MENTOR OH- From the start of the playoffs, and possibly before that people had a possible matchup between Kirtland and South Range circled. It finally came to pass on Saturday night and both teams proved why the hype was so great.
The Raiders looked to make a statement on their first possession as they converted a fourth down conversion in their own territory. Later in the drive on a 4th and long the Raiders threw out a fake punt. The spot put them inches short, and gave the Hornets the ball.
Kirtland who is known much more for their physical run game than their air attack saw an opportunity to grab quick momentum and took it with a long touchdown pass on their first play from scrimmage. It would establish a tone that would haunt the Raiders all night.
Kirtland scores again on another big play. And just like that the Raiders were playing from behind. Their offense stabilized things in the first half though, making it a manageable 28-13 halftime Kirtland lead.
Kirtland scores on their first possession of the second half, but then the Raiders answered, got a stop, and scored again to cut the game to a one possession 35-27 game. On Kirtland’s next possession, the Raiders got a big sack that pushed the Hornets to force a 3rd and 12. Kirtland quarterback Liam Powers hit Joey Grazia for maybe the biggest play of the game to convert the 3rd and 12. Kirtland would go on to score, and eat up a lot of clock while they were at it to go up 42-27. Both teams would trade scores to make the final 49-35.
The Raiders scored the most points given up by Kirtland all season. Michael Patrone was electric as always running the ball 14 times for 78 yards and a touchdown. He went 15-22 through the air with 201 yards 3 TD, and 2 INT. Dylan Dominguez finished with 64 yards on 13 carries. Luke Crumbacher had 3 receptions for 61 yards.