CANFIELD OH- The Raiders and Rebels are two programs that know each other all too well. With a matchup history that dates back to 1969, this one may have been the biggest one yet. A spot in the regional final on the line, it promised to be a massive battle. The fans got exactly what they anticipated, a hard fought game. The Raiders ran away from the Rebels in the second half and came out with a 45-29 victory.
The two teams traded a couple of three and outs to begin the game, and it was looking like it might be a defensive grudge match. However the playmakers on both sides weren’t having it. MIchael Patrone led the Raiders down the field on their third possession, and then punched it in himself from a yard out to get his team on the board first. When the Raiders got the ball back, Patrone broke loose for a 76 yard touchdown sprint.
The Rebels would answer with a 69 yard pass touchdown from Anthony Cusick to William Hardenbrook, and the two team race was on. The two teams went back and forth for the rest of the half, and a big defensive stop before halftime by the Raiders may have been the turning point. If the Rebels would have been able to punch in a touchdown and go up one, they would have gotten the ball to start the second half with a ton of momentum.
Patrone finished with 410 total yards from scrimmage. He ran for 259, and picked up 151 yards through the air. The Raiders offense gained 573 total yards.
Hardenbrook broke the century mark on the ground for the Rebels with 124 yards.
The Raiders now advance to their biggest test yet as they’ll face Kirtland for the fourth time in the playoffs. The Hornets have a 2-1 edge in the series. That game will be played at Mentor High School.
Crestview will square up with Brookfield to determine a MVAC Gray Tier Champion.