Saturday, October 15, 2016
By ERIC FORTUNE
The South Range High School football team couldn’t have asked for a better send-off for the Raiders’ last regular-season game at Memorial Field.
Offensive fireworks filled the Raiders’ home since 1955 as junior quarterback Aniello Buzzacco engineered five touchdowns in Friday’s 49-0 rout of Crestview.
Buzzacco’s stat line read 159 yards passing, four touchdowns and 138 yards rushing, one touchown.
“He’s really coming into his own,” South Range head coach Dan Yeagley said. “My goodness, he had forever to throw.
“That hasn’t happened a whole lot this year,” Yeagley said. “Our offensive line did a great job, especially against their defense.
“Their defense is very, very good. Jordan Murphy is a great defensive end. We were able to block him which gave us a lot of time to throw.”
The Raiders will move into a new stadium next year on state Route 46 so they will no longer have to make the trek from their school to their old stomping grounds.
“We have our turf field in,” Yeagley said. “The finances are there to start the stadium project. That’s our goal to get over there.
“There is a lot of tradition here,” Yeagley said. “We’ve played a lot of games here. I’ve played here. I’ve coached here. Some of my staff have played here, but it’s time to love on and start new traditions.”
Still, there is some tradition still to wrap up this season.
The Raiders (7-1, 2-1 Inter-Tri County Red Tier) have been one of the more successful teams in the Mahoning Valley. It showed against the Rebels.
South Range outgained the Crestview 430 to 114 in total yards and time of possession was 35:51 to 12:09.
It took the Raiders just five plays to build a 21-0 lead midway through the opening quarter.
Buzzacco was responsible for two of those touchdowns, finding Ethan Dominguez on 10- and 35-yard touchdown passes.
His 62-yard run to start the game was the start of a spectacular night for the signal caller who took over a couple of weeks ago for Seth Morrow after a shoulder injury.
The longest scoring drive for the Raiders consisted of seven plays when Nathan Daniszewski’s 9-yard run made it 28-0 after one quarter.
The lead grew to 42-0 lat halftime after Buzzaco’s 53-yard pass to Mathias Combs and a 31-yard run.
The Rebels (3-5, 1-2) were without the services of head coach Paul Cusick, who was under the weather.
It was a rough night for Crestview with just 114 total yards of offense with a 2.2 average per running play.
“Our kids played really hard,” Yeagley said. “They really did. I want to wish Coach Cusick a fast recovery.
“The kids played awesome, they really did,” Yeagley said. “We came out and got a couple of quick scores on them. Then we just kept on rolling.
“This was a special night. Whenever you have senior night, the kids are playing for their parents and they are playing for the people in the community. It’s their last home game and our last game here as we plan to move on. Luckily, our kids responded emotionally.”