CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – South Range defeated Springfield 37-14 on Saturday, keyed by three passing touchdowns by Aniello Buzzacco. Mathias Combs also has three TDs for the Raiders.
The Tigers got on the board first when Brannon Brungard connected with Brandon Walters for a 10-yard TD pass late in the first quarter.
South Range responded immediately, as, minutes later, Buzzacco hit Combs for a 69-yard TD pass to tie the game. Buzzacco and Combs then hooked up again a few minutes later for a 3-yard TD.
“I saw the safety coming over and a small sliver of space to run through and I just hit it as hard as I could,” Combs explained the 68-yard score. “I broke through and I just kept running.”
The Raiders took a 21-7 lead when Peyton Remish scored on a 35-yard TD run. But Springfield answered back two plays later with an 81-yard TD pass from Brungard to Austin Trebella.
Read more: Week one high school football stories
South Range added a touchdown right before half, as Buzzacco found Josh Stear for a 7-yard TD pass with just 10 seconds left for a 28-14 lead.
“It was huge,” Remish said of scoring just before halftime. “They are a really good team and they could come back at any time, but those quick scores right before the half were big.”
In the third quarter, on the Raiders first offensive possession Brandon Youngs nailed a 25-yard field goal for the Raiders at the 8:19 mark of the stanza.
“That was huge,” Raiders coach Dan Yeagley echoed Remish on the touchdown before halftime. “I was a little disappointed when we came out in the second half and didn’t score and had to kick a field goal. But we still went up by three scores and that was big.”
Combs would then notch a spectacular rushing touchdown where he reversed field and juked multiple defenders. That score at the 4:45 mark of the quarter provided the final 37-14 margin.
“I remember getting hit pretty hard and then Buzzacco kept me up and I just reversed field,” Combs explained. “I just tried to make something happen. I didn’t expect to score, I just kept moving forward.”
“I’m very proud of our seniors,” Yeagley said. “This was something we were talking about for a long time. Losing in overtime last year at their (Springfield) place, and we come back to our place on a Saturday night in front of a big crowd. It is a very special time and a very, very special game. I’m just so excited and it’s a great win. A great win for us against a great team.”
“This was the biggest game of the year for us,” Combs remarked. “All summer all we have been saying is Springfield in week one. That was the coolest experience I have ever had because I have never had this many people and hearing that roar on the first touchdown was surprising and pretty cool.”
“I think in the first half we came out tight, a little bit tentative,” Tiger coach Sean Guerriero said. “That’s not the Springfield team I have been watching for the past two months. We made a lot of mistakes. We have to get back to work and eliminate mistakes, and missed tackles.”
Springfield will visit Brookfield in week two. South Range will travel to Western Reserve.
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