By CHUCK HOUSTEAU
Warren Harding coach D.J. Dota knew the Raiders had to put last week’s loss to Howland on the shelf and move on.
“We talked about it on Monday and said, ‘a loss is a loss is a loss,’” said Dota. “We need to move on and learn from it.”
It looked like the Raiders’ memories were short as the Raiders scored 28 points in the second quarter in successive fashion and rolled over East 35-0 on Friday night at Mollenkopf Stadium.
“I’m proud of the way our guys responded ,” Dota said. “Our defense came out and played four quarters like we played the first four series against Howland.”
Harding’s defense forced four turnovers and were able to capitalize on the first three to score 21 points.
Harding’s DeVonte West intercepted East quarterback Shajehan Haywood early in the second quarter at the 48-yard line.
Six plays later, the Raiders scored on a 4-yard run by Demond Hymes. That was the fist of his three straight touchdown runs in the second quarter.
West’s play on defense was outstanding all night as the senior picked off another East pass and recovered a fumble to ignite the Raiders.
“I was just trying to get the ball back for our offense and do my part on defense,” said West. “All week we were working on their passing game because we knew their quarterback had a great arm and it paid off.”
Nate Marsico also played outstanding defense from his linebacker position and the senior recovered on a fumble on East’s next possession that led to Hymes’ 1-yard scoring run.
On East’s third possession in the second quarter, West again zeroed in on a Haywood pass and grabbed a pick that he returned to the Panthers’ 33.
Four plays later, Hymes scored again and the Raiders were rolling 21-0.
“Turning the ball over against Warren Harding, you’re not going to give yourself a chance,” said East coach Brian Shaner. “In the first quarter we stood toe-to-toe but you can’t play like that the whole game against them so we had to take some chances.
“And when you take chances like that you have a chance for some turnovers.”
Harding scored again in the second quarter on a 26-yard pass from Seawood to KVon Williams.
The Raiders’ final score came on Jalyn Powell’s 36-yard run in the final quarter.
Harding displayed a strong running game led by Hymes who finished with 102 yards on the ground on 12 carries while Seawood added 89 yards.
DeVonte Fleetion led East with 92 rushing yards on 22 carries.
“We were going to make our guys forget as fast as we could about last week,” Dota said. “We just want to keep pushing.”