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Second half comeback falls short; Nados lose to SMCA 39-22

They say better late than never, and that was the case Saturday night as the South Montgomery County Academy Raiders rode back into Greenville for a game with Greenville Academy that was postponed last Friday due to the referees pulling a no-show. The Raiders (5-1) dominated the first half of the contest then held off a scrappy Tornados bunch to come away with a 39-22 win behind the strong arm of Raiders' QB Ryne Rials, who was 21-28 for 186 yards and one touchdown. The Raiders also racked up 144 yards on the ground, mostly on the legs of senior tailback Trey Houlton.

"They looked like they were worried about us throwing and that opened up the inside for us," said Raiders head coach Scott Rials. "Greenville has a good ballclub, they're a well coached team."

Tornados head coach Jack Akins saw things a little differently.

"We stunk it up the first half," he said. "We really stunk it up good. I told them at the half to get their heads up and that we didn't play the first half like we were capable. I was real proud of how we came out the second half."

The Raiders struck first when Rials hit Houlton on a 15-yard pass play to take a 6-0 lead. The point after failed.

On the next series the Tornados set up for business on their own 35-yard line and drove it down to the Raiders' 33-yard line, but junior signal caller Andy Beck, who rushed for 86 yards on 10 carries was sacked ending the potential game tying scoring drive.

The Raiders tacked on two more touchdowns before Greenville found pay dirt with Beck scoring from 9-yards out after the Nados kept the drive alive by converting a fourth and inches. Josh Burt swept in around right end for the two-point conversion to make the score 19-8 at the half.

The Raiders rallied in the second half and put two quick TD's on the board before Tornados tailback Randy Faulk, who led Greenville with 127 yards rushing on 17 carries, galloped in for a touchdown from six yards out. The two-point conversion failed putting the Nados down 32-14.

Greenville made a statement on their next series when Beck rolled left on a keeper and bolted down the sidelines for a 72-yard run down to the Raiders' three yard line.

"I told (Akins) that if I pull it, it was there," Beck said. "We ran that play over and over and their cornerback was biting on it every time, so I said lets pull it."

The Tornados tried an onside kick after the score, but SMCA recovered and Houlton scored from 29-yards out to put the game out of reach.

"It was hard to have to play a game like this after last night," said Akins referring to the delay both teams had to endure. "We were ready to play last night."