by Tyrone Carter
The Fox River Raiders came into the 2017 season with the mindset to be ready for a dogfight every week and so far the team continues to overcome adverse situations and inch out wins.
On Saturday the Raiders pushed their record to 5-0 with a 25-17 win against the previously unbeaten Brown County Blackjacks.
“This was a team win, we stuck together.” Raiders co-owner Mike Webb told Developmental Football USA. “They were up 14-13 at halftime, we made our halftime adjustments and told our team to keep fighting and hang together no matter what.”
One week prior, the Raiders were down 14-0 at halftime to the Roscoe Revolution and battled back to win the game 27-20.
“This is just a testament to how hard our guys play.” Raiders co-owner Mike Jerrick said.
Fox River’s offense has been brilliant all season, averaging 25 points per game, while their multiple scheme functions at a very efficient rate, spreading around just like it is designed to do.
“The team’s offensive production has been a total team effort.” Webb said.
On the other side of the ball, the defense is giving up 11 points per game, but continues to find its stride and come through in the second half of games. On Saturday, free safety Gary Bivens had four interceptions and defensive Tackle Jerel Denson’s strip, sack, fumble recovered by Tony Little sealed the game.
“This win was earned,” Jerrick said. “We had to overcome adversity. There was a lot of trash talk and people telling our team they didn’t belong. We told the team to focus on us and we will be fine.”
The Fox River Raiders now sit alone at the top of the Northern Lights Football League with three regular seasons games remaining.
“Going into the year we expected to be in a fight every game,” Webb said.
The Raiders are focusing on getting better with every rep in practice and every game, taking things one game at a time and not looking past any opponent. Perfection in the regular season is a tough for any team, but is exciting journey to be on.
Saturday, Fox River looks to improve to 6-0 as they host a Tackle for Hunger charity game against the Tri-City Bulldogs.
“When you bring three non-perishables you get a half-priced ticket,” Jerrick said. “We wanted a way to give back to the community and show our appreciation for using the facilities. We want to show the community that we are here to help any way we can.”
Proceeds from the game will go to the Oshkosh food pantry.
With only three games remaining, every game is a big game for the Raiders, which now have a target on their backs as the league’s only remaining unbeaten.
“Our team is unphased and our guys have the heart of champions to keep fighting to the very end,” Webb said.