8/24 7:00 H
6A Semi Finals vs.Chicago (St. Rita)(11-2)
Pressure in the St. Rita backfield helped to lock down a victory for Bloomington.
Chicago (Doyle Stadium) - The Purple Raiders of Bloomington made a trip up north on Saturday night and while it might not make up for last seasons State Finals loss, it no doubt gave the message that the Raiders can play with not only the teams from Chicagoland, but the Catholic Metro powerhouses as well.
While the Raiders didn't dominate the Mustangs like they did some of their Big 12 opponents, they still won a decisive victory. Which give them the right to play in Champaign against x-Catholic Metro conference team Mundelein (Carmel) in the 6A State Finals.
Both teams played strong on defense as the offensive unit on the field was forced to scratch for every yard they got. Only two play would get more than 20 yards the whole game. One of which was a 55 yard sprint by James Wade (sr. RB 5'8 175) to help put Bloomington up 14-0 with 9 minutes left in the 2nd quarter.
Wade would help energize the Raider offense as he carried the ball 23 times for 198 yards and 2 TDs. The first TD was a 3 yard run on an option that was fumbled by Wade in the back field, before he had it bounce back in to his arms and broke a couple of tackles to get the score.
St. Rita's go to guy Wade Weyer (jr. RB 5'10 180) had 33 carries for 132 yards, but would only get into the endzone after being put in at punt return late in the third quarter and returning it for a 40 yard TD.
Rita may have helped beat themselves as late in the game several penalties, fumbles and 3 interception, one by back up QB Michael Kafka (jr. 6'3 185) was picked off at the 4 yard line of Bloomington by Donald Brown (jr. DB 5'7 151), started to add up. Had Rita been able to score on that possession, the game would have been tied at 14.
Defensive back Adrian Arrington (jr. 6' 170) had what could be the play of the game. As the clock was winding down at 2:38 left in the game the Mustangs went for it on 4th & 4 from their own 11, only to have Arrington jump over the indented receiver and knock the ball down.
Justin Harrison (sr. RB/LB 5'10 205) would give the Raiders some insurance that was better than State Farm with a 6 yard TD run a few plays later to put Bloomington up for good, 20-7.
by Vincent Johnson
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