Red Raiders erase 28 point first half deficit to STUN Hawken 50-44
BY TIM SHIRER
(PAINESVILLE, OH) — Last Friday the Harvey Red Raiders suffered a heart-breaking loss 23-21 on a last second field goal by Berkshire to fall to 4-4 on the season and 3-1 in the Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division. Tonight, that had another tough opponent in the Hawken Hawks. After the loss last week to Berkshire, it would not have been a surprise if Harvey weren’t able to recover, but not only did they recover they came back from a 28-point deficit to stun the heavily favored Hawks 50-44.
Hawken got off to a quick start scoring the first 28 points of the game led by junior quarterback Lucas Brandt. In the first 16:38 of the game he threw three touchdowns. The first a 24-yard strike to junior Taj Caver. The second came was three-yard dump off TD to junior Luke Mangini. His third came when he hit senior Dominic Johnson with about a 35-yard pass that Johnson took 88 yards for the touchdown.
The Hawken took what looked like a commanding 28-0 lead at the 5:18 mark of the second quarter when Mangini rumbled for 34 yards into the end zone.
Harvey was not going away. On their next drive of just six plays driving 74 yards, including a 47-yard run by junior Blaise Collins. They then got on the board when Collins finished the driving running in it from four yards out. The extra point was converted by freshman Antonio Soto-Rodriguez to cut the Hawken lead to 28-7.
Less than one minute later sophomore Devon Badley intercepted Brandt’s pass and took it back for a touchdown. The extra point snap was bobbled, and Soto-Rodriguez kept his cool and threw a strike to freshman Trent Hull in the endzone to convert the two-point play and pull Harvey to within 13 points at 28-15. That was the score at the halftime break.
The second half belonged to the underdog Red Raiders no ifs and or buts about it they thoroughly dominated the heavily favored Hawks outscoring them 35-16 in the final two quarters and it wasn’t as close as the score might look, let’s get started.
Hawken got the second half kickoff and went three and out on their first drive giving the ball back to Harvey at their own 40. Just three plays, 60 yards and 1:13 later the Red Raider hit pay dirt once again when sophomore QB Caven Wise hit freshman Trent Hull with a 38-yard TD pass. After Soto-Rodriguez put the extra point through the goal post the Red Raiders had cut the once insurmountable Hawken lead to 28-22 with 9:02 left in the third quarter.
Harvey coach Mick Mohner in his third season at the helm does not shy away from taking chances when needed and it paid off after the TD the Red Raiders converted and onside kick and recovered the ball at the Hawken 48-yard line stunning the visitors. Just six plays and 48 yards later Blaise Collins scored his second TD of the night, this time from seven yards out. With Soto-Rodriguez’s extra point the Hawken 28-point lead had completed dissolved, and Harvey led 29-28 with 6:19 left in the third quarter.
Hawken’s best drive of the second half came next as they drove 69 yards on 8 plays capped off by a 34-yard TD pass from Brandt to Caver and then converted the two-point conversion from Brandt to Mangini to give the Hawks their last lead of the night 36-29 with 2:47 left on the third quarter clock.
In the next 12:42 second the Red Raiders scored three times cementing the victory. The first came with 9:52 left in the 4th quarter when Blaise Collins scored hit third TD of the night, this time from 10 yards out with the Soto-Rodriguez extra point the game was tied 36-36.
After the Hawken offense stalled again and had to punt, Harvey took the lead for good with 14-yard Td Pass from Wise to Hull, their second of the game giving the Red Raiders a 43-36 lead after once again Soto-Rodriguez who is almost automatic converted another extra point with 5:01 remaining in the game.
Hawken started to move the ball on their next drive and looked like they might tie the game or take the lead with a two-point conversion when Brandt threw another interception, this time to sophomore Katory Shaw at the Harvey 29 with 3:06 left on the game clock.
The final blow by the Red Raider came next from a reliable workhorse who had been quiet for a lot of the night, but with 2:05 left in the game freshman Shahn Alston rumbled 73 yards to pay dirt giving Harvey 14-point lead at 50-36 after Soto-Rodriguez’s extra point conversion.
Hawken did get the ball back and score a TD on a pass from Brandt to Caver from 20 yards and they did convert the two-point conversion to pull to within 50-44 with :24 left on the game clock. The Red Raiders fell on the onside kick at their own 49 then lined up in the victory formation took a knee and celebrated one of the biggest victories in program history with the win.
Collins was the star of the night for the 23 times for 197 yards and three TDs in the game.
The win helps the Red Raiders clinch a portion of the CVC Valley title the first time they have done that and remain alive for post season.
The Red Raiders will finish the regular season next week when they host the Lutheran West Longhorns at 7 pm. With a win the Red Raiders are almost assured of a spot in the playoffs.
POSTED 10/15/2022 00:39