HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Atlee Raiders fell to the 7-1 Highland Spring Springers Friday on Senior Night in a matchup plagued by rain showers.
The downpours made for a slippery game, with rain coming and going throughout the night.
The first score of the game came with less than five minutes remaining in the first quarter on an Atlee fourth down. Looking to punt from the end zone, Atlee fumbled the ball, and it was then recovered by Highland Springs for a safety, putting two points on the board.
Less than a minute later, Highland Springs Khristian Martin handed the ball off to Michael Hodge, who first tried to run through a huddle of players in the center of the field, but rerouted around the outside and headed straight for the end zone. With less than four minutes left in the quarter, the Springers were up 8-0.
In the second quarter, Atlee attempted another kick, but the ball slipped once again. Springers Marcel Fleming tackled the punter, and Sadiq Johnson picked up the ball to run it in for another score. Highland Spring increased its lead to 15-0.
Working to get one more touchdown in before the end of the half, Martin, while he was being tackled, tossed the ball to Takye Heath. Heath then headed straight to the end zone on a breakaway, putting the Springers up 21-0 as they headed into halftime.
The Raiders would score in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to build a strong enough effort to comeback from the deficit. The Springers took the win, 28-7.
“[They] just pick each other up, they truly love each other, they want each other to succeed, and that’s really all you can ask for,” Atlee High School Principal Dr. John Wheeler said. “The wins and losses, they’re going to come. The wins are great. But to see students grow so much and really care for each other throughout the entire season, through thick and thin, that’s what it’s all about.”
The Raiders will look for redemption next Friday against the Hanover Hawks, while the Springers will try to keep their momentum going in a Saturday matchup against the Varina Blue Devils.