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Published On: Mon, Oct 30th, 2017

IHSA Football Playoffs: Offensive and defensive struggles, penalties, questionable officiating doesn’t help Central A&M Raiders in first round

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.

Bryson Burgener punts the ball toward the Bombers following an unsuccessful Raiders drive in the first round of the IHSA Class 1A football playoffs Saturday, October 28 in Argenta. (Jake Leonard photo)

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.

Jameson Smith (10) runs with the ball during a Raiders drive during their first-round playoff matchup against the Argenta-Oreana Bombers. Looking onward from left to right are Torre Palmer (57), Jerit Medler (74), Jeske Maples (73) and Riley Black (18). (Wendy Pruett Gregory photo)

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.

Emotions were high for Brian Hardimon, following a 56-12 Raider loss against Argenta-Oreana in the first round of the IHSA Class 1A football playoffs on Saturday, October 28. (Charles Brown photo)

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.

Outgoing seniors from the Raiders team get together for a group photo. From left to right are Tate Paradee, Ried Morrell, Andrew Rutan, Jacob Baczkowski, Brian Hardimon, Patton Elliott, Jameson Smith, Ty Etherton, Brady Sloan and Riley Black. (Charles Brown photo)

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

Passing Stats

Jameson Smith: 7/12 for 43 yards, 2 INT

Bryson Burgener: 0/1

Receiving Stats

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

Rushing Stats

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

Defensive Stats

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.

About the Author

- Jake Leonard is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. He is general manager of Heartland Internet Media Networks and an active contributor to four newspapers for Pana News Group. He also serves as chairman of Tri-Counties Libertarian Party and Capital Area Libertarian Party, deputy candidate recruitment director for the Libertarian Party of Illinois and as chairman/co-founder of the Libertarian Party Millennial Caucus.

IHSA Football Playoffs: Offensive and defensive struggles, penalties, questionable officiating doesn’t help Central A&M Raiders in first round