The Hastings Raiders football team hoped to get back on track when they traveled to Tartan to take on the Titans Friday night, Sept. 20. The Raiders were coming off a tough 10-7 loss to South St. Paul and Tartan was the first of a difficult two-game road trip with Hastings going to St. Thomas Academy on Sept. 27. However, it was not to be as they fell behind 24-7 and eventually lost 24-17 after a fourth-quarter comeback.

Tartan scored twice in the first five minutes of the first quarter, both touchdown passes from Brandon Lockhart to Dorian Singer for 16 and 23 yards. With 7 minutes, 47 seconds left in the first quarter, Hastings trailed 14-0, the most points given up by the Raider defense all season.

The Raiders responded early on in the second quarter when senior quarterback Dylan Wagner hit senior wide receiver Joe Nauer for a 64-yard touchdown. Add on the extra point by senior C.J. Brenny and Hastings cut the Titan lead to 14-7 with 11:23 left in the first half. However, Tartan was able to convert on a 41-yard field goal with 3:38 left in the second quarter and the Titans led 17-7 at halftime.

Tartan expanded that lead to 24-7 after Tien Dang busted an 80-yard touchdown run just 16 seconds into the third quarter. The score remained 24-7 when the fourth quarter started but Hastings scored on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Wagner to senior wide receiver Jackson Kirchoff to make it 24-14 with 11:05 remaining in the game. The Raiders made it a one-score game a couple minutes later when Brenny nailed a 33-yard field goal with 6:53 left. However, Hastings was unable to complete the comeback and 24-17 was the final.

Senior wide receiver Jackson Kirchoff led all Raider receivers in the loss at Tartan with eight receptions for 56 yards and a touchdown.  Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia
Senior wide receiver Jackson Kirchoff led all Raider receivers in the loss at Tartan with eight receptions for 56 yards and a touchdown. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia

Despite falling behind quickly, Hastings remained well balanced on offense as they ran for 139 yards and threw for 150. Wagner had his best passing game to date, completing 13-for-26 passes for 150 yards and a touchdown. Nauer had the lone touchdown, his only reception for the game. Kirchoff led all receivers with eight receptions for 56 yards, while senior Will Johnson had two catches for 20 yards.

The 24 points allowed to the Titans is a season-high for the Hastings defense, plus they allowed 189 rushing yards and 102 passing yards. However, the Raiders continued to force turnovers as they added three forced fumbles and recoveries to their tally, two from senior defensive back Danny Brown and another from senior Izzy Arnold.

Hastings is now 2-2 overall on the season and is still 2-0 in the Suburban Maroon sub-district. They face another tough test ast they travel to St. Thomas Academy on Friday, Sept. 27. The Cadets beat Apple Valley 28-0 on Friday and are undefeated at 4-0. They have outscored their opponents 155-6 through those four games.