Highlights: Patrone powers South Range past Crestview; Raiders set for Regional Final


South Range topped Crestview 45-29 in the Division V Regional Semifinals Saturday night.

CANFIELD, OHIO (WKBN) – Behind the explosive running and passing of Raiders senior quarterback Michael Patrone, the second-seeded South Range Raiders pulled away from the Crestview Rebels Saturday night 45-29 in Division V, Region 17 semi-final contest.  The victory advances the Raiders to play the top-seeded Kirtland Hornets next Saturday.

“Two great programs.  Coach Cusick has a great program and a great team.  Those guys are seniors and we knew they were going to go down fighting from beginning to end,” Raiders coach Dan Yeagley said.

“It was a huge game for us.  They are a big rival, we knew it was going to be a tough game,” Raiders senior receiver Luke Crumbacher remarked. This is my last game here and it was so much fun. It was a great experience.”

Patrone would rush for a game-high 266 yards, scoring three touchdowns to pace the Raiders on the ground.  He would also pass for an additional 158 yards on 5 of 11 attempts, and one touchdown.

Patrone scored the Raiders first two touchdowns on a 1-yard dive and a 76-yards scamper up the middle to give the Raiders a 13-0 lead at the 1:21 mark of the first quarter.  But that was when things got a bit crazy in the game.

The Rebels would score three of the next four touchdowns to take a 21-19 advantage in the game.  First, the Rebels William Hardenbrook would romp 69-yards for a touchdown with 1:05 left in the first frame to get the Rebels on the board.

Hardenbrook would rush for 120 yards on the night and two touchdowns.  He got 113 of those yards in the first half. 

Then, following a 61-yard pass from Patrone to Luke Crumbacher gave the Raiders a 19-7 lead, the Rebels scored on a 53-yard pass from Anthony Cusick to Brandon Yanssens to make it 19-14, followed by an on-side kick recovery and a 16-yard run by Hardenbrook to make it 21-19.

But Patrone would score his third rushing touchdown on the night from 30-yards out to give the Raiders the lead once again at 27-21.  That score came with 3:14 left in the half.  The Raiders took that lead into the intermission following a missed 35-yard field goal by the Rebels as time expired in the first half.

The Raiders pulled away in the second half Harley Novak connecting on two field goals from 26 and 29 yards out sandwiched around a 1-yard plunge by Dylan Domiguez to stake the Raiders to a 39-21 lead early in the fourth quarter.

The Rebels would keep fighting as they scored on a 3-yard pass from Anthony Cusick to Tony Perorazio with 6:28 remaining in the game to cut the deficit to 39-29.  But the Raiders Luke Blasko slammed the door shut with a 38-yard run less than a minute later to provide the final score on the night.

“It was kind of what I expected.  I don’t think you can shut them down, and I don’t think you can shut us down.  In the end, they just made more plays than us.  That’s what it comes down to,” Rebels coach Paul Cusick stated.

He added, “For our guys, we have an opportunity to finish the season next week when we play Brookfield with a league title on the line.  At least it’s not done tonight, hopefully, we can step up and win a league championship next week.”

The Rebels will play at Brookfield next Friday night with a chance to win the Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference.  The Raiders will try to keep things rolling as they will travel to Kirtland in a Regional Championship.

“You always want another shot at them,” Yeagley said of playing Kirtland again. “You know if you want to win a state title, you have to beat them. We’re going to come out fighting and we’re looking forward to it. It’s November and we’re still playing, that’s awesome.”

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