Alert play sparks unbeaten S. Range
Allegretto’s heads-up recovery of a short kick launches Raiders to their seventh victory
By Brian Dzenis
For South Range to reach 7-0, little things had to go right and snowball into bigger outcomes.
In the case of Friday night’s contest against Sharon (Pa.), it was sophomore defensive back Isaac Allegretto having the presence of mind to turn a poor Raiders kickoff into an onside kick recovery.
That play in the first quarter helped provide the necessary one-two punch that the Tigers couldn’t recover from as the Raiders rolled to a 34-14 victory.
“That was a huge turning point in the ball game because all the sudden, we had momentum and we were able to go down and score again,” South Range coach Dan Yeagley said. “When you get ahead of them, you have to stay ahead of [Sharon] because they can score at any moment.”
The opening drive went according to plan for the Raiders, driving from their own 21 all the way to Peyton Remish’s 9-yard touchdown run. The ensuing kickoff was not what Yeagley planned.
Kicker Anthony DeLucia, who is filling in after Brandon Youngs was lost for the season, booted the ball across midfield, but veered toward the sideline. As the Sharon players appeared to wait for the ball to roll out of bounds, Allegretto dove on the ball.
“[DeLucia] was told to kick away from Ziyon Strickland by any means. I think he gave a nice ground ball,” Allegretto said. “I think the receiver thought the guy behind him was going to get it.
“I saw an opportunity and I dove on the ball.”
The play put the Raiders at the Tigers’ 35 and the home side capitalized with Remish’s second TD. South Range had a 13-0 lead before Sharon even touched the ball.
Allegretto wasn’t done making plays either. He was one of three Raiders to pull in an interception in the second quarter, joining teammates Josh Stear and Trent Harrold.
Near the end of the third quarter, South Range quarterback Aniello Buzzacco was pulled in favor of Allegretto. Buzzacco had 109 rushing yards, 59 passing yards and a rushing touchdown when he went to the bench.
“[Allegretto] needed to come in and it was time to get Buzz out,” Yeagley said. “It was time give him a rest. He was playing hard.”
It was Allegretto’s first varsity appearance at quarterback. In one of his first plays, he handed the ball to Remish, who broke off a 55-yard touchdown run. South Range ran for 427 yards against Sharon (4-3) with Remish collecting 217 on 28 carries.
“This is our house and we want to protect it at all costs,” Remish said. “The line did a great job blocking like they’ve done all year and it was just a great win.”
Allegretto completed all three of his passing attempts for 28 yards and rushed for eight yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
“It was really nerve-wracking at first, but the line brought me up and told me that I was the leader,” Allegretto said. “They really comforted me and it just got me comfortable in my zone.”
Strickland, the PIAA District 10 all-time leading receiver, caught nine passes for 73 yards. He was inserted at running back for one play and ran four yards for a touchdown in the third quarter. Tigers quarterback Lane Voytick threw for 117 yards with two interceptions and a touchdown pass to Tristan Ballard late.