Raiders start slow, but exorcise Devils
By ERIC FORTUNE
Two weeks into the season, neither South Range nor Western Reserve has played a complete game.
But the Raiders are 2-0 despite falling behind McDonald last week and Western Reserve on Friday night.
The Blue Devils, meanwhile, are winless after starting fast and fading against Columbiana and South Range.
The Raiders used a 21-point second quarter to overcome a slow start and beat Western Reserve 42-22 on Friday night.
“We talked about that—– how we have to play 48 minutes,” South Range coach Dan Yeagley said. “We had a couple of turnovers early and they got momentum. We had to wait until the fourth quarter to get it going. When you’re playing teams like a McDonald and a Western Reserve, you can’t do that.”
The Blue Devils’ Jack Cappabianca ran 72 yards for a first-quarter touchdown as Western Reserve again had early momentum.
“You can’t give them momentum,” Yeagley said. “That’s what happened there and we had to come back in the fourth. We knew we had to come out tonight. We did that and knew things were going in the right direction.”
That right direction came on the ensuing three possessions and punt return that the Raiders turned into 28 answered points going into halftime.
No one was bigger for South Range than Peyton Remish, who responded on the ensuing drive, taking the ball 57 yards to make it 8-7.
After the Blue Devils’ next possession ended at midfield, Remish scored again, this time from 13 yards to give the Raiders a 14-8 lead they would never relinquish.
Remish finished with 79 yards rushing on just four carries.
“He did a great job,” Yeagly said. “He’s a phenomenal player. He’s a playmaker.”
Western Reserve coach Andy Hake was quick to echo Yeagley’s sentiments about how Remish affected the game.
“Remish was a maniac,” he said. “How about that guy? They out-hit us. You have to give them credit. They outplayed us tonight and I hate saying that. My guys are tough, but they are young and we got out-hit tonight.”
After another Western Reserve drive stalled, the Blue Devils elected to punt instead of going for it at midfield, a move that set up the Raiders’ previous score.
But the result again went against Western Reserve Mathias Combs returned the punt 52 yards for a 21-8 Soutb Range lead.
“We knew we would have to play good defense,” Yeagley said. “Last week, we held McDonald to 97 total yards. We really had to buckle down this week. They have those two good running backs. Those guys are players.”
South Range added another score less than four minutes later on Seth Morrow’s 32-yard run to make it 28-8 at the half.
“We didn’t tackle well,” Hake said. They were a great team. They were more physical than us. That was it. They played hard and we didn’t answer. It’s very disappointing but I love my guys. We’re going to get better. We’re going to finish strong. We’ve been 0-2 before and won eight straight and made the playoffs. You’re not going to see me waver. My resolve is going to be stronger.”
The Blue Devils were their own worst enemy in the first half with never being able to get consistent drives coupled with 60 yards of penalties in the first half.
The Raiders put the game away when they took nearly five minutes off the clock to make it 35-8 on Nathan Daniszewski’s 10- yard run in the third quarter.