NEW-LOOK RAIDERS WIN SEASON OPENER, 54-6 OVER RAVENS
OREGON CITY - The Portland Raiders semi-pro football team opened their season Saturday at Pioneer Stadium with a 54-6 victory over the Renton Ravens in a non-league game.
The Raiders, who play in the Pacific Football League, got six touchdown pass from former Oregon City High School quarterback Russell Schneider (Class of 2001).
Schneider, who also played at Portland State, completed 23-of-43 passes for 377 yards with one interception.
Three of his touchdown passes went to wide receiver Zack McGinnis (Oregon, Roseburg H.S), who caught seven passes for 125 yards.
"We were a bit rusty but we managed to get our offense going pretty well,” Schneider said. “It’s a thrill to once again be playing at Pioneer Stadium. We’re hoping the community will embrace the team and come watch us during the spring and summer.”
The Raiders’ defense dominated the Ravens, of the Western Washington Football Alliance, forcing four turnovers and recording three sacks.
Linebacker D.J. Robinson (PSU, Willamette H.S.) had an interception return of 17 yards to set up an eight-yard touchdown pass from Schneider to wide receiver Nick Bodeman (OSU, Wilson H.S.) to make the score 30-0 before the half.
The only negative for the Raiders on the night were the 100 yards in penalties.
“It was a great start to the season," Raiders head coach Aaron Fentress said. "Of course, we were sloppy and we must cleanup the senseless penalties. But all-told, can't complain about a win over a quality team like the Ravens in our first game at a new stadium."
The Raiders nucleus, which includes Fentress and Schneider, is made up of many of the players who led the Portland Monarchs to four Northwest championships from 2008-2012.
That group has taken over the Raiders organization and moved it to Oregon City.
The Raiders, established in 2001, are the longest operating semi-pro football team in Oregon and the PFL. But they have never won a championship.
“We’re trying to change that this season,” Fentress said. “We have loads of ex-college talent and guys who are used to winning. Hopefully tonight will be the firs step toward that goal."
The Raiders were 2-8 last season while scoring just 97 points all year. Saturday's 54 points were the most by a Raiders team since 2005 when the team scored 55 and 60 in respective games. That season also marked the last time the Raiders won by 48 points or more. Portland defeated Renton 48-0 during the 2005 season.
The Raiders next home game is April 26 against the South Lane Buzzards at 6 p.m. at Pioneer Stadium.
Tickets are $10 for adults and children over 12. Children 12 and under enter for free.