The Fox River Raiders came into their Northern Lights Football League season with championship goals and so far, at 3-0, they’re off to a good start thanks to sound defensive play and the emergence of several newcomers.
“Devin Binner, he’s a lockdown corner, but really it’s been our defense as a whole,” Raiders co-owner Mike Webb told Developmental Football USA. “We moved one of our strong safeties to outside linebacker, Anthony Little, and he’s proven to be huge in that position. Honestly, we could sit here and name everyone on the defense, but it wouldn’t do it justice. Right now, our defense has helped carry us to 3-0.”
The Raiders opened up the season with back-to-back road wins over the Upper Peninsula Arctic Blast 30-0 and over the Tri-City Bulldogs 27-15. Saturday, they returned home to Oshkosh and defended their home field with a 14-6 win over the Jefferson County Chargers.
Offensively, everything has started up front for Fox River thanks to solid play from their offensive line.
“They’ve been big for us, getting the push and opening the holes for the running game,” Webb said. “Our running back, Colton Catt, a first year player and a 19-year old kid, has been instrumental in the running game. Our offensive line gets the push and he follows them. He hits and he doesn’t quit, he will truck a linebacker if that’s what’s required.”
Another newcomer who has shown promising flashes for the Raiders is wide receiver Joe Bomski.
“It’s his first year playing football, but he’s got some real talent,” Webb said. “He’s tall, if you throw it up, he goes and gets it. He’s definitely a diamond in the rough at that position.”
While Fox River is undefeated and in great position right now, the season is still young and there’s still a lot of football left to be played in the NLFL. In three weeks, the Raiders have what could end up being their regular season Game of the Year.
“Honestly, our biggest test will be June 10 against the Brown County Blackjacks,” Webb said. “They are the other undefeated team in our league. Not to take away from any of the other teams, every week is a battle. It’s football, anybody can win, that’s why we play the game.
Last season, the Raiders scrimmaged the Blackjacks in a mixed practice format, so there’s a little bit of familiarity between the two organization.
“Both teams have revamped from last year,” Webb said. “They actually just beat the defending champions today, 17-12. It’s shaping up, June 10 is going to be a slugfest, a game to watch.”
The week following their big game, the Raiders are having their “Tackle Hunger” game on June 17.
“Our food drive is coming up quick to help the Oshkosh community stock their shelves in the food pantry,” Webb said. “Being a third year team, it went from being dream to living what we envisioned and that’s being in a positon to help other people.”
Owning the team has given co-owners Mike Jerrick and Mike Webb a platform to live out their Christian faith. Not coincidentally, their team has been pretty successful thus far.
“That’s one aspect that I believe we wouldn’t be the same without it,” Webb said.