his first touch of the season. The game was tied at 6 after another missed extra point opportunity.

“That was kind of frustrating because we spent a lot of time working on that,” Cotner said of allowing the runback.

But after that first special teams blunder, the Raiders came out strong both offensively and defensively for the remainder of the first half. They scored touchdowns on every drive and did not allow any further points to go up on the board.

By the end of the game, they would amass 504 yards and put eight touchdowns on the board, while allowing only 161 yards.

Brisson put in the second and third scores on 55-yard and 6-yard rushes as kicker Kelvin Shank chipped in the extra points on both to bring the score to 20-6.

Mac Horton, a sophomore who got his first start at quarterback after senior Trenton Rodenberger was sidelined for two games for disciplinary reasons, made his presence felt carrying the ball 12 yards for his first of two touchdowns.

“I’m real pleased about him and how he played,” Cotner said. “He’s a young guy who was thrown into a tough situation. I’m real proud of him and the job he did out there.”

Spatz added the extra point to leave the score at 27-6 going into the second period.

Then senior Keelynn Zell demonstrated why he’s earned a spot in the backfield, carrying the next two scores across the goal line on rushes of two and 14 yards. With one point after attempt failed, the score was 40-6 midway through the second quarter.

Sophomore Joel Spatz then got in on the scoring action taking one in five yards at the 4:52 mark. And with just 28 seconds left in the half, Horton punched in a 3-yard touchdown, which was set up by a 65-yard Spatz carry earlier in the drive. Successful kicks after both touchdowns saw Ben Logan with a 54-6 lead as the teams entered the locker rooms.

The second period saw some new faces, including freshman quarterback Derek Weiser, on the field.

“We were able to get a lot of young guys in the game and get them some playing time,” Cotner said.

In the middle of the third quarter, Daniels punched into the end zone from a yard out for the Pirates. Riverside quarterback Jacob Herron followed with an 18-yard touchdown in the fourth. Kick attempts failed on both and time expired with the scoreboard reading 54-18.

Riverside Coach John Graher said his team worked hard, but were simply outmatched, especially on the line.

“The game was won and lost on the line of scrimmage with the size and things like that,” he said. “(Daniels) had the opportunity to run a kick back and he did nice job overall. The line had its moments, but we’ve still got a lot of work to do.”

Leading the Raiders offensively were Zell with 135 yards on 9 carries and the 7-yard catch on Horton’s only pass of the game. Brisson added 120 yards on 15 carries; Horton picked up 111 on 13 carries and Spatz contributed 78 yards on just four touches.

For Riverside, Daniels got 54 yards on 14 carries and caught two passes for 26 yards, while Ryan Davidson added 33 yards on seven touches. Herron, who added 27 yards rushing on two attempts, was two of eight in the air with an interception.

Early in the third quarter, Ben Logan linebacker Quenton Lookabaugh left the game on his own power, but later was taken by squad to an area hospital. Cotner, however, said the trip was precautionary and that he expects Lookabaugh to be OK.

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