It wasn't the prettiest win ever, but the Raiders (6-4, 6-3) did enough to defeat Kecoughtan 15-7 and advance to the Division 5 playoffs. Their reward? A Friday night date with Phoebus at Darling Stadium.
Warwick's offense had trouble moving the ball against a stingy Kecoughtan defense that only gave up 161 yards of offense. 1000-yard rusher Cardon Johnson rushed 22 times, but only gained 55 yards. The Raiders' offense apparently gave everything they had on their first play, a 66-yard touchdown pass from Donnell Staton to Chenalo Lewis. Kecoughtan blocked the extra point attempt and then returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown. John Griggs kicked 3 field goals (1 in the 3rd quarter, 2 in the 4th) to put the Raiders ahead for good. Dave Johnson's story has more details.
In good news, the Raiders look to be clicking on defense, as they did not allow an offense touchdown in the game and piled up 7 sacks. Eric Poindexter picked off yet another pass, although today's came on a 4th down play and resulted in worse field position for the Raiders. The kicking game is looking good and heads-up special teams play on a muffed punt resulted in a big 1st down for Warwick.
In bad news, the running game that Warwick had for much of the season was basically stopped this afternoon. The Raiders were down a few players in the first half due to S.A.T. testing, but couldn't move the ball well in the 2nd half either. Donnell Staton was 3 for 14 with one interception coming on an extremely ill-advised pass heaved down the field where there were no Warwick players nearby. The Raiders' kick coverage was shaky at best, and Phoebus' Tyree Lee could have a field day on returns Friday night if that problem isn't fixed.
All in all, this was a hard fought win for a Warwick team that had the toughest part of its season at the beginning and started 1-4. The Raiders showed a ton of heart and went 5-0 in their final 5 games to earn the 8th and final playoff berth in the Eastern Region's Division 5. The running game has to get going again and Staton has to be wiser with his passes for the Raiders to stand a chance against Phoebus on Friday night.