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Raiders: the perfect storm

In a game that featured four lead changes and nine turnovers the Rutland Raiders turned an 18-14 halftime deficit into a 28-18 victory over the Mount Anthony Patriots in Division I high school football action last Friday night in Bennington..

The Raiders drew first blood in this one by taking advantage of the first of what would prove to be six Patriot turnovers. An errant snap by MAU sailed into the end zone, where Rutland's John Norman fell on it for the touchdown. When Tyler Flinn nailed the extra point Rutland held an early 7-0 lead, but it didn't last long.

On the second play of Mount Anthony's ensuing drive Patriot running back Jason Devens exploded for a 65 yard touchdown jaunt. Flinn blocked the extra point attempt, allowing Rutland to maintain a 1 point lead, 7-6. But that wouldn't last either. The Patriots took the lead 12-7 by capitalizing on one of three Raider turnovers. After recovering a fumble on the Rutland 24 Patriots back Mike Rogers turned in a 24-yard touchdown run. Rogers would end the game as the Patriots leading rusher with 84 yards on 12 carries.

Mount Anthony would again however take advantage of a costly Raider turnover to take a 18-14 lead at the half. After recovering a fumble at the Raiders 12-yard line Rogers and Owen Ianotti teamed up for a 12-yard touchdown pass on the last play of the half.

That would be the last score for the hometown Patriots as the Raiders defense woupd rise to the occasion and shutout Mount Anthony's offense the rest of the way. Rutland though would find the end zone two more times.

Rutland reclaimed the lead on a 8-yard touchdown pass from Davine to Mike Triller. Then in the fourth quarter with the Patriots driving f or the go ahead score the Raider defense forced a turnover. The Raiders offense then marched down the field and locked up the win with 6:40 left when T.J. Engler fumbled a successful Davine pass into the end zone and fellow Raider David Kraus fell on it for another Rutland touchdown and securing the win.

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