The award-winning Shaker Heights High School student news organization

The Shakerite

The award-winning Shaker Heights High School student news organization

The Shakerite

The award-winning Shaker Heights High School student news organization

The Shakerite

A Success, No Matter The Outcome

At 7-1, Raider football is playoff bound but must tackle 2 tough opponents first
Alyson Garfield
Center Brent Draper is set to snap the ball. The Raiders face two teams that will challenge their 7-1 record in the next week.

The football team will conclude the regular season by facing both challenges and opportunities. 

The 7-1 Raiders will take on Medina away tonight and Cleveland Heights next Friday at home. Medina ranks 57th in Ohio and Cleveland Heights ranks 28th, according to Maxpreps. Shaker ranks 106th. 

No matter the results of the final two games, Shaker has already clinched a Division II playoff spot. However, the outcomes will determine Shaker’s playoff seeding.

The last meeting between Shaker and Medina took place Oct. 29, 2021, resulting in a 54-0 win for the Bees. Shaker faced Cleveland Heights last year, falling to the Tigers 70-6 to conclude a 3-7 season.

Head Football Coach Alex Nicholson said the team should not focus on those tough losses, but reflect on them. “We focus on us and what we can do to win a football game and get better,” he said.

One focus has been turnovers, which played a prominent role in the Raiders’ last two games.  

Shaker faced Mentor on the road in Week 7, losing 44-29. Turnovers on special teams proved costly; two of the three turnovers were fumbled kick returns. Nicholson said that special teams mistakes have been addressed in practice.

The Raiders won their homecoming game versus Strongsville, 23-7 Oct. 6. Turnovers were once again a concern, however, with quarterback Abdullah Ahmad throwing two interceptions.

Mentor did not turn the ball over against Shaker while Strongsville matched Shaker’s three. Senior starting linebacker Digamo Richards said the Shaker defense must continue forcing turnovers. “It’s a big mindset, to try and punch the ball out, to try to get an interception, to try and get a win,” he said.

Nicholson said that there is no such thing as a perfect football game and mistakes will happen. “We’re always going to make mistakes. It’s about how you recover from them,” he said. “We’re going to make mistakes, they’re going to make mistakes.”

Two interceptions helped Shaker defeat Strongsville last week, one by sophomore defensive back Kevin Lowery and one by Richards. 

Richards said that such plays can help the momentum of the team. “They depend on me to go make a play,” he said. “They’re making bets on me making plays. I always have to go out there and try my hardest for them.”

Richards said that after studying Medina, he sees opportunities to affect the game. He said, “They pass it 83 percent of the time, so it’s really our chance to go make interceptions this week.”

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