Usually when a team is losing the turnover ratio 6-1, you wouldn’t think they would have a chance in the game. That was not the case for Hunter Huss. With five turnovers already in the game, the Huskies had a chance to either send the game into overtime with a field-goal or win it with a touchdown in the closing seconds. That’s when the Huskies committed their sixth and final turnover in their 17-14 loss to Porter Ridge.
Hunter Huss started freshman Zoe Wallace at quarterback. He threw one touchdown pass to Antwanez Barnett for 63 yards. That gave Hunter Huss a 7-3. Wallace was intercepted six times in the game, however. After going up 7-3, the Huskies fell behind immediately when Pirates’ senior running-back Mason Mills scored on a 66-yard rushing touchdown. Sophomore quarterback Grayson McCall extended the Pirates’ lead with a four-yard touchdown pass to fellow sophomore Jake Myers. Kicker Jared Wheatley was 2-for-2 on extra-point kicks. He also got the Pirates on the board with a 35 yard field goal.
The second half was more of a scoring drought as both defenses stiffened. The Huskies finally broke through to cut the Pirates lead in the fourth quarter when junior running-back Dallas Danner scored a two-yard touchdown run. They would not get any closer.
Mason Mills led the Pirate offense with 141 yards and a touchdown. Jake Horstkamp registered three interceptions for the Pirates. Matthew Cambria, William Kilgo, and William Reed each had one. Isaiah Moran sacked Huskies quarterback Zoe Wallace once. Dallas Danner led the Huskies offense with 136 yards rushing and a touchdown. Akeythio Carson recovered a Porter Ridge fumble for Hunter Huss. Devin Harrell and Antonio Washington each registered a sack for the Huskies.
“No question the turnovers were the Achilles’ heel today. There’s no way you can win a ball game with six interceptions. And to be down by only three points?” said Hunter Huss head coach Jamar McKoy “We harped all week on keeping our penalties down. We got our penalties down today but our turnovers went through the roof.”
“Defense was on the field about 85-90% of the ball game. So the defense was sucking wind. One time we put our heads down they blow by us with a (66 yard) by the big back (Mason Mills). That’s the tale of the tape. If we can get the offense clicking and get on the same page and keep the defense off the field. Our defense is lights out. We harped on giving up big plays and again today big plays beat us.”
“No question it’s preparing us for the conference.” McKoy said of his narrow losses “But I can tell you what. My guys, especially my seniors, are sick of losing. I’m sick of losing. We need wins. That’s what matters right now, wins and losses.”
Hunter Huss will have a chance to do that this Friday as they travel to take on 0-3 Hickory.
“It was a battle. We came out feeling good after half-time and Hunter Huss just came out and hit us in the mouth in the second half.” said Porter Ridge head coach Michael Hertz “For 75% of my team, last week was their first varsity game. We’re very inexperienced and we’ll take a lot from this. I am glad, happy and proud how we battled and hung in there and held on for the win. We bent but we didn’t break I’d like to be better against the run. But when it mattered, we held.”
“We worked hard in the offseason. I have a great group of seniors. We worked from February all the way up to the season. We’re just trying to change the culture around here and I’m happy for the community.”
Porter Ridge plays host to their cross-town rival, Sun Valley (3-0) next week.
“It’s exactly what we need. They’re our rival and we’re playing them at home. We’re coming off a subpar performance today even though we won so I’ll be anxious to see how our team responds.” Hertz said.