Atlantic allowed 28 unanswered points after taking a 24-17 lead.
Before Thursday’s preseason game against Crescent City, four Atlantic players got down on their knees and crawled while a teammate was keeping them up.
“I got your back!” the team screamed. “I got your back!”
Two of those players were defensive back Guyvin Williams and safety Darren Zellner.
“It’s something we do to hype up the team and get us going,” Zellner said. “It’s to get us to play harder. We’re going to get better every week and we’re going to get at least six wins this year.”
Zellner and Williams started the night on a high note as they combined to force and recover a fumble on the first defensive play of the game for the Sharks.
Zellner finished with an interception and a forced fumble, while Williams had a fumble recovery and returned an interception for a touchdown. Atlantic forced six turnovers.
After Williams’ pick-six, the Sharks held a 24-17 lead. From there, it dissipated fast. The Raiders scored 28 unanswered points in the third quarter to take a commanding lead and held on for the 45-32 win.
Sharks signal caller Rio Goodwin looked the part on Thursday. With good size and athleticism, he was able to make plays with both his feet and his arm. He threw for 135 yards and two touchdowns on the night.
"We’re going to get better every week and we’re going to get at least six wins this year.”
Darren Zellner, Atlantic safety
Both touchdowns were thrown to wide receiver Zamari Davis. First-year head coach Kendall Bradley is looking for big production this season from his standout sophomore.
“That dude is going to catch a lot of touchdowns at Atlantic,” head coach Kendall Bradley said. “He is probably our best football player and most competitive dude, and he’s never wrong. There are times when he has to make a read or make an adjustment and he always does. I love that dude.”
It is only the preseason, so this game didn't count toward the team's record, and it was the first time that some of Atlantic’s players had played football since Pop Warner.
“Both sides of the ball had a lot of improvement. We have very, very, very far to go when it comes to scheme, finish a play, maintain their toughness and things like that. We’ll improve greatly week-to-week. Every single week we’ll be better," head coach Kendall Bradley said."
The results may take time, but one thing is for sure: they’ll have each other’s backs.
Atlantic opens its season on Aug. 25 at Lyman.