Rider Raiders at 2022 Decatur Eagles High School Football scores 30-24
DECATUR — It took nearly an entire game for the Rider offense to find a spark on Friday night. But once it was done, a fire was started under the Raiders that Decatur couldn’t put out.
The Raiders overcame a 15-point deficit in the final 4:37 of regulation time and escaped Eagle Stadium with a 30-24 overtime victory, improving their record to 2-0. Decatur fall to 0-2 after the heartbreaking loss.
“We haven’t played very well offensively and we have a lot to sort out,” Riders coach Marc Bindel said. “But I think we learned a lot about our team tonight. It’s a very unfavorable situation to be in – 15 down with less than five minutes left. We didn’t lie down, didn’t give up. Win or lose, we didn’t give up and kept fighting, and that’s why we won.
Decatur pushed their lead to 24-9 when star running back Nate Palmer scored on a 33-yard run with 4:37 left. It felt like the final nail in Rider’s coffin.
But 18 seconds later, Rider quarterback Jack Pitts found Baylor Wilson for an 82-yard touchdown, then connected with Tobias Oliver on the two-point conversion, cutting the deficit to 24-17.
The Raiders held Decatur to a three-and-out and quickly moved down the field. Pitts found Tyrone Morgan for 16 yards, but a personal foul turned the extra point into a 35-yard attempt from second Kenji Johnson.
Johnson’s leg was true and the Raiders tied at 24-all.
Decatur pushed deep into Rider territory on his final drive, setting up a 23-yard field goal by Elezar Aldape, who had already struck from 20 yards in the second quarter. But Aldape’s kick was no good, sending the game into extra time.
Rider had the first possession in overtime, scoring on a one-yard run by Anquan Willis. Johnson missed the extra point, however, putting pressure on Rider’s defense to keep Decatur out of the end zone.
The Eagles had a long fourth, opting to get the ball back to Palmer on a block, and OU’s kickoff broke a 14-yard TD run. However, the Eagles were called for holding at the 2-yard line, supporting them until the 12.
Decatur quarterback Preston Escobar rolled to his right on the final play of the game, tossing a ball into the end zone that Morgan intercepted for the Raiders to seal the win.
Cavalier 30, Decatur 24 (OT)
Jumper 7 0 2 15 6 -30
Decatur 0 12 0 12 0 -24
R – Jack Pitts 1 point (Kenji Johnson shot), :39
D – Nate Palmer 19 pass from Preston Escobar (Elezar Aldape kick), 11:33
D–FG, Aldape 20, :09
D – Escobar 1 run (blocked kick), 10:17
D – Palmer 33 run (missed run), 4:37
R – Baylor Wilson 82 pass from Pitts (Tobias Oliver pass from Pitts), 4:19
R – Tyrone Morgan 16 passes from Pitts (Kick from Johnson), 2:25
R – Anquan Willis 1 run (blocked kick)
First tests: (R)11; (D)14
Dash : (R) 36-122; (D) 44-126
Who passed: (R) 8-26-1-198; (D) 17-26-1—125
Spades: (R) 5-40.6; (D) 9-37.3
Smokers : (R) 1-1; (D) 1-0
Penalties: (R) 13-101; (D) 10-70
PREVIOUS : (R) Anquan Willis 22-101; (R) Nate Palmer 21-84, Preston Escobar 22-44.
WHO PASSED: (R) Jack Pitts 8-26-1—198; (D) Escobar 17-26-1—125.
RECEPTION : (R) Baylor Wilson 2-107, Xavier Banks 1-51; (D) Landon Felts 9-85, Palmer 3-16. RECORDS: Runner 2-0; Decatur 0-2.