First week doesn't go as planned for Raiders football

There's an old lament that goes something like, “If it weren't for bad luck, we'd have no luck at all." That pretty much sums up how things went for the Roseville Area High School football team in the first week of the regular season.

The Raiders received very little good fortune in the week leading up to opening day or during the actual game. Stillwater visited Roseville Stadium on Friday and went home with a 20-0 victory.

Roseville played the game without its expected starting quarterback, who is out for the season with a knee injury, and lost a pair of starters to injury during the course of the game.

"I don't know if we're paying for all the good things that happened last year," said Roseville head coach Chris Simdorn. "It is what it is and you have to go to the next guy."

A year ago, the Raiders rode a quarterback/wide receiver tandem all the way to the state semifinals, a spot no previous Roseville team had reached. The quarterback, Jacques Perra, is no longer with the team, but the wide receiver, Jesper Horsted, is. However, even he got dinged up in game one.

Horsted suffered a foot injury in the first half. He returned to action, but clearly wasn’t 100 percent.

Also suffering injuries on Friday were starting running back Tommy Arcand and defensive lineman Donivin Turner. Arcand dislocated an elbow and might be lost for the season while Turner went down on a play in the first half and didn't return.

All of that was on top of the loss of senior quarterback Jake McKenzie, who Simdorn said was No. 1 on the depth chart when he got hurt. McKenzie tore an anterior cruciate ligament in his knee during a scrimmage on Aug. 23.

"You feel sad for the team, yes," Simdorn said. "But that young man, who's waited his turn and had a nice offseason, to hurt his knee, it's heartbreaking."

Replacing McKenzie under center was junior Henry Bensen, who completed the first 10 passes he threw and finished 17 of 24 for 175 yards with one interception. Not a bad first-game performance, but unfortunately for Roseville it didn’t result in any points.

Overall, Roseville had too many errors.

"You could tell that we started a number of guys that this was their first Friday night under the lights," Simdorn said. "Too many mistakes."

Next up for the Raiders is their second consecutive home game on Friday when Woodbury pays a visit. The Royals opened the season last week with a 36-7 loss to Mounds View. Both Roseville and Woodbury will be desperately fighting to avoid falling to 0-2.

Brian Meyers can be reached at

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