- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Early in the second quarter, one of Huntingtown kicker Noah Reeves’ extra points clanked off the scoreboard.
But the kick wasn’t the only thing that might have done some damage as the Hurricanes almost overloaded the circuits during a 42-0 rout of visiting Great Mills on Friday.
Huntingtown (1-0 overall) scored 21 points in the first quarter and led 35-0 at halftime after scoring on five of its first six possessions.
“It's a bit of a relief, yeah, but I've been telling the guys that it's not me, it's not one person,” first-year Huntingtown head coach Brendan Galligan said on his first career coaching win. “We preach team and our kids really fought tonight. It's not really a relief when you have good kids, good coaches.”
Galligan said he was unusually mellow before the game.
“Surprisingly calm,” Galligan said of his pregame nerves. “I thought I'd be up all night, but I wasn't. I didn't eat much, though.”
Perhaps Galligan, a former longtime Huntingtown assistant, was soothed in part by his offensive line, which paved the way to the tune of 253 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns.
“We have an experienced offensive line and we rode them,” Galligan said, referring to center Riley Cannon, guards Adam Wilde and Tyler Sullivan, tackles Juwan Hawkins and Zach Walker and tight end Josh Woodburn. “We watched them on film and they can throw a lot and they're a pretty athletic team and that scared us. But I thought our coaches had a good plan coming in and our players played phenomenal.”
“It was all the work of the line,” said Huntingtown running back Carl Riffe, who rushed for 112 yards and two scores, all before halftime. “They opened things up and I was just going through the holes.”
Cannon said the game plan was simple.
“We wanted to come out and establish being a physical football team and we just kept running plays and our running backs kept running hard,” he said. “[We wanted to] just take the first line out and then get to the second level and once you get to the second level just all the running back has to do is beat that one safety.”
Huntingtown’s defensive line was not to be outdone either as it held the Hornets to 14 yards on 22 carries and stymied quarterback Tony Smith, who managed to complete just 4 of 11 passes for 38 yards. The defense also created three turnovers.
“We knew we had to watch Great Mills on that sweep and I thought we did a really good job at containing them,” said Huntingtown senior defensive back Jules Lucas. “They have some really quick people and I think our outside linebackers did a really good job at pursuing the ball. We knew they were good at the passing game and we've been repping a lot of their plays all week and scout defense helped us a lot. I know people are going to pick on our defensive backs this year, I mean let’s be honest, but we’re coming along.”
Great Mills (0-1) crossed the midfield stripe just once all game, thanks in large part to the Hurricanes receiving a pair of 15-yard penalties on the drive.
“I can't single out too many guys, but you have a guy like Jules Lucas back there and no one wants to go there [with the ball],” Galligan said. “We had a plan to win and No. 1 was play great defense and when we play great D we can beat anybody.”
Huntingtown opened the scoring on Zach Piazza’s one-yard plunge that completed a game-opening 10-play, 55-yard drive.
Piazza made it 14-0 when he hooked up with Brian Kelly in the end zone and Kelly outwrestled Great Mills defender Avell Barnes for the ball.
Riffe then scored on runs of five and three yards and Brian Curtis found the end zone from four yards out. Dalonte Holland, Chris Lobas and Bobby Milie each had fumble recoveries and Woodburn added a pick.
“The line got a really good rush on and got the quarterback and rushed him into a bad throw,” Woodburn said of his first-quarter interception. The senior also had a team-high seven tackles. “I was just in the right spot. They're a good team and they played hard and luckily, based on our experience we came out on top.”
Despite the loss, Great Mills head coach Tyrone Bell was pleased at how his team never stopped fighting.
“One of the things we did last year was we gave up in the second half and what I saw was that stopped,” he said. “We were still playing and smacking players and having fun out there and still encouraging each other as a team. Our goal this year is to get better and it doesn't necessarily mean that we're going to win 10 games. It means that every single person out here will be a better man when they leave this program and that's my goal.
It was Bell’s first game as Hornets frontman.
“Whether it’s on the field or in the classroom, in the hallways or at home, we always want these guys to hold their head up high and even if they do something wrong hold their head up high,” Bell continued. “One thing we always say is we refuse to coach effort but if you give me effort, I’ll make you a better player.”
Meanwhile, Galligan will not have long to cherish the win as Huntingtown will travel to St. Mary’s County to face Chopticon at 6 p.m. Friday.
“Yeah it's nice but it's always the next challenge,” he said with a smile on his face. “We beat Great Mills, now it's what do we do to beat Chopticon. It never ends. It's kind of a miserable existence in a way.”
Great Mills will return to Calvert County on Friday to face Calvert at 7 p.m.
Huntingtown 42, Great Mills 0
Great Mills 0 0 0 0
Huntingtown 21 14 7 0
H PIazza 1 run (Reeves kick), 3:28
H Kelly 18 pass from PIazza (Reeves kick), 6:25
H Riffe 5 run (Reeves kick), 7:42
H Riffe 3 run (Reeves kick), 2:22
H Curtis 4 run (Reeves kick), 9:17
H Constantino 4 run (Reeves kick), 10:14
GM (4 first downs, 22-14 rushing, 38 passing, 3-3 fumbles, 6-33 penalties)
H (18 first downs, 51-253 rushing, 42 passing, 1-0 fumbles, 3-38 penalties)
Top individual performers
Rushing GM: Bremby 7-9, Smith 8-7, Perkins 1-4; H: Riffe 22-112, Curtis 6-49, Rowe 5-37
Passing GM: Smith 4-11-1 38; H: Piazza 4-6-0 42
Receiving GM: Blofsky 3-29, Perkins 1-9; H: Kelly 1-18, Rowe 2-13, Pawlowski 1-11