Rider’s punt return for touchdown leads Pacers to 33-32 win over Edinburgh

The Switzerland County Pacer football team made the long trek to Edinburgh last Friday night to play the role of Homecoming opponent for the Lancers, but Coach Ryan Jesop’s squad also took on the roll of spoiler, as Switzerland County rode out of two with a 33-32 victory over their hosts.

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The Switzerland County Pacer football team made the long trek to Edinburgh last Friday night to play the role of Homecoming opponent for the Lancers, but Coach Ryan Jesop’s squad also took on the roll of spoiler, as Switzerland County rode out of two with a 33-32 victory over their hosts.
The win raised Switzerland County’s record to 2-2 overall heading into tomorrow (Friday) night’s matchup with Oldenburg Academy — which will be the Pacers’ Homecoming game.
The Lancers got out to a quick start, capping a 39-yard touchdown run and the following two-point conversion to take an early 8-0 lead.
Switzerland County bounced right back, getting a three-yard run from Tre Batchelor in the opening quarter, but the two-point attempt failed, leaving the Pacers still down by two, 8-6, at the end of the first quarter.
The Pacers then took over in the second quarter, as quarterback Damion Courter connected with receiver Dathan Brown on an 11-yard touchdown pass; and when Sam White drilled the extra point, Switzerland County held a 13-8 lead.
The scoring continued for Switzerland County minutes later, as Courter connected with receiver Cade Rider for a 49-yard strike. Again White nailed the extra point, and the Pacers were in control by a score of 20-8.
Edinburgh was finished, however, as the Lancers got a 39-yard touchdown pass of their own (PAT failed) and then intercepted Courter and ran that back for a touchdown. This time the two-point conversion failed for the Lancers, and the teams headed into the halftime break knotted at 20-20.
Edinburgh had the lone score of the third period on a one-yard touchdown run; but that only set the stage for an exciting final quarter.
Down 26-20, Pacer Dominic Klem pounded through from four yards out, and that tied the game at 26-26 after Switzerland County couldn’t convert on a two-point attempt.
The Lancers had the ball but the Pacer defense was strong, and when Edinburgh was forced to punt, a major moment in the game flashed with Rider took the Edinburgh punt and raced 34 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. White was true on the point after, and Switzerland County held a 33-26 lead.
Again Edinburgh battled back, scoring on a two-yard touchdown run — but the point after kick attempt was no good, leaving Switzerland County with a one-point lead, 33-32, and that stood up for the final margin of victory.
“The boys played well on special teams, offense and defense, but also melted down in all three as well, which kept Edinburgh in the game throughout,” Coach Jesop said after the game. “The big punt return for a touchdown by Rider and some clutch kicking by White helped keep the boys spirits up and secured the victory.”
Courter was just 3-for-8 passing on the night for 49 yards, but two of those completions went for touchdowns. He also threw an interception.

Rider was on the receiving end of two of those targets, and the senior managed 77 yards along with his touchdown; and Brown’s 11 yard touchdown catch also played a big role.
On the ground, running backs Dez Lange and Klem each posted 50-yard nights; with Lange tallying his on just six attempts, including an 18-yard scamper. Klem had 12 carries on the night, including one that ended in the end zone, and he also had two kickoff returns — one going for 35 yards; while Batchelor had seven carries for 37 yards and a touchdown.
The defense continued to play well, with Zach Howlett recording four tackles and one tackle assist; while Eddie McCarty also had four tackles, and picked off the Edinburgh quarterback for an interception.
Klem had three tackles in the night while playing on the defensive side of the ball; and Hunter Records had three solo tackles and two assists. Rider had three solo tackles and an assist; Brown had three tackles and two assists; as did Harrison Griffis. Lange had two tackles; Logan Skaggs had a tackle and an assist; and Zach Weaver had a big game defensively, recording a tackle, two tackle assists and he recovered two fumbles. Nathan Edwards and Lucas Hutchinson each assisted on two tackles in the contest.
The Pacers now set their sights on winning their second straight conference game, with Oldenburg visiting tomorrow. The Twisters currently hold a record of 2-2, having defeated Edinburgh (40-22) and also Rock Creek Academy (28-13); and suffered losses to Covenant Christian (55-6) and Indianapolis Lutheran (47-22).
The Twisters are averaging 24 points per game; while allowing 34.3 points per game.
Switzerland County is averaging 13.8 points per game offensively; while allowing an average of 24.3 points per contest.