Hastings’ offense looked the best it has all season and the defense forced two turnovers in the rain and mud to defeat Tartan 27-14 Friday, Oct. 6, during homecoming. The Raiders’ power running game proved invaluable in the slippery muck and they thoroughly dominated the line of scrimmage the entire game. With the win, Hastings is now 2-4 overall and 1-2 in the Suburban Maroon sub-district.

Tartan took a quick 7-0 lead not even three minutes into the game when running back Trae Martin scored on a 43-yard touchdown run. After each team turned the ball over (the Raiders’’ senior Noah Bzoskie recovering a fumble but then Hastings’ senior quarterback Trey Rogers was intercepted in the red zone) Hastings scored on a 39-yard touchdown run by junior running back Corbin Leflay. The game was tied 7-7 at the end of the first quarter.

After forcing a Tartan punt with eight minutes and 16 seconds left in the first half, the Raiders marched 79 yards on a drive that lasted almost seven minutes and was capped by a four-yard touchdown run by Leflay. During the drive, the Raiders’ passing game really started to click, which helped loosen up the Tartan defense and made their running game even more effective. Hastings led 14-7 going into halftime.

While the field was pretty wet, it only lightly rained during the first half. The second half was a different story entirely. It rained steadily the entire second half and at times downpoured, which turned the football field into a sloppy mess. With the treacherous footing, the Raiders’ power running game really took off thanks to their experienced offensive line and the tough running of Rogers, Leflay and junior running back Alex O’Connor.

Both teams traded punts to start the second half and then senior Jacob Peine set Hastings up at the Tartan 36 yard line after a great punt return. Hastings then converted on an O’Connor 13-yard touchdown run and it was 21-7 with 3:57 left in the third quarter.

Later in the fourth quarter, Hastings pinned Tartan inside their own five yard line and then recovered a Titan fumble just outside the goal line. Rogers then ran it in from one yard out and the Raiders led 27-7 after a botched extra point attempt with 4:08 left in the game.

Tartan managed to get one more touchdown but could not mount a comeback and Hastings won 27-14.

The Raiders travel to Apple Valley next Friday, Oct. 13, and then end the regular season at home against South St. Paul on Wednesday, Oct. 18.