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Lake County Sentinel
Red Raiders fall in last second heartbreaker 23-21 

(PAINESVILLE, OH) — Last week after a tough loss where the Painesville Harvey Red Raiders (4-3, (3-0 Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division) fell to Chaney 33-14 and were back in action Friday night at Jack Britt Stadium hosting the Berkshire Badgers (4-3, 2-1 CVC). Friday night was a heartbreaking loss as the Badgers came into the Britt and pulled out a victory in the final second 23-21.

Berkshire jump on the Red Raiders immediately on their first drive moving the ball 64 yards on 7 plays capped off by a 28-yard touchdown pass from Miles Miller to Josh Brown giving the Badgers a 7-0 lead after Sal Vargas converted the extra point.

After Harvey’s first drive stalled and forced a punt the Badgers once again mounted an impressive drive. This time they drove 64 yards in 5:23 and once again the drive was capped off with a pass from Miller to Brown, this time from 14 yards. Vargas could not convert the extra point and Berkshire led 13-0 with 1:33 left in the second quarter.

Despite an interception with :28 left in the first half the second quarter belonged to the Red Raiders as they compiled 154 total yards including an 82-yard TD pass from Cavon Wise to Tyshawn Vance with 8:03 left in the 2nd quarter. After Antonio Soto-Rodriguez converted the extra point the Badgers lead was just six at 13-7.

The game remained a six-point game with a scoreless third quarter with both teams turning the ball over as Harvey intercepted a Berkshire pass and the Badgers recovered a Red Raiders fumble. The Raiders fumble was costly though as the Badgers turned it into points. Recovering the fumble at their own 21 and driving 79 yards on nine plays aided by a 15-yard face mask penalty on the Red Raiders. Berkshire capped the drive off with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Miller to who else Brown and Vargas converted the extra point to extend the Badgers advantage to 20-7.

The Red Raiders had seen enough, their defense tightened up and the offense came alive after the Badgers final TD with 9:38 left in the game. The Red Raiders started to drive but turned the ball over on downs, but Berkshire did not want the ball back as they fumbled the ball right back to the Red Raiders with 6:14 left in the game. The Red Raiders took advantage driving 52 yards all passing on 7 plays and finished it off with a 21-yard TD pass from Cavon Wise to Devon Badley and the extra point by Soto-Rodriguez to close the Badgers lead to 20-14 with 3:40 left on the game clock.

Harvey then stopped the Badgers on their next drive forcing them to punt and getting the ball back on their own 31 with 2:53 left on the game clock. Just 1:33 later Harvey took the lead when freshman sensation Shahn Alston rumble into the endzone from 10 yards out and after the reliable Soto-Rodriguez converted the important extra point the Red Raiders led 21-20 with 1:20 left on the game clock.

Things looked grim for the Badgers and their coaches as one of the Berkshire coaches stormed from his coaching booth into the press box demanding :09 be placed back on the clock. This writer can confirm that no time came off the clock after the Alston touchdown and the accurate time was 1:20. The bullyish entrance into the press box by the Berkshire coach was uncalled for and completely out of line.

The Badgers however got the ball back and did what they had too as they drove 76 yards in 1:08 including a 40-yard pass from who Miller to Brown to the Harvey three-yard line with just :15 left on the clock. After back-to-back timeouts by Berkshire and then Harvey Badger junior Mason Mendolera carried the ball to the Harvey one yard line and the Badgers used their final timeout. They then sent Vargas onto the field to attempt a 19-yard field goal and with just :06 left on the clock Vargas booted the kick of his life through the uprights at Britt Stadium to give the Badgers a stunning comeback win 23-21 and he gained redemption for missing the extra point earlier in the contest. Vargas said after the game when asked how he felt when the ball cleared the uprights, “I was so happy, so relieved.”

The Red Raiders will be at home again next week for a big CVC battle with the Hawken Hawks at 7 p.m..  
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​POSTED 10/07/2022 23:48
Harvey Red Raiders vs Berkshire                  Photo by Tim Shirer