By Daily News Sports Intern Kyle Higley
Friday, the Fulton Red Raiders traveled to Mexico where they were able to outlast the Tigers, and pulled out a hard fought 15-7 victory.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We made some plays when we needed to make some plays,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Fulton head coach Michael Conners after the game.
Fulton quarterback Brett Williams started the first drive of the game with a run of more than 50 yards, moving Fulton inside the Tiger 20. Fulton however, could not capitalize and turned the ball over on downs in the red zone. The Red Raiders defense forced a Tiger punt, giving the Raider offense a second chance.
Williams picked up right where he left off. He took a quarterback option 55 yards for a touchdown. The two-point conversion gave Fulton an 8-0 lead with 5:16 left in the first quarter.
FultonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s defense stopped three Tiger drives on the Raider 8, 12, and 25 yard lines and headed into half-time with an 8-0 lead.
Opening up the second half, Tiger quarterback Jimmy Loomis wasted no time in moving Mexico back into Fulton territory with 40 yard run, putting the Tigers at the Fulton 25 yard line. Once again, the Fulton defense would bend but not break as they came up with a big interception inside the 10.
That began the crucial drive of the game. Raider running back Donald Watson gave Fulton some breathing room with a 20 yard run. Watson hurt his leg on this play and would not return for the remainder of the game.
Starting receiver John Strong moved to running back and made his presence felt right away with a series of runs of 10 yards or more, racking up first downs.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“John had a great game. He plays receiver and is also our back-up tailback. You can see why he is our backup tailback. He is a great runner,Ã¢â‚¬Â Conners said.
Williams then struck again with another quarterback option and finished off what Strong and Watson started with a 31-yard touchdown run, giving Fulton a 15-0 lead with 7:22 left in the third quarter.
Mexico found the end zone in the fourth quarter. Jacob Burke got things started with a 20-yard run moving the Tigers to the Fulton 20 yard line. Austin LaBouef followed BurkeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s run with a ten yard scamper. With the ball on the Fulton 10 yard-line, Mexico went to the air. Bruno Slivinski found himself in the right place at the right time as Jimmy Loomis had his pass deflected, and Slivinski came down with it in the end zone. Mexico now trailed 15-7 with 9:53 remaining in the game.
With the game still in doubt and Mexico in Fulton territory John Strong, once again made a play. He intercepted the ball on FultonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 20-yard line with 1:43 left in the game and returned it 40 yards. All that was left for Fulton to do was go into a coachÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s favorite formation and knee the ball three times, and get out of Mexico with a well earned victory.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I thought we did well coming off a short week. I think Mexico played fantastic. They out-hit us, they out-hustled us, a break here and there, they beat us. It was a rivalry game and they played their hearts out, and we were very lucky to get out of here with a victory,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Conners.