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Rider 31, Frenship 7
August 31, 2007 10:15 PM

Andy Newberry
Times Record News

ABILENE, Texas - After stumbling through a four-turnover first half, Rider scored twice in 89 seconds early in the second half Friday to finally solve Frenship, its nemisis a year ago.

The Raiders made that scoring spree stand up for a 31-7 victory in the Championships Classic at Shotwell Stadium.

Rider (1-0) opened and closed its season with losses to the Tigers in 2006 when Frenship won the Region I-4A Division II title.

"It’s a big win for us," Rider coach Scott Ponder said. "Any time you lose twice to someone, it better mean something to you. We were happy to have a big night. We wouldn’t have predicted the score would be like this."

"I’m real proud of my players and my coaches. They did a great job."

The Raiders charged out of the pregame prayer on fire as James Chambers intercepted a pass on the first Frenship series and Rider quarterback Shavodrick Beaver lofted a 17-yard touchdown to Chris Edmond on the first offensive play of the season.

But it turned ugly soon afterward as Rider committed four turnovers before intermission. Despite all that trouble, the Raiders were locked in a 7-7 tie.

And Rider turned the tables in the second half, scoring 17 points off five Frenship turnovers to pull away. Jurell Thompson didn’t find a lot of running room — 46 yards on 11 carries — but he scored on a 9-yard run in the third quarter and then put the finishing touches on with a 20-yard TD run in the fourth period.

But Beaver woke up the Rider offense. He had three turnovers in the first half, but opened the second half with a 40-yard touchdown strike to Eric Ward. He was flushed out of the pocket, standing in traffic, and kept his eyes downfield where he fired a strike past a bewildered secondary and into the waiting arms of Ward.

Frenship star running back Michael Connor, 118 yards on 28 carries, fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Rider recovered on the Tigers’ 20-yard line.

Beaver came up with some more third-down magic on a slant to Markelle Martin, setting up Thompson’s first TD for a 21-7 lead.

Frenship followed with a seven-minute drive that ended in a missed field goal. The Raiders tacked on a 37-yard field goal by Joey Neale and a 20-yard run by Thompson in the fourth quarter. Both scores came off turnovers.

"They hit the long pass and then we fumbled it back to them and it all kind of snowballed on us," Frenship coach Brad Davis said. "They’re a great team."

"Our offense didn’t produce like it needed to in the second half."

Ponder admitted that it's not "Frenship’s game" to play from behind. But the Raiders still had to make the plays to come up with the ball. Chambers had an interception and a fumble recovery and Dorian Petty made two interceptions. Paul Mason also added a pick at the end.

"We had them in a spot they didn’t want to be," Petty said. "We wanted to keep the tempo up."
"They told at halftime to just not let up and keep the tempo up and have fun. We felt like we could (win) because we had prepared well all week."

Beaver finished 10-of-22 for 162 yards. Edmond had four catches for 38 yards and Markelle Martin caught three for 72 yards.

The Raiders used a 41-yard pass to Martin on their second offensive play to set up first-and-goal, but Beaver lost the handle on the next snap and Rider stumbled and bumbled its way through the rest of a 7-7 first half.

Eddrick Wiggins tied the scored with a 2-yard touchdown run with 8:16 left in the second quarter. It was set up by a fumbled punt.

Gerron Moore was the Frenship star of the first half as he twice intercepted Beaver, taking the ball away from Rider's big receivers. Moore also caught four passes for 62 yards and nearly scored on a 17-yard gain via a reverse.

Assistant sports editor Andy Newberry may be reached after 4 p.m. weekdays by calling (940) 720-3470 or (800) 627-1646, extension 447; or e-mail to NewberryA(at)


though much credit is given to me I rather not be the star of articles, i know that none of the things ive accomplished wouldnt have been there if it had not have been for my team, so to that i give all credit to my team and coaching staff.

Editor's Note: Excellent team spirit Markell.

Posted by: Markelle Martin | September 6, 2007 10:22 AM

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