Raiders race past Girard in shootout

Correspondent photo / Dave Dermer Dylan Dominguez of South Range falls forward while being tackled in the Raiders’ Northeast-8 victory at Girard’s Arrowhead Stadium.

GIRARD — Described as a “track meet” by South Range coach Dan Yeagley, Friday’s Northeast-8 Conference tilt between the Raiders and Girard was packed full of high-octane offense.

A dominant fourth quarter on both sides of the ball for South Range led them to a 56-28 victory over the Indians.

“Girard is a great team and this wound up being a track meet,” Yeagley said. “I told my kids I’m so proud of them for keeping their composure and keeping their cool when bullets start flying. It’s a track meet. They can score in seconds and it takes us 4 or 5 minutes. It was a great ballgame.”

Raiders’ senior quarterback Michael Patrone only played in the first half, but made a huge impact in that time going 10-for-12 passing for 95 yards with two touchdowns. He also had 9-yard scoring rush to open up the game.

South Range went on to score 14 points in the first two quarters and was poised to go into the break with a 28-6 lead.

Correspondent photo / Dave Dermer South Range's Michael Patrone avoids a Girard tackle on the way to a touchdown Friday night.

Girard’s first touchdown came from Andrew DelGarbino on a 61-yard bomb to Dominic Malito. The two combined for over 100 yards during the game.

The Girard (1-1) offense closed out a self-described terrible first half with a 38-yard ‘Hail Mary” pass from DelGarbino to Jordan Grant.

“I think we played the worst half of football we could play,” Indians coach Pat Pearson said. “Taking nothing away from South Range, they’re an awesome team and they took advantage of every mistake we made, but we really didn’t play very well the first half.

“Going into the half down only 28-14, but not playing very well, we felt like we got a little momentum there. We got our feet under us, and I was happy the way we started that third quarter.”

The Indians struck first in the second half with DelGarbino hitting Malito once more, this time for 36 yards. Malito would catch one more touchdown pass, this time from 51 yards, to end his day with three touchdown receptions.

Correspondent photo / Dave Dermer Girard's Jordan Grant celebrates after catching a touchdown pass during the first half of their game Friday night at Arrowhead stadium.

After an injury to Patrone, stepping under center for South Range in the second half was sophomore Billy Skripac. Skripac made an impression on the field, passing for 13 yards, rushing for 29 and scoring a touchdown.

“Billy made it happen,” Yeagley said. “He did a great job running the ball, running the offense and stepping in, in a big-time situation.”

Junior Dylan Dominguez was the Raiders’ workhorse, rushing for 117 yards on 18 carries and two scores, including a 41-yard breakaway score to close out the third quarter.

“He did a great job, Dylan’s a great running back,” Yeagley said. “It was nice to see him get the big plays and make things happen.”

Closing out the game, was the sixth rushing touchdown from the Raiders, this time from sophomore Jake Starkey to make the game 56-28.

Correspondent photo / Dave Dermer South Range's Michael Patrone throws a pass, avoiding pressure from Girard's Jared Koch.

Despite the final score looking lopsided, Yeagley made sure to say that the final score didn’t show how tough this game really was for his team.

“It was tough,” Yeagley said. “Every inch, every yard, every play was tough because Girard is a very good football team very well-coached and it was a battle. The score didn’t show how close his ball game really was.”

Next week, the Raiders (2-0) look to remain unbeaten as they return home to face Niles while the young Girard team takes on Poland.


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