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The Cedar Ridge offense lines up against the Leander Lions on September 21st, 2018. The Raiders won 63-21.

The Cedar Ridge offense lines up against the Leander Lions on September 21st, 2018. The Raiders won 63-21.

Thomas L. Shands

Thomas L. Shands

The Cedar Ridge offense lines up against the Leander Lions on September 21st, 2018. The Raiders won 63-21.

Luke White, Sports Editor

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The 2018 football season is in full swing for the Raiders, who are returning from a 13-2 record and a trip to the state semifinals in 2017.

The team began the season with a 25-45 loss to the Temple Wildcats, but bounced back with a 34-28 win against the Cedar Park Timberwolves, one of the best 5A teams in the state. On September 14th, the Raiders suffered a 14-17 overtime loss to the Vandegrift Vipers. The team bounced back on September 21st with a 63-21 win against Leander in the Homecoming game.

After going 9-1 in the 2017 regular season, the Raiders played their way to the 5th round of the playoffs, where they faced football powerhouse Allen High School. The Raiders suffered a disappointing 7-28 loss at McLane Stadium in Waco.

The team has only five returning starters on offense and one returning starter on defense. Nevertheless, the team has high hopes for this season.

“We want to get better every week,” Head Coach Sam Robinson said. “We want to make the playoffs, that’s our first and foremost goal. We want to be district champs and make a deep playoff run like last year.”

Despite last year’s successful season, the players know there is still room for improvement.

“We need to get that one game that we deserved, get that state championship game. Everyone knows that,” wide receiver Jaylen Ellis (12) said. “If we get to the level that we had last year, I feel like we can do it.” Ellis, a Baylor commit, returns from a season in which he tallied 1,248 yards on 56 receptions.

Coming off a season in which they averaged 41.2 points per game, the team looks to carry this trend into the 2018 season, where they are led by quarterback Jalen Brown (11) and running back Deuce Vaughn (11).

“We want to build off what we did last year when we made it to the fifth round,” Brown said. “Hopefully we can get past all the downs we had already and make it to state this year.”

Undeterred by only having one returning starter on defense in Edge Williams (12), the Raider defense, led by Dillard-Williams and Akil Chavies (12) is ready to rattle opposing offenses a season after allowing only 18.2 points per game in 2017.

“Our goals are to come out of each game with a win, make sure we don’t have any ‘bonehead’ plays, and get no stupid penalties,” Chavies said.

The Raiders have put in countless hours and hard work towards their sport. Simply put, Cedar Ridge football is ready to dominate this season.

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