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Leo routs Vikings on senior night

TOP LEFT: Reid Johnson fires a pass during Huntington North’s 50–3 loss to Leo on Friday. TOP RIGHT: Aidan Hosler kicks a 20-yard field goal to score the Vikings’ only points of the game. BOTTOM: Head coach Bob Prescott and a group of Viking defenders talk strategy during Friday’s game.

by Eric Andrews - eandrews@h-ponline.com

The Huntington North football team wrapped up its regular season home slate on Friday night at Kriegbaum Field, hosting Leo in a Northeast 8 Conference (NE8) battle for the Vikings’ senior night.

However, the Lions ruined the party, putting 50 unanswered points on the scoreboard to run away with a dominant 50–3 road triumph.

The loss dropped Huntington North’s season record to 2–5, including a 1–4 mark in NE8 play.

Prior to the opening kickoff, the Vikings’ seven seniors—Ricky Foster, Cameron Foust, Isaac Hill, Aidan Hosler, Cade MacAleese, Deven Newcomb and Nathan York—were honored for their contributions to the program, as well as many other Huntington North seniors participating in various groups and activities this fall.

Once the game began, the Vikings looked up to the challenge, putting together an efficient 10-play drive that was capped by a 20-yard field goal by Hosler to put Huntington North ahead 3–0 with 8:54 left in the opening quarter.

However, the Vikings would see their lead evaporate just 15 seconds later, as Peyton Wall stormed 80 yards down the field for a Leo touchdown on the Lions’ first play from scrimmage following a Hosler touchback. The score put Leo ahead 7–3 with 8:41 remaining in the first quarter.

The lightning-fast strike would set the tone for the rest of the night, as the Lions went on to capitalize on each of their drives the rest of the first half.

Owen Lantz finished off a seven-play, 89-yard possession with a 28-yard carry to the house, giving Leo a 14–3 advantage late in the first quarter, which held up as the score entering the second frame.

The Lions needed just five plays to go 53 yards on their third drive of the night, which was finished off by a 31-yard carry by Wall for his second touchdown of the game, extending Leo’s lead to 21–3 with 6:55 left in the half.

A three-and-out on Huntington North’s ensuing drive gave Leo good field position to add to their lead, which the Lions did on the very first play of their possession when Jackson Barbour connected with Wall for a 42-yard passing touchdown, pushing the score to 28–3 with 5:00 left on the clock in the second quarter.

Leo’s defense got in on the scoring three plays later, dragging down Huntington North quarterback Reid Johnson for a safety to tack on two more points for a 30–3 margin with 3:36 remaining in the first half.

The Lions needed seven plays to go 59 yards on their next possession, which was capped by a seven-yard pass from Barbour to Cameron Livingston for a commanding 37–3 Leo lead with 52.5 ticks left in the opening half.

Leo’s defense put the proverbial cherry on top of a near-flawless first half by picking off Johnson with 9.7 seconds left to take a 37–3 advantage into the locker room at halftime in front of a stunned crowd at Kriegbaum Field.

Having won the pregame coin toss and deferred, the Lions received the second-half kickoff, and again wasted no time proving they were the superior team on the field, needing just three plays before again finding the end zone, this time a 68-yard pass from Barbour to Peyton McHale to push the Leo lead to 44–3 just 40 seconds into the second half.

Things settled down from there, as the Huntington North defense finally got a stop after a failed fourth-down field-goal fake attempt by the Leo offense resulted in a turnover on downs.

However, another Viking three-and-out gave the Lions the ball right back, which they took advantage of by milking the running clock before finding the end zone one last time, capping off a 14-play, 59-yard drive with a 10-yard run from Carson Hoeppner. Huntington North’s defense tipped the extra-point attempt, which kept the score at 50–3 in favor of the guests with 3:35 to play.

After five plays featuring all underclassmen on the Vikes’ last drive, the final seconds ticked off the clock to mercifully put an end to a one-sided 50–3 dominant decision in favor of the guests.

“I thought (Leo) played a fantastic game,” said Huntington North head coach Bob Prescott. “There (were) some different things in their scheme that we had not seen. I thought we started the game pretty good, but I am the captain of this Viking ship and I did not have us ready to play and respond, so the end result is on me. I love these guys so much. We’ve come so far. I mean every bit of it when I say it’s an honor and privilege to be with these young men and coach them. But, we’ve still got a lot of football to play.”

