It may not have been for a district championship, but neither the Rickards Raiders nor the Suwannee County Bulldogs wanted to finish at the bottom of the District 2-5A standings.
Rickards (5-4 overall, 1-2) clinched third place in the district with a convincing 37-13 victory over the visiting Bulldogs at Gene Cox Stadium on Friday evening.
“Our goal is to get a winning record,” said Rickards head coach Quentin Lewis. “We had to win this game to get that to happen. That was our sole purpose. We want to finish 6-4.”
Suwannee’s Denzel Washington opened the scoring on a 39-yard touchdown run with 4:04 left in the first quarter. Washington would also score on a 35-yard interception return in the third quarter
However, that would be the only lead the Bulldogs would hold as the Raiders reeled off 24 unanswered points to race out to a 24-7 lead at the half.
Rickards quarterback Charlie Kelly had a huge night for the Raiders going 18 for 32 for 177 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions while rushing for 84 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries.
The Raider defense also came up big by forcing four turnovers while holding Suwannee County to just 8 passing yards.
“We knew it would be a tough contest. We played real good for a quarter and a half,” said Suwannee head coach Jamie Rodgers. “But you just can’t turn the football over and expect to win.”