Late Raider fumble hands Warroad one-point victory
A Raider fumble inside the five late in the game was the difference in a 7-6 home victory for Warroad Friday night over visiting Lake Park-Audubon in the Northwest District season opening football game for both clubs.
Trailing 7-6, the Raider defense came up big forcing a Warroad punt with two minutes to play. Senior Carter Raaen took the kick at his own 40-yard line and returned the ball to the Warriors’ 13-yard line with 1:56 to play.
The Raiders were called for a motion penalty to move the ball back to the 18. A Raaen fumble followed but found friendly hands on first down.
On second down from the 13, Ben Rabideaux got to the eight with 50 seconds left and one LP-A timeout left to use.
Third and five, Raaen got inside the five and the Raiders used their final timeout with 31 seconds remaining facing fourth-and-one.
LP-A fumbled the game away on the exchange and Warroad pounced on the loose ball to preserve the win.
Warroad junior Spencer Musgrove had the lone score of the first half on a 12-yard touchdown run and senior Tristan Johnson booted the point after try through the uprights for what would be the deciding point late in the second quarter.
The Raiders converted a fourth-and-two near midfield with less than two minutes to play in the half on a run by Rabideaux but were stopped on a second fourth down attempt in the waning seconds.
Rabideaux was forced into full-time action when Raaen went down with an injury after gaining 32 yards. Rabideaux gained 43 yards and LP-A earned 100 total yards in the first half.
The Raider defense made one stop in the red zone in the first half to negate an early score.
Musgrove eclipsed the century mark rushing in the first half for 119 yards.
Both teams rushed 21 times in the first two quarters.
Raaen returned after halftime and the Raiders took the second half kickoff and drove for their only touchdown of the game.
At the Warriors’ 28-yard line, quarterback Ryan Voge snuck to convert a fourth-and-inches play to keep the drive alive. Raaen converted on third-and-short to get to the 15-yard-line and Jack Osborne plunged through the line to get to the four.
Osborne’s rush set up Raaen’s four-yard touchdown run on the ensuing play to cap a 15-play, 66-yard scoring drive on all rushing attempts. LP-A ate up eight minutes of the third quarter clock.
LP-A head coach Brian Robertson elected to go for two points and the lead.
The Warriors held when Raaen was stopped near the goal line.
Warroad moved quickly down the field and into the Raider red zone on their first drive of the second half.
LP-A’s defense stiffened at their own 16-yard-line on a Warroad fourth-down attempted pass that was almost picked off by senior Grant Peterson. Warroad was flagged on the play and LP-A declined to take over on downs.
A Raaen 19-yard run got the Raiders in business across midfield with six minutes remaining in the game.
A second down holding flag pushed the ball back to the Raider side of the 50 and Warroad’s Isaac Falk-Stoskopf had a tackle for loss on Voge on second down and sacked Voge on the next play to force a long fourth down attempt with less than four minutes to play. The Raiders elected to punt giving the Warriors the ball back with 3:09 to play at the Warroad 23 and LP-A’s defense again came up big to force the late fourth quarter drama.
Lake Park-Audubon (0-1) hosts Bagley (0-0) in the Raiders’ home opener Friday, Sept. 1 at 7 p.m. in Lake Park.
Warroad 7, Lake Park-Audubon 6
WAR 0 7 0 0 - 7
LP-A 0 0 6 0 - 6
W—Spencer Musgrove 12 run (Tristan Johnson kick)
LPA—Carter Raaen 4 run (run failed)