Night Hawks lose final game of 2017

Kyle Burwick (MIDDLE) gets a big hole from his offensive line. (Record Photo by Frank Perea II)

While the rest of Region 5 football teams were playing for either region standings, making the playoffs or seeding in the playoffs—the Night Hawks and Raiders were playing to get out of the region cellar.  Both the Night Hawks and Richardton-Taylor-Hebron had identical 0-6 records in Region 5.  The Raiders would prevail in this one by a 58-46 score.

By SHELDON CHRISTENSON
For The Record

As I’m sure many people predicted this would be a shootout.  The game started out slow as the Night Hawks had to punt on their first possession and the Raiders could not convert on a fourth down play on their first possession.  Then the scoreboard began getting a work out as the Night Hawks would achieve a touchdown on their next six possessions, while the Raiders would score a touchdown on four of their next six possessions.

Isaiah Kludt was having a career best, at the end of the first half as he had four rushing scores and ran back two kickoffs of 80 and 85 yards.  At the end of the first half the Night Hawks led 40-28.

Two fumbles, and a Kludt injury, were key factors in the Night Hawks only scoring one touchdown in the second half.  The Raiders opened the second half with a Nathan Schwartz touchdown run.

The Night Hawks took over, only to fumble inside the Raiders five yard line.  The Raiders were down to a third and eight and still inside their own five yard line when Logan Huff converted on a long pass play to Schwartz.  Schwartz would later score again to pull the Raiders ahead 44-40.

On the Night Hawks next possession, late in the third quarter, Kludt would go down and would not return to the game.  He sustained a sprained ankle and was already nursing a “turf toe” from a previous game.  The Raiders would score two more times while the Night Hawks would score their only touchdown of the half on a pass from Jaxon Mellmer to Jeran Anderson.  They also lost a fumble on one of their possessions in the fourth quarter.

The Raiders passing game was their main weapon as Logan Hoff was 15-25, 311 passing yards and two touchdowns.  Schwartz led them in rushing with 173 yards and two touchdowns and the team totaled 279 yards rushing.

Kludt would rush for 173 yards plus scoring six touchdowns for the Night Hawks while the team had 288 yards rushing and 81 yards passing.