* CONTRIBUTED BY STEVE HODGE AND TOM OTTO
STRUTHERS, OH – The stage was set for an epic showdown under the Friday night lights as the South Range Raiders faced off against the Struthers Wildcats. The air was filled with anticipation, and fans from both sides filled the stands, eager to witness a thrilling contest.
South Range came out swinging, determined to set the tone. Blake Ewart, the Raiders’ star running back, wasted no time, breaking free for a spectacular 17-yard touchdown run. The extra point was successful, giving South Range an early 7-0 lead.
The Raiders continued their offensive assault. Tristan Toy, their agile quarterback, showcased his speed with a dazzling 37-yard keeper for a touchdown. The extra point was on target once again, extending South Range’s lead to 14-0.
However, the Wildcats were not about to roll over. AC Carter, Struthers’ dynamic playmaker, showed his explosiveness with a 27-yard touchdown run. Unfortunately for Struthers, the PAT was missed, leaving the score at 14-6.
Struthers quickly turned the tide in their favor when Jason Dukes exploded with a 42-yard touchdown run. The Wildcats converted a crucial two-point conversion, knotting the score at 14-14.
South Range answered back with another impressive drive. Blake Ewart displayed his determination with a gritty 9-yard touchdown run. Unfortunately, the Raiders couldn’t convert the extra point, but they held a 20-14 lead.
The Wildcats were relentless. Devin Braham powered his way into the end zone with a 1-yard touchdown run, narrowing the gap to 20-27 in favor of South Range.
As the game moved into the second half, South Range added to their lead with a well-executed field goal, putting them ahead 30-20.
Struthers refused to back down. AC Carter, the heart of the Wildcats’ offense, exploded for a 19-yard touchdown run. The successful PAT brought Struthers within three points, with the score at 30-27.
In a nail-biting turn of events, AC Carter struck again with a 9-yard touchdown run, giving Struthers a 33-30 lead. However, they couldn’t convert the PAT, leaving the door open for South Range.
With the game on the line and time running out, South Range engineered a heroic drive. Aidan Dominguez, displaying his determination and strength, pounded his way into the end zone with a 3-yard touchdown run. The extra point was good, and the Raiders regained the lead, now up 37-33.
As the final minutes of the game ticked away, Struthers fought valiantly to regain control, but the South Range Raiders’ defense held strong. The final whistle blew, and South Range emerged victorious in a hard-fought battle, winning 37-33.
The game had been a rollercoaster of emotions, filled with incredible plays and remarkable determination on both sides. The South Range Raiders and Struthers Wildcats had given their all, providing fans with a football spectacle they would remember for years to come.