This team is starting to look more and more like the old Racine Raiders.
You know, the Raiders that used to routinely crunch opponents and win national championships.
The Raiders produced their third straight dominating performance on Saturday night, defeating the Milwaukee County Chargers 41-0 in a Mid-States Football League game at Hart Park in Wauwatosa.
The Raiders (3-0, 2-0 MSFL) have outscored their last two opponents 83-0. For the season, the point differential is 136-18.
“I definitely like what I’m seeing so far,” said Raiders coach Wilbert Kennedy. “We’re a couple games into the season and it’s all about improving every week. So far, we have done that. We have kept the mistakes to a minimum, like the turnover mistakes.
“The thing that concerns me is starting slow. We’ve got to start faster in games.”
There was a reason that may partially explain why the Raiders were leading only 17-0 at halftime. Because of the fatal truck accident on I-94 in Racine County Wednesday, some Raiders were not able to make the team’s weekly practice.
Kennedy has a policy that players must attend practice in order to play and he bent his rule, considering the circumstances. But Kennedy still started some other players before bringing in the veterans.
And little by little, the Raiders gained momentum.
Third-year quarterback Mitchell Farr had one of his finest games, completing 12 of 25 passes for 236 yards, with two touchdowns and an interception. He also rushed for 17 yards and another score.
In the first half, Farr ran for a 14-yard touchdown and completed a 37-yard scoring pass to Brandon Smith. Farr and Smith hooked up again in the third quarter, this time for a 35-yard touchdown pass.
“Mitch played a nice game tonight,” Kennedy said. “He definitely left some plays out there. He missed some receivers that he should have hit. But he had a real nice read on a read-option that he scored on. It was a beautiful play.”
Smith caught four passes for 127 yards — an average of 31.8 yards per reception.
Defensively, the Raiders were overpowering, allowing the Chargers (0-2) an average of just 1.2 yards per play. Two Chargers quarterbacks combined to complete eight of 21 passes for 53 yards, with one interception, and Milwaukee was held to minus-two rushing yards in 21 attempts.
Leading that defense was a player that the Raiders signed within the last few days. Defensive end Nick Jones, who used to play for the Chicago Chaos, had five solo tackles and four sacks in his Raiders debut.
“I talked to him on the phone and I really liked the young man,” Kennedy said. “He just wanted to play football again. It just wasn’t wasn’t working out for him with the Chaos and he thought he was going to be done playing football.
“But he saw the scores from the first week of games and he got the itch to play. He called me up and I had him come to practice, we worked him out and there were a lot of things we liked about him.”
The Raiders’ other touchdowns came in the fourth quarter. Backup quarterback Tony Henner threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Terrence Fitch. And then Lawrence Peters, during a punt return, lateraled to Davonte Ransom, who ran for the touchdown.
T.J. Hearn also kicked field goals of 24 and 23 yards.
Running back Howard Triplett rushed for 60 yards on 18 carries and Tom Benko had 54 yards on just four carries.
The Raiders begin a three-game home stretch on Saturday with a 7 p.m. game against the Illinois Cowboys at Horlick Field.