Racine paves the way for Sun Valley romp

ASTON — If you watched the shootout between Sun Valley and Oxford, won by the Vanguards, 56-34, and didn’t know the records of the two teams, it would be hard to believe both entered with 2-6 records.

There were standout performances made by players on both teams, including both lines and the ball handlers.

Sun Valley first-year coach Ray Gionta said he knows he has good players and points to his players having to learn his system against the tough competition the Vanguards face each week.

“The thing is this league is good,’ Gionta said. “The Ches-Mont League is a good league. Our Division (American) which is supposed to be the smaller schools…I mean there are some real good football teams.’

At or near the top of the list of performances Friday was the play two-way senior lineman Ed Racine. The 6-foot, 330-pounder was active on both sides of the line, helping senior running back Juwan Chandler rush for 202 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries.

Sophomore Jon Kester also had big night rushing for 109 yards and a touchdown. Chandler also caught all three of Gabe Boccella’s completions for 53 yards and another touchdown.

“Eddie Racine and Juwan Chandler are both good football players,’ Gionta said. “Ed Racine has been starting here since he was a freshman and really, he’s our guy, he’s our lineman…we like to hitch our horse to Eddie. And Juwan had a nice game too. He’s healthy, he’s been banged up a little bit. He’s an explosive player. He did some damage in the first half. ‘

Chandler said for senior night he wanted to make it a special evening.

“The one thing wanted to for tonight is get out and get it,’ Chandler said. “I wanted to win this game for the seniors and show we’ve still got some faith and we can do it. We’ve got three more games to go and wanted them to know we can bounce back from this. I know it’s been a bad season, but it’s not over yet.’

Chandler said he loves running behind the massive No. 64. Good things always happen when he does.

“Every time I’m running behind Ed, I know it’s going to be at least a first down,’ Chandler said. “He’s a good blocker and he’s going to give it his all every time. Running behind him is a good thing. I always like to keep it on that side.’

Racine said he takes his role as a senior leader seriously.

“I was the only senior coming back this year,’ Racine said. “The coach relies on me if it’s third and short, he’s running behind me every time petty much. It’s my duty to go out there and get it done.’

Oxford head coach Mike Peitlock said his team was outmatched up front. Turning the ball over four times is not going to help win against a team having a great night like the Vanguards.

“Football is a very simple game,’ Peitlock said. “In high school football you have to run the ball consistently and stop the run consistently and we did neither of those things tonight. We were dominated on the line of scrimmage all night. We had four turnovers and they controlled the ball and kept it out of our hands.’

Oxford quarterback Dan Green hooked up with wide receiver Ryan Hubley for what was one of the most memorable games a wide receiver could hope to enjoy.

Hubley caught 10 passes for 224 yards and three touchdowns. If that wasn’t enough, he intercepted a pass and ran a fake punt 18 yards for first down on the game’s opening drive.

“The season Ryan is having is a testament to what football is in terms of a team sport,’ Peitlock said. “He is the single best player in school history, but he can’t do everything.’

“We’ve had a connection all year,’ Hubley said. “Dan has a great arm. The line did great, they blocked, Sun Valley had some pretty strong guys on their line and our line held them and Dan was able to make some throws.’

Hubley said he keeps his season perspective, the Hornets are 2-7 and headed to very tough season.

“That’s why it’s a team sport,’ said Hubley, who says he has talked to several college programs but has not received any college offers as of yet.. “It’s not individuals. When I come out here I’m not thinking about my stats or my personal game. I think about the team and what’s best for the team.’

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