The Racine Raiders (15-1) claimed the eighth national championship in the 60-year history of the team Saturday night with a 38-24 victory over the Nashville Storm (12-1) in the Semi-Pro BCS national championship game played at Historic Horlick Field in Racine, Wis.
The Storm left a season-high crowd of 3,418 silent after Phelleppe Hall hit Steve Hendricks for an 80-yard touchdown on the first play of the game. David Campbell converted the extra point and the Storm led 7-0 right out of the gate.
The Raiders would answer on their ensuing drive, going 60 yards on 11 plays. Dorian Palmer made a great diving catch of a Craig McClelland pass evening the game at seven midway through the first quarter. It was the 50th touchdown pass of the season for McClelland.
The Raiders forced the Storm to punt on their next drive. The Storm appeared to have the Raiders backed up deep in their own territory following a Torie Ruffin muffed punt. The Storm were flagged for an illegal man downfield and were forced to punt again. This time, the Raiders sent WIll Norwood back to receive the punt but Norwood muffed the punt as well. He was able to recover and returned it 68 yards for a touchdown, giving Racine a 14-7 lead with 3:43 to play in the opening quarter.
The Raiders extended their lead to 21-7 on another diving catch for a touchdown by Palmer, his 20th touchdown catch of the season, with ten minutes to play in the first half.
The Storm struck back on the ensuing drive on a 68-yard slant pass from Hall to Zachary Ducker, cutting the Raiders lead to 21-14 with over seven minutes to play in the half.
J.R. Taylor would extend the Raiders lead back to 14 points on a five-yard touchdown run with 2:44 left to play in the half. Joel DaPra would then boot a 43-yard field goal to give the Raiders a 31-14 lead at the half.
The Raiders started the second half with the ball and marched down the field. Floyd Underwood got his first touchdown of the season on a five-yard run with 13 minutes to play to give the Raiders a commanding 38-14 lead.
The Storm would manage a Cordale Adams touchdown run and Campbell 46-yard field goal to pull with 14. The Raiders then went on a 16 play drive that ate over 12 minutes off the clock in the fourth quarter. The Raiders could only get close enough to try a field goal, but the attempt was blocked by the Storm and initially run back for a touchdown but a block-in-the-back penalty negated the touchdown. The Storm drive would end with Nate Harris picking off Hall at the Raiders 15-yard line to secure the victory.