Fralick, Stafford Dominate: Raiders Move to 3-0

Somerset-Berkley is Rolling.


Steve Fralick with the big Stiff Arm. (Picture Credits: Tim Dunn)

Xaiver Aguiar, Sports Writer

Quarterback Chase Stafford, who finished with 147 rushing yards, and Running Back Steven Fralick gave the Dighton-Rehoboth (DR) Falcons no chance to blow a 28-3 lead as they dominated from the start and won by a score of 20-6. On what was a very wet 2017 home opener for the SB Raiders, was a game which lacked little fan fare.

The 2017 home campaign began at about 7:02 Friday evening with the Raiders receiving the kickoff. The first drive was nothing too special, and very quickly DR gained possession. However, it was apparent from the start that the Raider defense was ready to play. Dighton-Rehoboth seemed to be trying to establish a passing game but the Raiders were having none of it. Led by Luke Faria, Somerset was swallowing up the Falcon’s run game. Somerset’s constant pressure led to a good fourth down stop by the Raiders and what was overall a great start to the game by the defense. The second Raiders drive began with the one-two punch of Fralick and Mike Gagliardi. Gagliardi had a few good runs and Fralick nearly broke one off for a touchdown but was stopped near midfield.

Then Stafford kept the ball on a Quarterback Keeper and took the ball 52 yards for the first home touchdown of the season. After a failed PAT (Point After Touchdown), the Raiders took a 6-0 lead. The Falcons responded poorly to this at first and seemed to lose all momentum after a stuffed run and a poor throw. However, the Raiders let one slip and allowed a huge momentum shift after a great third down throw by the Falcons quarterback. After some good run plays, Dennis Monteiro broke off a very impressive run, which was stopped by Matt Shea. However, this set up DR within the 5 yard line. Moments later, Monteiro punched it in and DR ended the streak of consecutive shutout games by SB. DR squandered their opportunity to take the lead after a bad snap on the PAT went over the holder’s head.

The second quarter saw more great running by Stafford and Gagliardi scored the second Raiders touchdown. The running back system was excellent, proved when Fralick hammered in the two point conversion to make it 14-6 Raiders. The Raiders completely decimated DR’s offense. This is when it seemed like SB had all the momentum and were going to go on autopilot. The next drive saw the story of the night, the great one-two punch at the running back. This led to another touchdown by Fralick. His speed and quick cuts really made a difference in this game. After a failed two point conversion, the Raiders held a 20-6  lead. At the end of the half with DR just near the 50, defensive end Trey DePina broke through and forced a fumble right at the end of the first half.

The second half was not nearly as good for SB, but there was still some great moments. The defense didn’t allow another DR score for the rest of the game. Stafford had a great run capped off with a spin move, which seemed to put some DR defenders on skates. However, the Raiders moved the ball but just couldn’t find the end zone. Towards the end of the game, the Raiders capped off a great defensive outing with two key plays. First was a great interception by Raiders defensive back Jake Rebello. Then as the game was in its closing moments, nose tackle Shane Neto wrapped up DR’s Dillon Monteiro for a big loss. Devon Urena took a knee, and that was it as SB moved to 3-0.

The Raiders are off to a great start this season, but their winning ways have to be put on hold momentarily as they are on a bye week. The Raiders return to action with a very tough match-up on October 6th at 7 P.M. against the Old Rochester Bulldogs. The next home game is October 13 against the Apponequet Lakers.