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South Range edges JFK in final seconds

September 1, 2013
By MIKE McLAIN - Tribune Chronicle (mmclain@tribtoday.com) , Underthelights

WARREN - Dave Pappada knew what was coming, just like every batter who's ever faced pitcher Mariano Rivera knew the cut fastball was on its way.

And just like all those batters, the John F. Kennedy Eagles football coach felt the same frustration of not being able to stop an opponent's best offering.

In this case, it was the sweep action of the South Range Raiders that confounded Pappada. The Raiders ran it for the umpteenth time on fourth-and-goal at the Eagles' 3, and senior Billy Goodall easily turned the right corner for the winning touchdown with 5 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

Article Photos

Tribune Chronicle / R. Michael Semple
John F. Kennedy’s Austin Munno, left, wraps up South Range quarterback Ryan Miller, center, as Kennedy’s Chad Zallow closes in on the play during Saturday’s game at Mollenkopf Stadium in Warren. South Range won, 34-30.

All the Eagles could hope for was a Stanford tuba player on the ensuing kick off, but Carl Zallow was tackled at the JFK 35 to put the finishing touches on South Range's 34-30 win Saturday in the season opener at Mollenkopf Stadium.

"I have to commend both teams for playing to the last moment," Pappada said. "They beat us on a play we couldn't contain the whole night. Until we get better at doing that, I'm sure everybody on our schedule will run it against us."

Goodall's touchdown capped an 18-play, 80-yard drive that began with 3:30 remaining in the fourth quarter. The drive came in response to two touchdowns by the Eagles in the span of 1:54 that gave them a 30-27 lead.

The Raiders were ready to punch the ball in for a score when Goodall ran 4 yards to the 1. After South Range used its final timeout with 22 seconds remaining, Goodall was dropped for a loss of 2 yards. Quarterback Ryan Miller quickly spiked the ball to stop the clock.

Raiders coach Dan Yeagley sent his field-goal unit on the field, at which time the Eagles called a timeout to make sure the players knew their assignments and to try to ice kicker Tyler Rothbauer.

During the timeout Yeagley changed his mind and decided to go for a touchdown. Goodall took the handoff from Miller and never had a need to cut back as he easily got outside the contain defender.

"When they called timeout and we had a chance to talk a little bit more, the kids wanted it," Yeagley said. "They wanted to end it right then and there. It was a heck of an effort by a lot of kids."

The Raiders had success on the ground throughout play, accumulating 253 yards on 48 carries. Goodall led the way with 139 yards on 25 carries.

"Put it in the kids' hands," Yeagley said. "They paid the price to be here. Let them have a chance to put it in and have a chance for a victory."

The Eagles showed resiliency in rallying from a 27-15 deficit. Junior quarterback Michael Roscoe, making his first varsity start, was effective on rollouts. He connected on three passes on a six-play, 59-yard march, including a 25-yard touchdown throw to freshman Jacob Coates, who took the pass near the 15 and scampered across the field and into the end zone.

Trailing 27-22 with 5:24 remaining in the game, the Eagles attempted an onside kick. Kicker Eric Bofenkamp bounced the ball beyond the first wave of blockers and it was recovered by JFK's Dante Munno at the Raiders' 38. The Eagles needed six plays and the help of a facemask penalty to take the lead on a 12-yard run by Zallow.

That production couldn't match the sustained drives put together by the Raiders, who had scoring marches of 80, 70, 80, 21 and 80 yards.

"We just can't do that," Pappada said. "We can't allow that. More power to them. We made some big plays as well on offense."

The Eagles opened the scoring on a 30-yard run by Zallow, who rushed for 74 yards on 15 carries. The extra-point attempt was blocked. The Raiders answered with a 3-yard scoring run by Goodall

Roscoe, who was 16-of-26 for 205 yards, ran 9 yards for a touchdown, but a pass for the extra points failed as JFK led, 12-7. Miller then threw a 67-yard touchdown pass to Zach Thorpe as the Raiders took a 14-12 lead.

Bofenkamp kicked a 25-yard field goal to close out the first half and give JFK a 15-14 lead.

Miller hooked up with Thorpe on a 42-yard scoring play in the third period. Thorpe caught the ball just after a defender almost broke it up near the sideline.

A fumble by Zallow that was recovered by Joe Alessi of South Range gave the Raiders possession at the Eagles' 21. Bryce Allen scored from the 3 six plays later.

JFK is at LaBrae Friday.

 
 

 

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