Lawson Shearer led Huntington North in yardage with 36 rushing yards on eight attempts, while Garret Johnson followed closely behind with 30 yards on nine carries. In all, the Vikings ran for 87 yards on 44 rushes, being knocked back 10 times for a total loss of 44 yards.

Reid Johnson connected on two of his six passing attempts on the night, both of which were reeled in by Deven Newcomb, for 16 yards. The junior quarterback struggled throughout the night, throwing one interception and rushing for a loss of 31 yards on six carries, including Leo’s safety in the second quarter.

Between the run game and aerial attack, Huntington North mustered just 103 total yards of offense.

Meanwhile, Leo enjoyed a field day all night long on offense, racking up a total of 455 yards, including 250 yards on the ground.

Wall accounted for over half of the Lions’ rushing yardage with 126 on six carries, finding the end zone on a pair of occasions. Hoeppner and Lantz rounded out the notable rushers for Leo with 48 and 44 yards, respectively, with both running for a touchdown.

Barbour threw for 205 yards in the win, converting on nine of his 12 passing attempts. McHale led the way for the Lions in receiving yards with 116 on a trio of catches and two touchdowns, while Wall and Livingston each reeled in a receiving touchdown and finishing with 50 and 28 receiving yards, respectively.

“This just wasn’t very pretty tonight and that’s on me,” Prescott said. “We will find a way to regroup and we’ll learn from it and clean up the mistakes—and there’s a lot of mistakes, too. They had some good size and they moved really well and they came right at us. We’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Though the night obviously did not go as planned in general, Prescott especially felt bad for his seniors given the magnitude of the night for them.

“They’ve been outstanding in the transition (in the program this year),” Prescott said. “(They are) really good guys that have worked hard. You can tell that they care about each other. Definitely not the way you want a senior night to go. I wish I could change that for them, (but) I can’t, and now, for us, we’ve gotta regroup and try to get as many senior memories for those guys as we can with the time that’s left.”

Prescott stressed the need for his team to stay positive moving forward and to focus on improving each day in order to be the best they can be.

Huntington North will return to the field on Oct. 11, traveling to face Norwell in another NE8 contest. Opening kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

LEO 50, HUNTINGTON NORTH 3

Lions’ 14’ 23’ 7’ 6’ 50

Vikings’ 3’ 0’ 0’ 0’ 3

First quarter

HN — Aidan Hosler 20-yard field goal 8:54

L — Peyton Wall 80-yard rush, Carson McCauley kick good 8:41

L — Owen Lantz 28-yard rush, Carson McCauley kick good 2:46

Second quarter

L — Peyton Wall 31-yard rush, Carson McCauley kick good 6:55

L — Peyton Wall 42-yard reception, Carson McCauley kick good 5:00

L — Safety 3:36

L — Cameron Livingston 7-yard reception, Carson McCauley kick good 0:52

Third quarter

L — Peyton McHale 68-yard reception, Carson McCauley kick good 11:20

Fourth quarter

L — Carson Hoeppner 10-yard rush, Carson McCauley kick no good 3:35

Statistics

Huntington North

Rushing (attempts–total yards)

Lawson Shearer — 8–36

Garret Johnson — 9–30

Alexander Gallegos — 7–22

Deven Newcomb — 11–19

Cam McCarver — 1–6

Samuel Close — 1–5

Foster McDonald — 1–0

Reid Johnson — 6–(-31)

Total — 44–87

Passing (completions–attempts–total yards)

Reid Johnson — 2–6–16 (one interception)

Receiving (receptions–total yards)

Deven Newcomb — 2–16

Total yards — 103

Leo

Rushing (attempts–total yards)

Peyton Wall — 6–126 (two touchdowns)

Carson Hoeppner — 9–48 (one touchdown)

Owen Lantz — 4–44 (one touchdown)

Cameron Roach — 3–20

Parker James — 1–6

Dallen Wirtz — 1–5

Leo Cook — 1–5

Jackson Barbour — 2–(-2)

Gunnar Stuckey — 1–(-2)

Total — 28–250 (four touchdowns)

Passing (completions–attempts–total yards)

Jackson Barbour — 9–12–205 (three touchdowns)

Receiving (receptions–total yards)

Peyton McHale — 3–116 (one touchdown)

Peyton Wall — 2–50 (one touchdown)

Cameron Livingston — 3–28 (one touchdown)

Dallen Wirtz — 1–11

Total yards — 455