Blue Raiders continue preseason tune-up
by SARALYN NORKUS Banner Sports Writer
Jul 18, 2014 | 680 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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CLEVELAND’S ERIC GOODWIN holds onto the ball after a reception during Thursday’s 7-on-7 game against Ooltewah. Photo by GEORGE NORKUS
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OOLTEWAH — Things were business as usual for the Cleveland Raiders Thursday evening as they took on three different teams in 7-on-7.

Cleveland joined Red Bank and East Ridge at the Ooltewah hosted passing league, where even their youngsters got in on the action.

“It was fun and a good day of work. We got three games in and then got to play our young kids for 20 plays, offense and defense, so it was well worth our trip,” Raider head coach Ron Crawford stated. “Tomorrow (Friday) is an off day for us and then we go to UTC on Saturday. We’ve got to get our legs back under us and get ready to start on Monday – its here.”

Starting with the ball on the 45, the teams had a total of nine plays to reach the endzone - three to reach the 30-yard line, three to reach the 15 and three to score. Turnovers counted as well in the 7-on-7 play at the home of the Owls.

Senior quarterback Austin Massey, who threw two touchdowns against Red Bank and three against Ooltewah, and sophomore QB Dallas McCrary had a clear target to throw to in senior receiver Eric Goodwin, who continued to impress on the field.

“Eric will be a three-year starter for us, so we expect good things out of him,” Crawford explained. “We feel good about our receiving core. Its probably not as fast but its bigger, we’ve got some size in at and length in those guys so it will look a little different. Austin (Massey’s) skills are a little bit different than Herink’s, but we’ve got two good running backs and offensive linebacks so it will be interesting to see how well we compete.”

Jay McIntire was able to break up two passes in the endzone during the 7-on-7 play against the Owls.

Once the varsity players had finished up, a handful of freshmen players were able to go out and compete against Ooltewah’s freshman.

According to Coach Crawford, the young players have potential but still have many things to learn to be competitive.

“We’re excited about them, but they’ve just got to learn what to do, so we’ve got to catch them up. Some of them are a bit lost right now, and we think they can help us before it’s over with,” Crawford commented.

The Raiders will enjoy a rest day today, and head down to UTC Satruday morning to participate in the Mocs’ 7-on-7 tournament, a day long event that boasts of 24 teams.