(Bonne Terre) It was a thriller in Bonne Terre as the North County Raiders were able to escape the Festus Tigers 41-35 as time expired last night. The Raiders struck first on their first possession of the ball game and drove the field with hard-nosed running with quarterback Nolan Reed. After not giving up the first down and forcing the Tigers to punt, the North County offense would take the field again, and score again. This time it was Junior phenom Jobe Smith with one of his trademarked big plays.
The Tigers offense would again stall out and the Raiders would milk the first-quarter clock, scoring on the first play of the second quarter when Jobe Smith went untouched into the endzone, making it 21-0 early. The Tigers would turn on the offense when they got the ball back though, Cole Rickermann found Isaac Stucke for a 27-yard touchdown pass to get back into the ball game. After getting a stop on defense, the Tigers needed a big play to swing momentum. They got it with Kaian Roberts-Day.
After giving up 21 straight points, the Tigers would put up 21 straight points of their own. Tying up the ballgame heading into halftime.
The Raiders were able to score 12 straight to start the second half and were able to withstand the Tigers comeback for a while, answering a Festus touchdown making it 41-28 in the fourth quarter.
The Tigers still had fight late in the fourth and were able to score quickly.
A huge fourth-down stop gave the Tigers the ball with less than 2 minutes left to go. It all came down to the last play of the game.
Head Coach Brian Jones says that he is proud of the resiliency of his team.
North County improves to 5-1 on the season and is in sole possession of second in Class 4 District 1. The Raiders will travel to Windsor next week. The Tigers fall to 3-3 after losing two straight on the last possession of the game. Festus will start a three-game homestand to end the season next week against Pacific.
Full Game Audio: