Tailback Matt Schlatter scored three times and gained 151 yards.
By JOHN BASSETTI
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
NORTH LIMA -- If you had to pick outstanding plays and players, what and who would they be?
Was it Joey Leson's early touchdown catch?
Was it Leson's fumble recovery that led to a South Range touchdown?
Was it Matt Schlatter's 66-yard TD run and three TDs?
Was it kicker Pat Majernik's touchdown-saving open-field tackle?
Take your pick because they all contributed toward South Range's 35-7 win over McDonald in an Inter-County League opener.
The most satisfying had to be Majernik's one-man stand.
"It was great," Majernik said of the play that he started with his foot and finished with his body.
It occurred right before halftime when the unbeaten Raiders (5-0, 2-0 Inter-County League) were leading, 21-0.
"I saw him drop the ball," the senior said of his kickoff to Dave Dugan at McDonald's 15-yard line. "Then I saw a bunch of our guys flying down there.
"Then they were on the ground and he started coming uphill and we were already three guys short. Usually, when he's running along the sidelines one of our players will push him out of bounds, but nobody did," Majernik said.
Got in position
"Then he [Dugan] started coming toward me. A lot of guys tell you to run into the guy when you're going to tackle him, but I just stood there because I didn't want to get juked out if I was running at full speed.
So I just waited for him and wrapped him up and wasn't going to let go at all. A few times, I've pushed a guy out of bounds, but I never had a full tackle like that. It felt good. It was awesome."
Leson's TD catch came less than five minutes into the game, but his recovery was critical because it most likely kept McDonald out of the end zone late in the first half.
"I saw a bunch of people come in and all I saw was the ball on the ground and I hugged it," Leson, a 6-1, 200 left defensive end, said after Josh Joynes couldn't get a handle on Matt Krumpak's handoff.
South Range marched 90 yards and Kris Davis ran 28 yards to put the Raiders up, 21-0.
"Our line opened holes all night," coach Dan Yeagley said of center Chris Johnson, guards Greg Snyder and Chris Allshouse, tackles Alex Grantz and Mike Geffert and Leson at tight end. "We hoped we could pound up front in the trenches and we did -- on both sides of the ball. There was a lot of smacking going on tonight."
The Raiders are the No. 5 team in this week's Associated Press poll of Ohio's Division V teams and No. 5 in the Region 17 computer playoff ratings. The Blue Devils were No. 4 in Region 21.
McDonald coach Dan Williams agreed that his Blue Devils (4-1, 1-1) weren't the better team Friday, but the separation gap could have been closer.
"He [Joynes] was new at that position and hadn't gotten a lot of reps in practice and that's one of those things with the exchange of a handoff. That's all."
"Other than that fumble, we felt pretty good about moving the ball and getting inside the 10," Williams said of McDonald's penetration before the turnover.
"It was just a missed exchange. But it was a big blow because they went 90 yards and that score before the half took a lot of steam out of us," Williams said. "That was a 14-point turnaround. I thought we played a good game, but we were worried about giving up the big plays and that's what happened."
Range ran 41 plays for 298 yards to McDonald's 26 for 28 yards. Raider quarterback Mike Leskosky completed six of eight passes for 101 yards, while Krumpak hit on 17 of 27 for 137 yards.
Schlatter, the tailback, gained 151 yards on 14 carries while Davis, the fullback, added 67 on 14 attempts. Wingback Tom DeChellis picked up 39 yards on four rushes.
Chris Mark ran three yards for McDonald's six points and Jack Breegle kicked the PAT. Joe Witkoski caught seven of Krumpak's passes for 64 yards.