The Blue Raiders struck first but could only watch as the Hurricanes blew through with three second quarter touchdowns. East Hamilton tacked on three more TDs in the second half to win going away by a score of 49-7.
Michael May and B.J. Thompson provided the only points for the Raiders (0-3) on a 17-yard pitch and catch midway through the first quarter.
“We’re still trying to learn what it means to compete at this level,” Cleveland coach Brad Benefield said. “We have a lot of really good kids who are competitors. We have some kids who are stepping up that haven’t played since rec league. We are still learning.”
Cleveland wasted a golden opportunity after the opening kickoff of the second half. The Raiders marched 59 yards before walking away empty handed on a series of miscues by both teams.
Looking at second-and-goal from the 5-yard line, a Raiders’ pass was intercepted by East Hamilton. The Hurricanes gave the ball back to Cleveland on the 11 with a fumble on the return. The Raiders promptly gave the ball back to East Hamilton on another interception two plays later to end the last scoring chance for the Raiders.
“We compete for a half and then people start to wear on us a little bit. All those things sound like excuses, but the fact is we are simply going to have to get back to work and keep working. We’ve got another half of the season to get better and we are going to try to get better,” said Benefield. “There are big things that go wrong, there are little things that go wrong. We are going to try and shore all that up and fix it.”
The Raiders have the weekend off before beginning a brutal stretch of three games in seven days starting Monday at Boyd-Buchanan.