October 19, 2021 By Kevin Riordan
When two unbeaten teams meet mid-season you know a tested battle will ensue and that’s just what fans were treated to on Sunday. The 8th grade Raiders locked up with the unbeaten Hanover Indians and prevailed 28-14 to remain unbeaten on the season. After trading initial possessions, Hanover was on the move and forced into a 3rd and long when safety Deacon Evriviades leapt and intercepted the ball returning it down to the 16 yard line on the turnover. Matching Hingham’s intensity, Hanover’s defense quickly forced the Raiders to punt. LB Jake Varholak, JT Reale and Jack Daley made tackles for losses forcing another Hanover punt to the end the first quarter.
The Raiders defense continuing to prove its might with Eli Melendes and Chase Beighley breaking up passes forcing another Hanover turnover on downs. QB Varholak is the engine that makes this offense run as he fired a strike pass to JT Reale for a 12 yard gain, then an 18 yard slant pass to Evriviades to move the chains. Following blocks from Cam McKenna and Leopold Kuehberger, Varholak took to the air throwing a fade route pass to Cavan Nichols resulting in a first and goal at the 9 yard line. Linemen Matt Griffin and Wyatt Averett sealed the edge allowing Varholak to hit paydirt for the TD. Eying a mismatch QB Varholak passed to JT Reale but the pass was batted up by the defender and in acrobatic fashion while lying on his back Cavan Nicholas caught the tipped pass in the end zone for the 8-0 lead. Responding, Hanover returned the kickoff 68 yards down to the Raiders 10 yard line.
No strangers to goal line stands, the Raiders defense dug in and forced a 4th and goal where Hanover just snuck it over the goal line for the TD to tie the game at 8-8 with under 4 minutes in the first half. After a four and out on offense, Hingham’s defense began to assert its power after successive Hanover first downs when safety Deacon Evriviades lunged for his 2nd interception with under a minute remaining in the first half. Not wasting an opportunity, QB Varholak was on target with fade route passes to Ian Smith for 32 yard gain. With seconds remaining Varholak rolled right hitting Cavan Nicholas in the back of the end zone for the TD and a 16-8 lead into halftime.
Receiving the second half kickoff, the Raiders were on the move behind powering blocks from Charlie Shape, Mac Corey, Sullivan, Griffin and Cam McKenna that allowed Varholak to connect with JT Reale on a slant across the middle who skipped through tackles for a 19 yard TD pass to increase lead to 22-8. Inspired by linebacker Ned Buckley’s toughness the defense pummeled the running backs with tackles from McKenna, Mac Corey and Eli Melendes and Andrew Sullivan to force another turnover on downs to close out the 3rd quarter.
The Raiders are well conditioned for fourth quarter battles with the offensive line of Leopold Kuehberger, Charlie Shape, Corey, McKenna, and Sullivan wore down Hanover opening holes for Ian Smith, Chase Beighley and Evriviades to run for first downs. QB Varholak dropped back and passed to Ian Smith in the flat who ran it in for a 16 yard TD and a commanding 28-8 lead. On a long pass Hanover scored a touchdown, but Liam Rogers and Matt Thorley broke up the 2 point conversion to keep it a two score lead late in the game where it ended giving the Raiders the 28-14 victory.
On Saturday, the JV team erupted on Barnstable with a 34-0 victory led by QB’s Liam Rogers and Brody Beale. Teddy Anderson took the Raiders opening kickoff and sprinted down the sidelines for a 68 yard TD and the early lead. Tommy Riordan led the rushers with 2 touchdowns while Jack Daley, Owen Bernard, and Matt Thorley scored behind the upfront blocking by Jeremy Lavoie, Alec Menuchi, Mark Donlan, Lachlan Knies, Troy Leibovici, Kieran Sheehan and Bobby Kelly. The defense was spectacular holding Barnstable scoreless with hard hitting tackles from Cole Riordan, Gavin Fabella, Owen Leary, Charlie Wilder, Nico Cicerone , Greyson Liebsch, Ned Buckley and Myles Melanson.
Up next the Raiders travel to the Cape to face Barnstable and try to remain unbeaten.