- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
By JAMES A. McCRAY III
Huntingtown Hurricanes head football coach Brendan Galligan called his offensive line some names that typically would be, offensive.
He called his offensive line unit, “Nasty and mean,” after their performance Friday night visiting the Chopticon Braves.
But being called “nasty and mean” after opening holes for the Huntingtown running backs to the tune of 462 total rushing yards in a 49-6 victory is just the opposite of offensive. It is a compliment.
Huntingtown (2-0, 1-0 SMAC) picked up the win in large part due to the rushing attack led by senior Carl Riffe, who rushed for 179 yards on 16 attempts and two touchdowns. And Riffe, just as his head coach had believed, knew why those yards racked up.
“The offensive line,” Riffe said. “They were busting open huge holes. I was having trouble getting started, but they bailed me out. With the holes they created, anyone can run through that.”
Already leading 7-0 after a Bryson Curtis 33-yard touchdown midway through the first quarter Curtis had nine rushes for 102 yards in the contest Riffe scored his first rushing touchdown of the day from 19 yards out.
Huntingtown jumped out to a 21-0 first-quarter lead after quarterback Zach Piazza connected with Brian Kelly through the air from 29 yards out, but Chopticon was able to cut that lead to 21-6 early in the second.
Riffe’s biggest run came only two plays later when a 77-yard touchdown run completed a two-play, 80-yard drive, extending the lead to 28-6 after the extra point.
“Our offensive line has been probably one of our strongest points the last couple of years,” Galligan said. “We got hot again in certain places and we kept riding it. We have some rag balls up front who are nasty, mean and physical and it’s a luxury to have.”
Riffe’s 77-yard touchdown was the first of two 70-plus yard touchdown rushes, Matt Schug adding a 74-yarder to end the third quarter, putting Huntingtown up 49-6 after.
Piazza completed three passes on Friday night, but two of them were touchdown strikes for the Hurricanes.
“Our rush is so effective; teams have to prepare more so for the run more than the pass,” Piazza said. “When they do that, they leave the pass open.”
As the offense rushed its way to 2-0, Galligan’s defense has allowed six points through two games, pitching a shutout in a 42-0 win in Week 1 against Great Mills and only allowing one touchdown Friday, but making up for it by blocking the point-after attempt.
“We tell our kids there are four things we have to do each week to win and number one is to play defense,” Galligan said. “We try to hang our hat on that and try to get as many turnovers as we can. To hold a team like Chopticon to six points is an accomplishment.”
Riffe added, “It’s great to know we have a strong defense to back us up. They held them to six, and then they blocked the extra point, that says everything right there.”
Huntingtown will host county foe in Calvert at 7 p.m. Friday.
“Our team is confident, but we know how to stay mellow,” Piazza said. “We have to keep practicing and getting better every week.”
Chopticon and head coach Tony Lisanti dropped to 0-2, 0-1 this year.
Lisanti admitted that he believed the team was back in the contest when, early in the second quarter, quarterback Kevin McVerry found Carson Reese in the back of the end zone.
However, a quick-hitting Hurricanes score increased the deficit and the Chopticon offense was held at bay for the remainder of the contest.
“You tell them that they have to look within,” Lisanti said of his postgame mentions, “because that’s where the only answers are going to come from. We have to make sure that we can execute and we sure didn’t execute tonight. But, you have to give credit to Huntingtown. They seem to be in midseason form and we seem to be in preseason form.”
Chopticon will play in its own county-rivalry game at 6 p.m. Friday when it visits Great Mills.
Huntingtown 49, Chopticon 6
Huntingtown 21 21 7 0
Chopticon 0 6 0 0
H Curtis 33 run (Reeves kick), 5:58
H Riffe 26 run (Reeves kick), 8:34
H Kelly 29 pass from Piazza (Reeves kick), 10:44
C Reese 2 pass from McVerry (kick failed), 1:44
H Riffe 77 run (Reeves kick), 2:17
H Rowe 12 run (Reeves kick), 9:54
H Pawlowski 22 pass from Piazza (Reeves kick), 11:20
H Schug 74 run (Reeves kick), 12:00
Top individual performers
Rushing H: Riffe16-179, Curtis 9-102, Schug 1-74; C: Barber 19-97
Passing H: Piazza 3-4-1 81; C: McVerry 8-16-1 104
Receiving H: Kelly 2-58, Pawlowski 1-23; C: Kollar 2-35, Powell 2-30