The London Red Raiders football team keeps racking up wins.
Their latest checkmark in the win column was Bexley High School as the Red Raiders dominated the visiting Lions 56-0 Friday to run their record to a perfect 9-0 on the season.
It was the last regular season home game for the London seniors; a group their football coach Kyle Cutler has been around to see blossom throughout their high school careers.
“It’s special to see individuals mature in such a spectacular fashion,” Cutler said of his seniors. “Seeing them have humility as they achieve their goals is heartwarming to see.”
As has been true much of the season, the Red Raiders were led in the scoring category by their one-two punch at running back – KJ Price and Brennan Spiess.
It did not take long for the fleet-footed Price to show his All-State ability as he took a handoff on London’s first offensive play of the evening and galloped 53 yards for the touchdown.
The Lions were over-matched all night. This was demonstrated early and often. Bexley kept it on the ground much of the night and an early defensive play by London showed why that was most prudent.
Under an intense pass rush by Red Raider seniors Nate Wells and Jack Gould, Lions quarterback Carter Brenner fluttered a pass that was picked off by London’s Noah McClintock.
Spiess, lined up at quarterback, would take it into the end zone from two yards out to culminate a drive that started with the bruising senior runner breaking off on a 15-yard jaunt.
It was soon déjà vu all over again as a Bexley turnover resulted in London points.
First senior Bricker Thiel – arguably the Red Raiders premier defensive player the last two years – recovered a fumble. Then it was Spiess again on the converting end with another short scoring run.
It was not soon until London found itself on offense again. While Bexley’s offensive series resulted in punts or turnovers, the Red Raiders’ culminated in touchdowns. This time it was another long run by Price – leaving all pursuers far behind on a 61-yard TD scamper to put the home squad ahead 28-0 before the first quarter was concluded.
It proved to be a long night for the Bexley, and particularly QB Brenner and running back Patrick Beck, who took the lion’s share of the carries on the evening.
The first quarter ended in style for the Red Raiders as Nick Schooley and Joey Dulin combined for a minus-12 yard loss with a quarterback sack of Brenner.
Following a punt, the Red Raiders once again scored quickly as Spiess ended the four-play drive with a touchdown from 14 yards out.
The over-matched Lions punted again, and this time Spiess took a page out of the Price playbook and scampered 53 yards for a score on London’s first play of the drive. It would put an exclamation point on a four TD night for Spiess.
Price would take care of the first half scoring by taking a short trip of 30 yards into the endzone. He had runs of 28 and 10 yards on the drive.
It capped off a 49-0 first half for the Red Raiders – a half in which Bexley would not gain a first down until less than two minutes remained before the break.
With a running clock in the second half, and through a steady rainstorm, London would end the scoring just 38 seconds into the third quarter as freshman Pooka Burns flew in from 50 yards out for the TD to make it 56-0.
London goes for an undefeated regular season and a second straight playoff campaign as they travel to Whitehall-Yearling Friday to face their most difficult challenge of the year. Cutler has been impressed by the LHS students – players, marching band, cheerleaders, student section – but thinks the team success is due to more than that.
“The cool part about this process is that it is the community, the athletic boosters, the music boosters,” Cutler said. “Something special is happening – you can feel it.”