BAXTER — It was a tale of two halves in Baxter on Friday night.
After one half, it looked as if the Collins-Maxwell/Baxtwell Raiders and the Bondurant-Farrar Bluejays were locked in a fairly tight battle at 19-6, but in the second half, the Bluejays picked up their end of the scoring and pulled away from the host-Raiders, 49-27.
Leading 6-0 in the first quarter, the Bluejays drove down the field and punched in a touchdown with about one minute remaining in the first quarter. When the Raiders got the ball back, they were determined to score. When the drive appeared to stall out around the Bluejays’ 40-yard line. The Raiders looked at a fourth down and four yard hurdle and called senior quarterback Zach Samson’s number. Samson ran the ball up the middle for six yards to keep the drive going. Two plays later, Samson would find Bryce Kemp in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown to pull the Raiders within six.
The teams traded possessions before the Bluejays would drive the ball down to the 25-yard line. A touchdown pass on first down put B-F ahead of the Raiders 19-6. The Raiders would sustain a decent drive with the clock ticking down, but on third and 15, a pass would get away from Samson and end up getting intercepted to end the first half.
The Bluejays would lean on their passing game the rest of the way, and it carried them to a 22-point victory to start district play.
Samson was the all-purpose yards leader for the Raiders. He threw for 217 yards and three touchdowns on 12-for-22 passes, rushed for 76 yards and a touchdown on 16 attempts. Zach Huffaker rushed 12 times for 122 yards.
Kemp caught five balls from Samson for a total of 157 yards and all three of Samson’s touchdowns, including a 62-yard touchdown catch in the second half. Austin Moorman caught four passes for 61 yards.
Kemp and Clayton Weltha tied for the team-lead in tackles with eight apiece. Nick Littell, Logan Cory and O’Connor Austin each had seven tackles. Samson had six tackles. Huffaker and Jordan Coughenour each had four tackles. Charles Robertson had three. Brady Stover shined in the punt return game, amassing 109 yards on three punts.