FOOTBALL: Raiders win fourth straight, take 35-28 thriller over Rockvale

Junior tight end Jahlin Osbourne flys into the end zone for 1 of his 3 touchdowns Friday night, Oct. 22, 2021. Osbourne caught 13 passes for 151 yards and 3 scores in the Raiders’ 35-28 win over Rockvale. — Thunder Radio photo by Holly Peterson

It was senior night for Coffee County Friday. But it was big plays from every class that made the Raiders go from down 14-7 early in the third quarter to up 35-14 and hanging on for a 35-28 win at Carden-Jarrell Field – a game you heard live on Thunder Radio.

“I just couldn’t be more proud for these guys and the good things that are happening,” said CHS head coach Doug Greene. “They’ve paid the price, put in the work all winter long and we are seeing it come to fruition right in front of our eyes.”

The win marks the fourth straight win in a row for the Raiders to improve them to 5-4 overall after a 1-4 start. It is the first four-game winning stream for the CHS football program since 2003. It marks the most wins in a season for the Raiders since 2007, when they won 6.

Friday night was an absolute thriller in Manchester. Tied 7-7 at halftime, Rockvale took a 14-7 when DJ Thornton returned the opening kickoff of the second half 86 yards for a touchdown. After a quick Raider three-and-out, it looked like Rockvale was about to seize control when freshman Cole Pippenger intercepted a Rocket pass in the end zone.

After falling behind 7-0 early in the game, the Raiders answered with this pass from Connor Shemwell to Jahlin Osbourne. Audio by Thunder Radio. 107.9 FM.

From that point the Raiders dominated the third quarter. The Raiders went down the field and scored on 13-yard touchdown pass from Connor Shemwell to Jahlin Osbourne to tie the game at 14-14. Shemwell and Osbourne were dialed in all night. Shemwell was 18-of-26 for 200 yards and 3 touchdowns – all 3 to Osbourne from 10, 13 and 22 yards.

After two penalties by Rockale allowed the Raiders to pin the Rockets deep, freshman Jayden Carter picked off a pass at the 5-yard line and scampered into the end zone to put CHS up 21-14. Sophomore Blayne Myers forced a Rockvale fumble on the 3rd play of the next possession that was recovered by Jacob Barlow, setting up a 4-yard Shemwell touchdown run. After the Raiders forced a 3-and-out and snuffed out a fake punt on the next Rockvale possession, Shemwell connected again with Osbourne -this time on third down – to put CHS up 35-14 to end the third quarter.

From there the Raiders hung on for dear life.

The Rockets used special teams mishaps from the Raiders and short fields to cut the deficit to 35-28 with 6:34 to play. The Rockets had two chances to tie the game, but the Raider defense held firm each time.

Jacob Barlow made a tackle at the 5 yard line to force a turnover on downs. Then after a Raider fumble, the Raider defense held strong again and forced another turnover on downs inside their own 20.

Unofficially, both teams finished with 335 total yards. Junior running back Konor Heaton rushed 24 times for 96 yards. On top of Osbourne’s 3 touchdowns, he caught 13 passes for 151 yards.

Travis Martin had a 28 yard catch, Heaton caught 3 passes for 10 yards, Ian Welden had a catch for 11 yards and Connor Shemwell caught a pass – an 18-yard reception from Cole Pippenger on a trick play.

Osborne and Shemwell were named Mid Tenn Turf Co-Players of the Game by Thunder Radio.

The Raiders will at Rhea County next week – Oct. 29. Kickoff is 6:30 p.m. Central Time in the final regular season game of the year. The Raiders will be in the playoffs on Friday, Nov. 5.

Shemwell scores on a 4-yard touchdown run.

THIS GAME WAS BROADCAST LIVE ON THUNDER RADIO! CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE FIRST HALF REPLAY.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE 2ND HALF REPLAY.

Thunder Radio photos by Holly Peterson