By Jim Flick
Senior quarterback Ross Stoffer threw four touchdown passes to lead the South Range football team to a 56-20 win over Mineral Ridge on Friday.
The win was also a benchmark for Raiders coach Dan Yeagley. It was his 150th win.
Stoffer scored the game’s first touchdown on a 10-yard run. He then threw three touchdown passes before halftime and a fourth in the third quarter.
The Raiders’ Robert Seman, a senior, caught a Stoffer pass and scored on 19-yard play in the first quarter. In the second quarter, Stoffer threw two more touchdown passes. Junior Bill Goodall scored on a 14-yard pass play, and senior Jake Arsufff scored on a 42-yard pass play.
Seman and Stoffer connected for a 16-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter to give the Raiders (5-2) a 35-0 lead.
The Rams (3-4) scored three touchdowns in the second half to narrow the gap.
Stoffer completed eight of 11 passes for 179 yards, and ran the ball seven times for 38 yards.
“It feels great knowing you have linemen that are going to give you some time and receivers that are going to catch the ball,” Stoffer said. “That’s the best feeling in the world, when you have confidence in your guys.
“Our receivers were just making smart plays on the ball,” Stoffer added. “Getting into open holes and finding the open space.
“With linemen giving me time to see and evaluate the field, that’s all I can ask for them to do.”
“I couldn’t ask for a better group of kids,” said senior lineman Tyler Bradley, one of the team’s captains. “Every week I ask them to step it up, and every week they keep doing better and better.”
Yeagley was modest about his benchmark victory.
“This was a big game for us, and they probably played the best they had all year,” he said. “They bonded so much in the last couple weeks.”
The Rams scored their first points of the night on Casey Porter’s 19-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
After Goodall scored for the Raiders on a 36-yard run, Mineral Ridge junior Devine Redding scored on a nine-yard run.
Redding was the Rams’ offensive leader, gaining 70 yards on 10 carries and catching two passes for three yards.
Corey Deal scooped up a fumble and ran 33 yards to score another touchdown for the Raiders.
Freshman Nick Stanton scored South Range’s final touchdown on a six-yard run.
When the Raiders kicked off after Stanton’s score, sophomore Sam Kooyman scored the game’s final touchdown on a 75-yard kickoff return.