Raiders beat Lake City for league championship

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By The Staff

Levy County Raiders downed the Lake City Lions 25-6 in a game whose venue was unknown until virtually the last minute.

Due to an organizational issue at National Independent Football League headquarters, the erstwhile host Lions traveled to WYAA field in Williston to play the league-leading Raiders. League prognosticators had picked Lake City over the Raiders by a projected score of 16-14, but the new hosts treated their guests rudely.

The Raiders forced eight turnovers on defense; their own offense was led by Junior Battles and Marland Williams. Both teams played hard, but in the end, it was the Raiders who took home the 2009 NIFL Championship. Williams hurt his arm early in the game and struggled with the air attack. He still managed to complete a few passes to receivers Esix Snead, Joe Gazdun and Justin Mauldin, but the Raiders' ground game was more than the visiting Lions could handle. The Raiders' attack showed a good enough mix of formations to lay the foundation for a great ground game. Williams, Battles, Owen and Jared Tanner all had significant runs for Levy County, contributing to the overwhelming win.

The Raider defense suffered early on when leading players Robert Studstill and Raymond Frazier were knocked down with ankle and hand injuries, respectively. Nevertheless, the defense hung tough. Steven Hall played the game of his life, breaking up six passes and picking off two; overall the Raiders' defense showed why it is the best in the league, picking the league's best quarterback with a total of seven interceptions by Mauldin, Calvin Williams, Justin Cochran, Hall, Pat Weeks and Frazier.

Frazier also threw down a thunderous hit that caused a fumble, which was scooped up by Levy County's Alvin Hubbert.

It was just the icing on the cake for the season, and the guys can't wait to get back to work.