Game Stats Game Recap
|August 18 NORTH vs Princeton VARSITY Offensive Stats|
|WHEELER||14||9||64%||75||1||1||(1) 25yd TD (McKinney)|
|McKINNEY||17||157||9.2||2||49||0||(1) 30yd TD (2) 12yd TD|
|WHEELER||11||12||1.1||1||12||0||(1) 1yd TD (-13 yds 2QB sacks)|
|McKINNEY||3||3||35||11.7||1||25||(1) 25yd TD (Wheeler)|
|* thrown to|
|McClain||Punt||3||90||30.0||40||opponents muffed two punts|
|Player||Total||TD rush||TD rec||TD ret||2pt XP||XP kick||Special|
|Samuel||2||0||0||0||0||2||Missed 30yd FG attempt; 2 missed XP|
|August 18 NORTH vs PRINCETON Team Stats|
|5.4||Avg yds per rush||4.3|
|8.3||Avg yds per completion||18.9|
|2 / -13||Sacked / Yards Lost||0 / 0|
|5.4||Avg yds per play||5.5|
|1||Passes HAD intercepted||1|
|13||Points scored off turnovers||12|
|7 / 65||PENALTIES / YARDS||5 / 40|
|4 / 13||3rd down conversions||3 / 10|
|1 / 5||4th down conversions||0 / 3|
|2ND||10:11||D.Hardiman 10yd TD run||0 - 6|
|Robb XP kick||0 - 7|
|8:10||M.Hardiman 40yd TD int return||0 - 13|
|XP kick failed||0 - 13|
|5:45||McKinney 30yd TD run||6 - 13|
|Samuel XP kick||7 - 13|
|3:12||McKinney 20yd TD reception (Wheeler)||13 - 13|
|Samuel XP kick||14 - 13|
|3:01||Wheeler 1yd TD run||20 - 13|
|XP kick failed||20 - 13|
|3RD||3:56||M.Hardiman 8yd TD run||20 - 19|
|XP kick failed||20 - 19|
|3:02||McKinney 12yd TD run||26 - 19|
|XP kick failed||26 - 19|
|NORTH VS PRINCETON 8/18/2017 - DEFENSIVE STATS|
|PLAYER||SOLO||ASST.||T-FL||SACK||C FUM||R FUM||INT||BK||POINTS|
|55 ERIC McCLAIN||6||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||15|
|27 ANDY HENDRICKSON||1||3||0||0||0||1||1||0||9|
|09 CALEB HAGUE||1||1||0||0||1||2||0||0||9|
|06 ALEX SMITH||3||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||8|
|02 BRAYLEN NEIGHBORS||2||2||1||0||0||0||0||0||8|
|61 GAGE SALES||1||3||1||0||0||0||0||0||7|
|05 RYAN HUEBNER||2||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||5|
|04 TREVOR RUMSEY||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||4|
|57 KONNER PEPPER||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||4|
|56 CALEB WEBER||0||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||3|
|08 JAYDISS BUTLER||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2|
|17 TYLER GILMAN||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2|
|35 STEVEN KINCE||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2|
|30 DREW ROUTH||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||2|
|83 DAVID BURRIS||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1|
|88 DANIEL NAEHRING||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1|
OPPORTUNISTIC HUSKIES RALLY TO 26-19 WIN OVER PRINCETON
Trailing 13-0 with just seven minutes to play in the first half, the North Huskies battled back to win 26-19 Friday night. With senior Caleb Hague causing one fumble and recovering two others and fellow senior Andy Hendrickson intercepting a pass and recovering a fumble on the Tigers one-yard line, North rang up twenty straight points to take a lead they never relinquished.
EARLY SUCCESS YIELDS NO POINTS
The 2017 Huskies feature an offense with nearly no hold over pieces from 2016. Of the starters, only junior quarterback A.J. Wheeler and senior tight end Ryan Huebner saw significant playing time last season.
Working behind a starting offensive line that was cobbled together over the summer and features numerous underclassmen, there were questions regarding how effective the Huskies could be running the ball early in the season. The line consists of senior Eric McClain (somewhat undersized for a left tackle at 5’11 195 lbs. but a team-captain with the heart of a lion), senior Jacob Hansen at left guard, junior Caleb Brown at center, junior “Big” Will Moss at right guard, and freshman Gage Sales at right tackle.
