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September 28, 2013

Raiders pull out 3 OT win - first in 24 years

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The last time Rickards beat Lincoln on the football field, gas was roughly $1.12 a gallon, Michael Jordan couldn't beat the Detroit Pistons, and George Bush was President.

George H.W. Bush, that is. That's right; it's been 24 years since the Raiders beat the Trojans. 24 long years.

Enter Friday night at Gene Cox Stadium. Nearly a decade and a half's worth of tough losses were quickly forgotten when Rickards erased a 15 point second half deficit for a dramatic come from behind 43-42 victory over rival Lincoln.

After limping off the field on the final play of the 3rd quarter with bad cramps in both legs, Raiders quarterback Charlie Kelly's return appeared to be questionable. However, in Kelly's mind, there was never any doubt at all. "I knew I had to push through it and get back into the game. There was no way we were going to lose this one."

Leading 22-14 with less than 2 minutes left in the 4th quarter, Lincoln lined up for what would have been a game clinching field goal. Instead, the kick was blocked and the Raider offense was afforded one last opportunity to tie the game.

That's when destiny, fate, and Kelly simply took over.

On the ensuing drive, during what could only be described as a "Houdini" like effort, Kelly was able to avoid a plethora of would be tacklers nearly 15 yards behind the line of scrimmage, and ended up scrambling his way inside the Trojan's 30 yard line.

On the very next play, he found Kalin Riles in the corner of the end zone to pull the Raiders to within 2. Following Kelly's successful run in on the 2-point conversion attempt, the game headed to OT.

Lincoln quarterback Darius Harvey struck first in the extra period from a yard out to give his team a 29-22 lead. Rickards was then able to draw even on their offensive possession as Kelly once again hooked up with Riles for a touchdown to force Double OT.

In the second overtime period, Malcom Penny put the Raiders ahead 35-29 with his second touchdown run of the evening. However, after a missed extra point, the Trojan offense took over with a chance to win the game.

Harvey again worked his way into the end zone with his legs to tie things up at 35. Unfortunately for Lincoln, they too missed their PAT, forcing the game into triple overtime.

After Travis Hearns plowed his way into the end zone on the first play of the 3rd OT, Lincoln added the extra point to go up 42-35. Rickards then responded with another Malcom Penny touchdown. However, instead of kicking the extra point that would have sent the game into its 4th overtime, the Raiders opted to go for the win.

Right on cue, Kelly came through once again to give his school their first win over Lincoln since 1989.

"I call him Mr. Excitement," said Raiders head coach Quintin Lewis of his star quarterback after the game. "That was just Charlie just being Charlie. That's why he's one of the very best players in this city."

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