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First-quarter explosion propels South Range past Crestview, 56-0



Published: Sat, September 1, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The Raiders scored 28 first-period points en route to the win.

By JOHN BUTERA

VINDICATOR CORRESPONDENT

COLUMBIANA -- If the rain and lightning didn't cause enough of an explosion Friday night, the South Range High football team made up the difference.

Using a first quarter in which it scored four touchdowns in 2 minutes, 49 seconds, South Range built a 28-0 lead going into the second period, then coasted to a 56-0 victory over Crestview.

South Range improved its record to 2-0 and avenged one of only two 2000 regular-season losses. The Rebels' record is now 1-1.

"It was Murphy's Law," Crestview coach Paul Cusick said. "They have a great football team, but we aren't that bad."

Early and often: Wasting little time, the Raiders' Ryan Maxwell returned the opening kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown. Then, after a fumble recovery by Jason King, the South Range offense took the field for the first time and began a 52-yard, four-play scoring drive that lasted 56 seconds.

Jim Sanders' 35-yard run capped the drive on a play in which he shook off tacklers at the line, spun to his right and was off down the right sideline for the touchdown.

Crestview's next possession resulted in a blocked punt by the Raiders' King, who watched as teammate Justin Corbun fell on the ball in the end zone for a touchdown.

South Range's next kickoff proved to be one of the longest onside kickoffs ever as the Raiders' Brian Novak recovered on the Rebels' 32. Seconds later, Jeff Johnston dashed 17 yards to complete the first-quarter scoring.

"All of our special teams were really important for us tonight," South Range coach Dan Yeagley said. "The kickoff, the blocked punt. They really came out and played. As a result, we had good field position in the first half and things just fell our way."

Strong second: Brad Johnson's short score on the Raiders' second possession of the second period made the count 35-0.

Moments later, King continued his outstanding performance by picking off a pass and returning it 65 yards to become the seventh Raider to score a touchdown in the game's first 15:05.

"I thought it was going to be a tough game, but we came out strong and we had revenge on our mind," King said.

By the end of the first quarter, South Range was enjoying a 122-28 advantage in total yards.

"There are times when you are not going to have your best game," Cusick said. "It's going to be interesting to see how we react from here."




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