Raiders drop another heartbreaker

After losing four games in the final minute in 2011, the Roseville Area High School football team opened 2012 on Friday night hoping to start a new chapter in the history of the program. Unfortunately for the Raiders, the outcome of their contest at White Bear Lake was more of the same old story.

After giving up a field goal on the opening possession of the game, Roseville answered with a touchdown later in the first quarter and held the lead until the fourth. That's when White Bear Lake turned a pair of big plays into enough points to beat the Raiders 13-10.

"I don't like this feeling," said Roseville head coach Chris Simdorn. "The kids work too hard, play too hard to come up short."

Defensively, the Raiders idled White Bear's attack for three quarters as the Bears had managed only a field goal going into the fourth quarter.

"I felt like we controlled the game," Simdorn said. "I felt defensively we shut them down."

While the defense was fending off White Bear, Roseville's offense struck early but struggled the rest of the game sustaining drives and avoiding costly penalties.

"I felt like in the first half they let some opportunities go," said Simdorn. "We won the field-position battle."

The Raiders got on the board right after White Bear kicked the field goal in the first quarter. Roseville drove 68 yards in nine plays, which included runs of 12 yards (on a third and 10) and 23 yards by junior quarterback Jacques Perra. The Raiders capped the scoring drive on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Perra to Matthew Peckham.

That drive was Roseville's cleanest and most efficient of the game. There was no negative-yard plays and no penalties. Those two things hampered the Raiders later in the game.

Roseville added to its lead in the third quarter on a 25-yard field goal by Sam Loveland but it was another missed opportunity as the Raiders were unable to punch it in despite having the ball first and goal from the 10.

On its next drive, Perra hit Barron Taylor for a 21-yard pass play down to the Bears' 28 but an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the play moved the ball back 15 yards. Perra then hooked up with Sebastian Yang for 23 yards and later appeared to score on a 20-yard touchdown run on the next play but the TD was nullified on a holding call. Eventually, Roseville was driven back so far they lined up facing a third and 41 before having to punt.

White Bear Lake tied it early in the fourth quarter thanks to a 35-yard run and a 51-yard touchdown pass.

Roseville answered by advancing to the White Bear 6-yard line before a fumble stifled the drive. The Bears turned the turnover into the winning points, which came on a 19-yard field goal with less than two minutes remaining. A 57-yard run and a penalty for a horse-collar tackle on the play helped set up the field goal.

The Raiders had one final chance to force overtime but Loveland's 45-yard field goal attempt as time expired came up short.

Next up for Roseville is a second consecutive road game on Sept. 7 at Park-Cottage Grove. The Wolfpack snapped a 21-game losing streak on Thursday in their 47-12 drubbing of Forest Lake.

"They had a big win against Forest Lake; blew them out," said Simdorn. "They'll be jacked. But it's the SEC; you have to show up every week."

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