TWINSBURG, OH- It had been 364 days of tough memories for the Perry Pirates since falling in the Regionals to the eventual Division V State Champion, South Range Raiders. On Friday night, the Pirates earned their revenge with a 32-0 shutout, and eliminated the defending champs to earn a ticket to Week 15.
The Perry offense was impressive and scored early and often to put the Raiders behind the 8-ball right from the onset. Perry established their dominance early in the first quarter when quarterback Walter Moses connected with Brayden Richards for a spectacular 47-yard touchdown reception. The next possession adding to their lead, Moses executed a skillful 1-yard rushing touchdown later in the first quarter, bringing the score to 12-0.
Perry continued their scoring onslaught in the second quarter, with Jayden Studio contributing a 1-yard rushing touchdown. Shortly thereafter, Moses showcased his passing prowess again, finding Luke Sivon for a remarkable 79-yard touchdown reception. The team extended their lead with successful extra points by Altor Ontanon-Lopez.
Not content with their lead, Perry closed out the second quarter with another explosive play, as Jayden Studio sprinted for a 63-yard rushing touchdown, capping off a remarkable scoring drive. Ontanon-Lopez once again delivered a precise extra point, bringing the halftime score to an imposing 32-0 in favor of Perry.
The second half saw no additional scoring, as Perry’s first-half dominance proved insurmountable for South Range.
The Raiders finished with 194 yards of offense which was one of their lowest outputs of the season. The typically stout defense surrendered 474 yards to Perry on what was a continuous clock in the second half. The closest the Raiders would push into Pirate territory came on the first drive of the second half when South Range marched the ball to the 10-yard line only to be intercepted in the endzone while trying to trim the deficit.
Walter Moses completed 6 of 9 passes for 162 yards and had two scores through the air. Jayden Studio ran for 214 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries on the night, the most successful rushing game against South Range in the past 8 seasons, and only the second 100-yard rusher against this defense since South Range joined the NE8 (Antuan Gardner – 2023.)
Junior QB Tristan Toy finished the game 2/9 for 45 yards and an interception, while contributing 50 yards on the ground. Blake Ewert finished his Raider career with a 20-yard effort on five carries, Aidan Dominguez saw 14 carries for 46 yards, and Gaven Nagy had one rush for 27 yards. Brady Crumbacher brought in both targets receiving for 45 yards on the night.
Defensively, Luke Starkey had 10 tackles and led all defenders in that category, while Nagy chipped in 9, and Dylan Smesko had 4 for South Range.
With the loss, South Range finishes at 12-2 on the year and Regional Runner-Up in 2023. The Raiders set to graduate this year have contributed a 50-4 record to the program during their tenure with the only losses suffered being Kirtland, Green, and Perry.