Published: Friday, October 6, 2006
Rayen breezes past Wilson in City Series opener, 28-0
The Tigers will meet Chaney next Thursday to decide the league title.
YOUNGSTOWN Quarterback Sal Battles rushed for two touchdowns and added a 97-yard scoring strike to Tomaz Hilton, while Gary Thornton added a game high 136 yards rushing and an 11 yard run of his own as the Rayen High football team defeated Wilson, 28-0 in the City Series opener for both schools Thursday night at YSU's Stambaugh Stadium.
"The score tonight was not indicative of the type of play by the Woodrow Wilson Redmen," said Rayen coach Brian Shaner. "They gave us a real fight, but that was something that we as a staff expected of them.
"They worried me all week long. While we didn't exactly play our best game offensively, when clicking we can be very dangerous and both [Sal] Battles and [Gary] Thornton proved that tonight."
Rayen (6-1, 1-0) will play winless Chaney for the City Series title on Thursday.
"Forget the records because either team is capable of winning," Shaner said. "We're the team now with the bull's-eye on its back so we must be ready to play from the opening kickoff if we expect to win."
Battles scores first TD
Battles' 1-yard run at 2:59 of the opening period gave the Tigers a 6-0 lead and when Thornton added his 11-yard waltz at 9:35 of the second stanza, it gave Rayen a 12-0 lead at intermission.
The Tigers racked up 147 total yards (118 on the ground) in the first half, holding Wilson (0-7, 0-1) to just 39 yards prior to intermission, 21 of which came on the ground. They also took advantage of excellent field position Rayen's average start was its own 45 yard line, while Wilson started at its own 27 on average.
"This was a very physical game. Credit, however, must go to our offensive line because they rose to the occasion when they had to. They made sure that we made the plays when we needed to," Battles said. "[Gary] Thornton is my best friend both on and off the field and he is always there to help me out. It was really great to see him have the type of game that he had tonight."
Battles' second score came from a yard out at 7:15 of the third period, increasing the lead to 20-0 after a successful conversion pass. Hilton then hauled in Battles' pass for a 97-yard score just 16 seconds into the final period and Thornton added the conversion run.
Redmen gave solid effort
"We tried. All we can ask of our kids is to play their best and give it their best effort and that is exactly what they did tonight," Wilson coach Brian Marrow said, whose team lost QB Lamar McQueen and two of its starting linebackers against Steubenville Central Catholic last Saturday. "We knew we had our backs against the wall coming into tonight's game."
Braylon Rogers was 6 of 13 for 32 yards in McQueen's absence.
"It was great to see him come in and perform as he did in his first ever start at quarterback," Marrow said. "He really stepped in and gave us one fantastic effort."
The Tigers had 366 total offensive yards; 229 on the ground and 137 through the air. Hilton caught three of Battle's passes for a game-high 131 receiving yards.
Wilson had just 126 total offensive yards with Rashad Robinson registering a team high 36 yards on 11 carries.