September 14, 2021 by Kevin Riordan
Football season is back with the defending super bowl champion 8th grade Raiders entering their final season with a 38-0 opening win over Norwell.
When the Raiders needed veteran players in key roles vacated by prior stars, coach Melendes found two of the best in QB Jake Varholak and RB Drew St Pierre. On the very first drive behind a stellar offensive line led by Leopold Kuehberger, Charlie Shape, Matt Griffin, Mac Corey, and Andrew Sullivan, QB Varholak threw a pass to Deacon Evriviades for a 22 yard gain. On the next play, St Pierre scampered in for a 15 yard TD and Varholak capped the drive off with a run sweep for an 8-0 early lead.
Hingham’s defense dominated the line of scrimmage behind JT Reale, Corey, Griffin and Eli Melendes while LB Aedan Milligan was a beast sacking the QB to force a quick three and out for Norwell. Deacon Evriviades returned the punt down to the 9 yard line where St Pierre quickly punched it in for the TD and RB Ian Smith scored the two point conversion for a 16-0 lead. On the ensuing kickoff Jackson Kennedy stopped the returner in his tracks and the defense continued its dominance with LB Eli Melendes jumping a route to intercept the pass and returned it 39 yards to set up a first and goal. Varholak and Evriviades quickly combined for a TD/PAT and a 24-0 lead.
The Raiders got another big defensive stop when LB Cam McKenna shot the gap and stuffed the run followed by Mark Donlan and Greyson Liebsch combining on a tackle for loss to force a turnover on downs. QB Varholak got to work quickly rolling to his right and throwing a dart to a wide open Cavan Nicholas for a 35 yard touchdown and taking a commanding 32-0 lead into the half.
On its first series of the 2nd half, the Raiders took to the air with Varholak connecting with Ian Smith down to the 15 yard line which was followed up with a 15 yard slashing run for TD by St Pierre to make it a 38-0 advantage. Not being short on playmakers, Hingham fed Norwell a steady diet of run plays in the 2nd half with RB Jack Daley pounding the ball up the middle, QB Liam Rogers and RB Owen Bernard capturing first downs to secure the shutout win. Come support the team next week as the Raiders travel to Scituate High School to face SciCoh at 11:30am Sunday.