The Minden Crimson Tide came out of the gates a little unfocused Friday night at home against the Raiders of Huntington.
The Tide put the ball on the ground with their first possession of the ball game, which led to a quick Huntington touchdown and a 7-0 deficit.
That’s where the good news ended for the Raiders in this contest, as Minden answered with a quick touchdown run by Rodtravion Rogers and never looked back on their way to a 42-7 victory.
Minden was sharp offensively, pounding Huntington with play after play of aggressive, downhill running en route to nearly 300 yards rushing and 42 unanswered points at The Pit.
A happy Spencer Heard was relieved to see his team handle their business in not so dramatic fashion.
“The run game was playing well, defense was playing well and special teams was playing well,” Heard said. “It was enjoyable. It was nice to be able to relax late in the third quarter and get some of our second string guys in there to play under the lights.”
After Rogers 23-yard run made it 7-7 in the first quarter, Minden hit a low, hard kick on the ensuing kickoff that ricocheted off a Huntington return man and the Tide came away with the recovery.
The Tide failed to score off that Raider mistake but the Minden defense stepped up. Facing third and long the Raiders attempted a pass over the middle, but Cameron Morgan jumped in front of the intended receiver for the interception. Just three plays later Rodtravion Rogers went in for his second score of the game to give Minden a permanent lead for the night.
Following another impressive series for the Crimson Tide defense, Minden went on another long scoring drive capped off by Kolby Jackson going in from one-yard out.
Huntington’s last threatening drive of the night was ended right before halftime when L’Jarius Sneed intercepted Aaron Roberson at the Tide 18 yard line and returned it all the way back to the Huntington 25, ending any chance of a Raider comeback.
“Coming into the season we felt like we had a lot of young guys with a lot of talent,” Heard said. “They adapted to the speed of the game really quick and we’re excited about the way they’re playing. It starts up front maintaining the line of scrimmage and our linebackers are reading and filling gaps. The secondary has stepped up for us all year with interceptions.”
One of those interceptions came late in the fourth quarter when Dekeltric Freelon picked off a deep pass and and broke several tackles down the right sideline on his way to the end zone, giving Minden its final touchdown and ending what was a great night to be a Tide defensive back.
On the offensive side of the ball the Crimson Tide got fantastic efforts from their entire stable of running backs.
Rodtravion Rogers easily topped the group, enjoying a breakout performance with 175 yards rushing to go with three touchdowns.
“I told him sometime during the week that this was a game where he could pick up a lot of yardage,” Heard said. “He did a good job finding the holes that our line was opening up. I think he’s really progressed as the season has gone along.”
Kolby Jackson ran for 93 yards and a pair of touchdowns for the Tide, while Antonio Rivette added 22 yards on the ground and 47 yards passing with only one incompletion.
Tavarius Edwards led the receivers with three catches for 43 yards.
Minden will host Northwood next week on Homecoming night at The Pit.