Inside the incredible game that led Raider Football to the district championships


Suzanne Kores

Kaige Brown ’25 and coach Jake Caron celebrating their victory.

Inside the incredible game that led Raider Football to the district championships

Is there really no such thing as a fairytale ending? RE’s October 28th district semifinal game against Coral Shores High School proved otherwise.

Right out of the gate, Coral Shores began to take control of the game, scoring 13 straight points against the Raiders. Regardless, RE was not discouraged by Coral Shores’ immediate scoring run, flipping the switch in the second quarter as juniors Bryce Sadler ’24 and Jordan Gonzalez ’24 scored a pair of touchdowns to tie up the game before halftime.

For most of the 3rd quarter, both teams prevented each other from scoring. But, shockingly, despite being tied 13-13 for most of the game, both teams’ offenses eventually exploded.

With 1:55 left in the 3rd quarter, freshman Juan Velazco ’26 made a touchdown catch in the endzone that gave RE their first lead of the game. A seemingly unstoppable Raider offense went on to score again, further extending their lead to 28-13.

However, Coral Shores was not done yet and slowly began to regain momentum.

After remaining scoreless since halftime, Coral Shores went on to score 15 unanswered points. With 5 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter, the game was now tied 28-28. Tension grew, and, for many, so did fear of the Raiders’ season ending after they seemingly lost control of the Coral Shores offense.

From this point on, you would probably predict that Coral Shores would continue their scoring streak and, unfortunately, win the game. But no. RE began to turn the momentum back in their favor.

With the game clock ticking to zero, RE had successfully stopped Coral Shores’ offense, giving the Raiders another opportunity to retake the lead in overtime.

Promptly, Coral Shores scored and retook the lead for the first time since the half. Now, the score was 35-28.

With no time left in overtime, RE scored, bringing the game to 35-34. Coach Jake Caron made the decision to attempt a two-point conversion to bring it home for the Raiders. Amongst the crowd, groups huddled together in the hope that the Raiders would be able to force their way into the endzone and, in turn, advance themselves to the district finals.

As both the crowd’s noise and anxiety grew, senior quarterback Jackon Pegg ’23 threw a short pass into the endzone, putting the Raiders up 36-35 and winning the game.

“I was speechless,” said Junior right tackle and linebacker Michael Kaye ’24. Like most cheering on the Raiders’ offense from the sidelines, Kaye was praying that “we don’t mess up on the block and just give [our quarterback] as much time as he can get.”

Senior captain AJ Srebnick highlighted what the win meant for RE Football. “There were moments when we thought our season was over, but a comeback in overtime kept our family together for one more week,” he said.