Raiders Run Over Cardinals, 40-21
319 Yard Rushing Effort Too Much for Chadron
October 5, 2023
SIDNEY--Sidney's Red Raider Football team passed their biggest test of the season with flying colors, outmatching and outplaying the Chadron Cardinals at home, and securing their second District win in as many weeks. The Red Raiders remain undefeated at 6-and-0, and host the 3-and-3 Cozad Haymakers on Friday.
Coming into Friday's contest, the Sidney squad knew they would have to find a way to contain Chadron's explosive junior running back, Quinn Bailey, and the Red Raiders did just that, Although Bailey was able to get free and pick up yards for the Cardinals, his failure to break open a big play was the difference in the game.
After winning the opening coin toss and kicking off first, the Sidney defense starting the game off strong, forcing a three-and-out and getting the ball on their own 44 yard line, following the Chadron punt. Sidney then put Luke Holly to work, and the senior running back was able to gain solid yards on every carry, eventually ending the eight play, 65 yard drive with a three yard run up the middle for a touchdown. A bad snap on the extra point kick resulted in a missed kick, and the Red Raiders would have to settle for an early 6-to-0 lead.
After exchanging scoreless drives, Chadron was able to put points on the board when senior quarterback Broc Berry threw a long pass to senior wide receiver Trey Hendrickson. Sidney junior Landon Riddle was able to get in front of the pass and tip the ball, but the ball went straight up and back into the hands of Hendrickson, who turned and ran all the way for a 48 yard touchdown. A converted extra point gave Chadron a 7-to-6 lead.
Sidney took over on offense, and struggled with their passing game. Chadron go the ball back, and early in the second quarter were faced with a fourth down and 2 yards play for a first down. The Sidney defense held, and the Raider offense took over. Senior quarterback Isak Doty then found Landon Riddle on a long bomb, and Riddle reeled in the catch and sprinted for the end zone. Sidney tried a two-point conversion and failed, but took a 12-to-7 lead.
Chadron started making mistakes on their next drive, with a nearly fifty-yard run by Bailey called back on a holding penalty, and then an illegal shift penalty put Chadron back on their heels. Despite the miscues, the Cardinals were able to pick up a first down, continuing their drive. The Sidney defense held, limiting Bailey to short gains on the first two downs, and then Sidney senior Landon Hanes was able to break through into the backfield on a third down pass attempt, and sacked Berry to stop the Chadron drive.
Luke Holly again took over on the next drive, breaking out big runs and bringing Sidney into scoring position. Doty then kept the ball on a read-option play and brought it down to the Chadron seven yard line. Holly was unable to cash in on two consecutive runs, but on third down and goal from the four yard line, Doty found McCartney in the corner of the end zone, and his junior tight end battled over two Chadron defenders to grab the pass for six points. With time running down in the first half, Sidney Head Coach Ryan Smith huddled his team together on the field prior to the ensuing kickoff and implored them to stop Chadron on the next drive. He knew the game could turn right at that moment with Sidney stopping Chadron, and then receiving the ball to start the third quarter. The Sidney defense responded, shutting down the Cardinals on their final possession of the first half. They did such a good job that Sidney got another offensive possession prior to the halftime break. Doty almost connected with Riddle for another touchdown, but the pass was broken up at the last second by Bailey. Sidney went into the halftime break up 19-to-7.
Just as Smith predicted, the game did turn in the beginning of the second half. The Raiders received the kick and proceeded with an eight play, 77 yard drive that ended with an eight yard touchdown run by Doty. Down 26-to-7, Chadron responded with a 10 play drive of their own that ended with Bailey scoring on a 16 yard run to narrow the Sidney lead to 26-to-14. But Chadron's offense was too far behind, and the Sidney defense was too stout in the second half. Sidney scored on their next two drives, the first on a 22 yard touchdown run by Doty and the second on a nine yard run by Holly. Sidney took a 40-to-14 lead with less than 10 minutes left in the game. Chadron was able to score one more time on a long pass from Berry to junior Tobin Rust, but that was all they could manage, and Sidney took the victory by a final score of 40-to-21.
Sidney's offensive line had another outstanding game, opening holes for Doty and Holly, and giving Doty time to find receivers and move the ball down the field. Doty finished the night completing 7 of 12 passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns, and rushing 13 times for 120 yards and two touchdowns. Holly did the heavy lifting, though, carrying the ball 25 times for 180 yards and two touchdowns. Holly's power running style had the Chadron defenders shying away from hits by the latter part of the game. Landon Riddle had five receptions for 101 yards and a touchdown, and Patrick McCartney had one catch, a short pass for a touchdown in the win. Sidney's defense played very well, with outstanding performances by junior Reid Fiscus with nine total tackles, sophomore Ben Monheiser with eight total tackles, and senior McGuire Rolls with 10 total tackles. The Sidney defense pressured Broc Berry all night and came up with big sacks to turn away the Cardinals' offense.
Sidney next hosts the 3-and-3 Cozad Haymakers. Cozad's dual threat junior quarterback Noah Shoemaker has passed for six touchdowns and is their leading rusher, so the Raiders will focus on shutting him down in this contest. Cozad was hammered by McCook 28-to-0 in their first game of the season, and Sidney easily defeated the Bison 28-to-0 in the third week of September, so look for the Red Raiders to be able to score and hold down the Cozad offense.