Any questions about North’s ability to run the ball were answered pretty early Friday night. Each of the first two possessions drove deep into Princeton territory on the strength of a power running game that featured junior Trevor Rumsey and senior Tyler Tasa. Unfortunately, both drives stalled out in the red zone.
THE TIGERS START ROARING
Things turned around quickly in the second quarter as Princeton’s passing attack began to click. A 34 yard completion was followed by a pass interference penalty against North. The Tigers put the ball in the end zone on the next play and led 7-0.
North’s next possession featured three penalties called against the Huskies and they faced third and long at the 25. The Tigers blitzed and managed to jostle Wheeler’s arm. The resulting errant throw was picked off and run back for a 40 yard touchdown. Princeton led 13-0 and it looked like the game was going to get out of control.
ENTER DYLAN McKINNEY
New offensive coordinator Lamarceo Shemwell switched to “the pistol” formation on North’s next possession and inserted sophomore Dylan McKinney at tail back. Where the Huskies had started the game in a version of the ‘I’ formation—which depends on a more controlled, power football style of play—the ‘pistol’ is more versatile for sweeps and pitches outside the tackles along with counter direction plays into the interior of the line.
The offense responded. More specifically, McKinney responded.
Or perhaps more accurately, McKinney exploded.
Taking a pitch to the left from Wheeler, McKinney picked up ten yards on the first play of the possession. A similar play to the right netted 14 yards on the ensuing first down. Ryan Huebner gained 7 yards on a tight-end-counter into the middle of the line and sophomore Wayne Crowe bulled for three tough yards to pick up a first down at the Princeton 30.
And then McKinney took off…
Eric McClain single handedly sealed off the left side of the line by blocking two men with his body as McKinney took a pitch and got outside him quickly. Looking up from the open space that McClain had provided him, he saw Huebner standing up a defensive back with his block and McKinney slid through the opening into the secondary. He shook off a would be tackler at the 15 and turned on the jets to the end zone. He gained 55 yards on just four carries in the drive as he scored his first varsity touchdown.
THE DEFENSE PICKS UP
Junior defensive end Braylen Neighbors nailed a runner for loss on first down of Princeton’s ensuing possession and when the Tigers’ quarterback dropped back to pass on second and long, the Huskies were in man-to-man coverage.
Senior Andy Hendrickson stands just 5’8” tall and weighs 165 pounds. That makes him comparatively small for a linebacker.
A better measure of Andy is probably the size of the football player inside his heart.
On this play, he drew man-to-man coverage against a receiver that stood 6’3” and outweighed Hendrickson by forty pounds.
To put it simply, Andy simply wanted the ball more than the other guy. Diving in front of the bigger player, Hendrickson came up with North’s first turnover of the night. It would be neither Andy nor North’s last of the evening.
TAKING THE LEAD
With the ball in great field position at the Princeton 31, it took the Huskies just 90 seconds to score. On fourth and four, the Huskies called what can be, for young teams, one of the most difficult ‘deception’ plays to perform—the middle screen pass.
When Wheeler took the snap, the play calls for the offensive line to allow the defenders to slip past them—but not too obviously or they will sniff out the play and the receiver will be nailed in the backfield.
Our young offensive line executed perfectly and Wheeler lofted the ball over the charging defenders and into McKinney’s capable hands right behind them. The sophomore turned up field and got a tremendous block from senior Caleb Hague that opened up the left side of the field for McKinney to run. As he neared the 20 yard line, it was Ryan Huebner who once again contributed the key downfield block and created a seam for McKinney to run to the goal line. After Thomas Samuel’s extra point kick, the Huskies led 14-13 and would never again trail in the game.
Before Princeton could recover it was Hague and Hendrickson who would strike again. When Samuel’s kick off reached the one yard line, the Tiger return man bobbled the ball as he picked it up. Moving awkwardly, he had just recovered his balance and made it to the five yard line with the ball tucked away when Caleb Hague reached him and stripped the ball loose again. Hendrickson displayed a nose for the football and dove on it at the Princeton one yard line.
