BURTON, OH- “To get to the state final game, you have to beat good teams,” said Dan Yeagley.
And beating good teams is exactly what South Range has done all season, and repeated that recipe last night in an explosive 49-21 victory over Perry on Friday night to claim the Division V Region 17 Crown.
The temperatures were a bit frigid, and like some of the cars starting up to make the hour-long drive to Berkshire High School, the offenses didn’t start up when the key was turned. The Raiders cracked the goose egg just before the first quarter ended with a 3-yard score from Blake Ewert to make it 7-0. On the next possession, Ewert would find paydirt from 30 yards away to put the Raiders up 14-0. South Range would keep on rocking in the second quarter when Billy Skripac would push his way across the goal line and put South Range up 21-0 going into the half.
Perry had some confidence coming out of the locker room because the talented Brayden Richards helped the Pirates march downfield and get on the board from 6 yards away with a rushing touchdown, and hoping to give Perry some momentum.
That momentum was short-lived as Blake Ewert would roll over a defender and stay off of the turf and on his feet to sprint away from the defenders for a 65-yard score to put the Raiders back up three scores at 28-7.
On the next possession, South Range would look into their stable of backs to find sophomore, Aidan Dominguez who plowed his way behind the offensive line from 23 yards out to make the score 35-7.
Logan Butcher would then bounce a kick off an up-man for Perry with the Raiders falling on the football, and moments later Skripac would connect with JD Crouse on a crossing route that would result in a 43-yard strike and start the mercy clock with the score being 42-7 with 2:53 left in the third quarter.
That running clock would be short-lived as Perry would not give up, Walter Moses would help lead a drive that culminated with a 7-yard TD pass to Owen McKoon to shorten the distance to 42-14.
South Range would lock things down with six and a half minutes remaining when Aidan Dominguez would bully his way off of tackles into the endzone from 13 yards out. Perry would add one more score at the 2:36 mark to finalize the scoring at 49-21.
South Range’s offense sprouted 377 yards from scrimmage, while the Raider defense only gave up 147. The Raiders averaged 7.5 yards per play on the night and paced the first downs as well at a 22-12 clip. The only stat the Raiders didn’t care to be on the short side of was penalties as South Range was nailed 6 times for 65 yards and had a pair of scores called back via holding calls.
Skripac would only put the ball in the air 7 times on the night, completing 4 of those for 80 yards and a score. The majority of the damage would come from the running game, as Skripac would carry the ball 8 times for 29 yards. The E-Train, Blake Ewert chugged his way along the track for 169 yards on 16 carries and 3 scores. Aidan Dominguez averaged 6 yards a touch with 82 yards and 2 scores on 14 carries. Jake Starkey would haul the rock for 22 yards on four totes.
JD Crouse led the receivers with 43 yards in his lone catch, Shane Lindstrom would have a grab for 31 yards, and Tyler Remish would have a 9-yard completion as well.
Remish would lead the way on defense with 7 tackles including a sack and 6 solos. Nick Plunkett controlled the defensive backfield with 4 takedowns of his own, and Jake Starkey held down the middle with 3.5 tackles.
Walter Moses was bottled up most of the night through the air, completing 5 of 9 passes for 66 yards and a score, but threw 2 picks.
Brayden Richards was impressive on the ground from all over the field, he carried the ball 19 times for 91 yards and a score. Jaden Hacking had a carry for 12 yards, and Jayden Studio had 2 carries and a score. Owen McKoon was all over the yard and stopped the Raiders on 9.5 occasions that included 7 solos, and 5 assists. Brayden Richards also had 9.5 stops for the Pirates on defense.
South Range will continue their unblemished season in Clyde, Ohio next week as they will play Liberty Center- who defeated Elmwood 49-38 on Friday night.
YSN will have the audio broadcast of the State Semi-Finals on November 25th at no cost, coverage will begin at approximately 6:55 that evening.