Reynolds football runs over Gresham in 28-14 win
Holding onto a one-score lead with time dwindling in the third quarter, Reynolds football lowered its shoulder pads and started to run angry.
After an untimely, unsportsmanlike penalty pushed the Raiders out of the redzone against Gresham Friday evening, Sept. 23, they handed the ball to senior bruiser Dre'Quan Williams on a 3rd and 25. First he churned through the Gopher defense for an 18 yard run, popping up heated after a big hit in what had been a chippy game with lots of jawing and shoving after the whistle. Then on the next play, 4th and 7, he took a handoff, cut once, and waltzed into the endzone for a 21-7 lead.
"My running backs — Dre'Quan, Abraham — are amazing," said Reynolds senior quarterback Alex Treat. "They, my offensive line, my receivers, they made this win happen."
After a brutal 7-7 first half in which both teams hit hard and made plays defensively, Reynolds was able to break through and claim the win over the visiting Gophers 28-14.
"We need all 40 of you to win a game — on the field and those behind the scenes guys doing work in practice," said Coach Kelly Murphy. "Everybody got a piece tonight, I am damn proud."
It was the legs of the Raiders that made the difference. Both Williams and fellow senior running back Abraham DeJesus would spell each other on long, methodical drives marked by big gains up the middle. Both were difficult to bring down, and when Gresham overcommitted to the backs, Treat would pull it out for devastating keepers.
"Being physical and running the ball is a staple of this team," Murphy said.
Reynolds (3-1, 1-1 League) scored the lone touchdown of the first quarter after sophomore quarterback Payton Chhay slung the ball 29 yards to Williams on the opening drive.
In the second frame, after a Raiders interception by sophomore linebacker Travis Hull, Reynolds looked to be headed once again for paydirt. But Gresham (1-2, 0-2 League) made a spectacular takeaway of its own. Senior defensive lineman Colton Gaffney ripped the ball out of Chhay's hands on an attempted pass play, lumbering 50 yards for the touchdown to even the score 7-7.
With momentum on their side, the Gophers twice threatened to take the lead in the waning seconds of the first half. On 4th and goal, from the 9-yard-line, Reynolds senior linebacker made a heads-up tackle on an attempted screen pass for the turnover on downs. Then with 7 seconds on the clock the Raiders were again able to keep the Gophers out of the endzone to send it into the break knotted.
"Coming out of halftime we knew we were going to win," said Treat with a smile as he took over under center.
On Reynolds' first drive of the third quarter, Treat ran it 17 yards on a keeper for the touchdown. And at the start of the fourth he added another scrambling touchdown, with a stretch over the pylon, to make it 28-7.
With 5 minutes left on the clock, Gresham made one last push. Senior quarterback Jaxon Doving found junior Jaden Mitchell for a 24-yard touchdown. But the onside kick was recovered by the Raiders, who were able to run out the game.
"We slowly but surely made gains tonight," Coach Murphy said. "In the second half we tied up loose ends and stopped making mistakes offensively."
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