The London Middle School Red Raiders Seventh Grade football team opened its 2016 season with a 52-0 win over the host Hamilton Township Rangers Monday, Aug. 22.
Antwaun Burns started the Red off with 36-yard touchdown run on the opening series. Dylan Combs added a two-point conversion, making the score 8-0 at 7:07 of the first quarter.
The Rangers made a first down on their ensuing possession, but London’s Carson Greenhill picked up a fumbled lateral and raced 39 yards for another Riders touchdown. Combs tacked on another two-point conversion and the score ballooned to 16-0 midway through the first quarter. The Rangers were unable to move the ball on their second possession and were forced to punt. Burns fielded the kick and raced 61 yards on the return for a touchdown. Combs rushed in on the conversion try, his third in the quarter.
On the first play of the second quarter, Combs hit Isaiah Jones with a 40-yard scoring strike, and Zac Nelson added the two pointer for a 32-0 advantage. Later in the second quarter Nelson scored on a 2-yard run, Burns scored on a 48-yard run and Nelson raced in from 52 yards away on the last play of the second quarter. Nelson also added another conversion and the halftime score was a lopsided 52-0 in favor of the Red Raiders.
In the second half the Raiders substituted liberally allowing a number of players to gain valuable experience. With the OHSAA running clock rule, the second half was significantly faster and London was walking away with a 1-0 record.
On offense the Raiders were led by Nelson with 90 yards rushing on just six carries, along with two touchdowns. Burns finished with 78 yards on three carries. Combs was 3 for 7 passing for 69 yards and a score. Jones had two catches for 57 yards and a score.
Defensively the Raiders held the Rangers to minus -14 yards on 23 plays. Conner Crum had five tackles with 4.5 of them coming for losses. Burns had four tackles, all for losses and Jonathan Schooley and Trey Russell both had three tackles each.
The young Raiders next play at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 30 at home against Chillicothe.