Raptors surge in 2nd half, secure top seed

It was a regional final rematch from a year ago as Anderson and Kings did battle once again on the gridiron, and each brought the fireworks to another matchup.

KINGS MILLS, Ohio – Our Blitz 5 Game of the week made one final stop when the Anderson Raptors traveled into enemy territory at Kings. The Raptors and Knights are no strangers to big games against one another and this edition was much of the same. Kings looked to improve their seeding in the upcoming playoffs in hopes of making another run to state. The Raptors were looking to grab ahold of the number one seed and position themselves for a great postseason. Both squads came out to play with a lot on the line and in the end, it was Anderson who came away with a hard-fought road win.

Things started out very shaky for the visitors. The Raptors fumbled on their opening possession when Brodey Berg lost control of the ball. Kings would respond quickly capitalizing off of the turnover. After a strong drive down the field, Carson Lindholm took one in from six yards out and the early lead. Anderson went right back to work with a solid drive of their own getting into the redzone. Berg went into score and lost the ball again just before crossing the goal line. Kings recovered in the endzone for a touchback. They would cash in on the turnover again when Grant Nurre found Nate Lyman for a 39-yard strike and a 14-0 lead.

The Raptors finally got on the board after another solid drive. Quarterback Justice Burnam connected with his bevy of wideouts to lead a drive down the field. The spread offense was doing its damage. Burnam capped the drive with a 1-yard plunge. Kings kept the momentum however as they struck back quickly. Lyman again got behind the defense and Nurre found him deep for a 78-yard score and a 21-7 halftime lead.

The Raptors’ star running back Berg had a rough first half. He lost three fumbles and left the game briefly as he was examined for an injury. The Knights had all the momentum and the home crowd rocking as the two teams went to the locker room.

The second half was a complete reversal for both squads. Anderson started the half with another solid drive as they moved the ball down the field with the passing game. They faced a critical fourth down and converted as Burnam found Mike Smith on a score from a screen pass. Then it was time for Brodey Berg to turn his night around. After the tough first half, the senior went back to his characteristic self.

He would start with a 2-yard score after yet another great Raptors drive. Twice more he would score from 14 yards out each time to continue to push Anderson further ahead in the half. Before you knew it and after the dust had settled, Anderson had scored 34 unanswered points and Berg had three scores.

 The Anderson defense also turned in a terrific second half effort by pitching a shutout. They got some big stops when they needed to and kept getting their prolific offense on the field. Anderson looks to be the number one seed in the Division II playoffs next week. They will host their first round matchup.

POSTGAME INTERVIEW: Evan Dreyer, Anderson

Anderson 0-7-14-13-41
Kings 7-14-0-0-21

K:Carson Lindholm 6-yard rush (Drew Burdine kick)
K: Nate Lyman 39-yard rec from Grant Nurre (Burdine kick)
A: Justice Burnam 1-yd rush (Landon Goethe kick)
K: Nate Lyman 78-yard rec from Grant Nurre (Burdine kick)
A: Mike Smith 5-yd rec from Justice Burnam (Goethe kick)
A: Justice Burnam 5-yd rush (Landon Goethe kick)
A: Brodey Berg 2-yd rush (Goethe kick)
A: Brodey Berg 14-yd rush (kick failed)
A: Brodey Berg 14-yd rush (Goethe kick)

RECORDS: Anderson (9-1, 8-1); Kings (5-5, 4-5)
UP NEXT: Playoff matchups TBD

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