A.J. Wheeler followed a smashing block by his center, Caleb Brown, and burrowed into the end zone to give North a 20-13 halftime lead.
Turnovers told the story again in the third quarter when, following a 50 yard run by McKinney, North fumbled the ball away on the next play. Princeton used the momentum to drive back down field and score a touchdown that cut the Husky lead to 20-19 with 3:56 to play in the period.
Again it looked like the Tigers had recovered their footing and threatened to take control of the game again.
Enter Trevor Rumsey.
Another player who cannot be measured in physical terms, the 5’8” junior was all over the field Friday night. He gained yards rushing, he gained yards receiving, he defended on passes, he fielded punts sure-handedly, and he made tackles when they mattered.
But perhaps no play mattered as much as the next one following the Tigers’ touchdown.
On the kickoff, he fielded the ball at the ten and by the time he hit the twenty yard line, he seemingly faced the Princeton team posing for a team picture. A solid wall of red faced him as he ran forward.
Had they tackled him there, deep in North territory, with the momentum of a turnover turned into six points working in their favor, it would have been a game changer.
Instead, Rumsey found a crease that allowed him to get outside to the right. He rambled out to the forty yard line before going out of bounds. After he was off the playing field, a pair of Tiger defenders hit him and drove him to the ground.
Trevor hopped right up and rather than retaliate for the late hit, simply dropped the ball in the hands of the official. He kept his cool and the officials tacked on another 15 yards to the return.
It was a thing of beauty to watch the offensive line execute the first play of this possession. Lining up in the pistol formation again, the play required center Caleb Brown and fullback Wayne Crowe to “neutralize” the entire left side of the Tiger defense. Those two underclassmen executed perfect blocks to seal off that side of the line.
The play required both McClain and Jacob Hansen to pull from their spots at left tackle and left guard and run down the line ahead of the running back. First Hansen engaged the Princeton right tackle and trapped him off from the play, then McClain turned up field in the spot vacated by the Princeton tackle and sealed off the interior pursuit from the defense. He nailed the middle linebacker and got a piece of the safety.
McKinney obviously knows what to do when you have a hole you could drive a pick-up truck through. He accelerated through and cut to his right past another crisp downfield block by Caleb Hague and gained 22 yards before being brought down.
Another trap play saw Hansen kill the end and Will Moss and Gage Sales sealed off the pursuit as McKinney ran to the 12.
A third consecutive trap play didn’t look like it would yield good results as the defense seemed to clog the center, but McKinney bounced the play outside and looked again for a block from Caleb Hague on a defender near the goal line. Hague went low and McKinney went high and the Huskies led 26-19.
FOURTH QUARTER GETS TENSE
North could manage just three yards of total offense in the fourth quarter. The running game was not as effective and a quarterback sack gave the Tigers life as they penned the Huskies deep in their own territory to punt. McClain’s kick was wobbly and didn’t look to travel but 20 yards.
There is no substitute for senior leadership, though.
North’s punt coverage on the outside was manned by Hague. Executing critical downfield blocks to spring runners all night long, he had also pried a ball loose from a defender inside the five yard line to set up a touchdown.
It was his turn to lead again.
When the return man ‘muffed’ the punt, Hague was there to fall on the loose ball at midfield.
After an exchange of possessions, there was just six minutes to play in the game when North again took over at its 27 yard line. Again the defense stymied the Huskies. Again McClain lined up to punt—this time the ball was kicked higher and further.
And again Hague was waiting on coverage when the defender went to catch the ball. With Hague already in front of him, the defender took his eye off the ball, muffed the catch, and again Hague fell on the loose ball.
North ran out the clock and went home with a victory on the road in the season opener.
The offensive line looked in mid-season form. The fresh variety of offensive schemes, formations, and play calling yielded an exciting style of football to watch. The Huskies “made their own luck” under the lights at Tiger Stadium—they pried balls loose and played a hard-nosed style of defense. There may be few seniors on this team, but those that are there are teaching this young ball club the meaning of leaving nothing on the field.
Kudos to the coaching staff for putting “the right stuff” into this collective group of over-achievers.
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