DOVER Dover High School senior wide receiver Brant Raber is the Tornadoes’ top rusher not named Mason Mamarella.
His performance against West Holmes in last Saturday’s Division III regional championship game helped the Tornadoes reach the Final Four for the first time in school history.
Raber carried the ball 11 times for 90 yards to lead the way, including a 38-yard scoring jaunt. He also added one catch for 16 yards and another score as the Tornadoes recorded a 48-21 win over the Knights.
Both of his scores came on back-to-back possessions as the Tornadoes took charge after West Holmes turnovers in the third quarter.
- Dover WR Brant Raber appears on:
“We just wanted to do what was going to move the ball down the field,” said the 5-foot-8, 150-pound all-purpose wideout. “The offensive line did a great job of creating holes for me and Mason, and whoever else ran.”
Raber said that getting over the regional hump after five previous teams came up short was a big deal.
“We always put forth 100 percent effort, and Saturday night it truly showed,” said Raber. “It was a big win for us, the guys who came before us and the community.”
Raber is second in rushing only to Mamarella, Dover’s dual threat senior quarterback.
Mamarella has rushed for 1,253 yards. Raber has 431 yards on 73 carries with three scores.
Meanwhile, Raber is third in receptions with 527 yards on 38 catches and four scores. Only Cory Contini and Trey Wallick have caught more balls for more yardage.
He ranks fourth in all-purpose yardage with 1,100.
But it hasn’t been all roses for Raber.
He suffered a concussion against Tri-Valley that forced him to miss a couple of games, and suffered a knee injury on the very first play in a win over New Philadelphia.
Raber did not play in the overtime playoff win over Granville at Crater Stadium, but returned for the victory over Poland Seminary wearing a brace.
“It affected me emotionally because I always want to be out there with my teammates and contribute any way I can,” said Raber. “It just hurt me that I couldn’t be out there with them.”
But Raber appears to be back in form and he and his Tornado teammates have one thing in mind as they continue to prepare for Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary in Saturday’s state semifinal in Massillon.
“We want the state title,” said Raber. “It’s great we won a regional championship, but we are focused and we want a state title.”