Congratulation to the HFL Youth Cheerleading squads who did a great job at last weekend's Empire Cheer Competition held at RIT. Both the Flag and B teams finished in 2nd place, while the young ladies on the C squad brought home the first place trophy! All the girls put their heart into their respective routines and should be congratulated on doing a top-notch job of representing the HFL Youth Cheerleading program! WELL DONE LADIES!!!
The Marcus Whitman Wildcats had only lost one game all season, and they came to the HFL Stadium on a picture-perfect Sunday afternoon to try to keep that winning record in-tact. The Wildcats won the toss and elected to receive the opening kick-off from HFL. Charlie Kirby, Brody Young, and Carson Joint denied the Marcus Whitman squad a first down on their initial possession, and HFL took over on downs at their own 42 yard line. A 16 yard run by Zac Meacham, two consecutive completed passes to Nolan Smith and Carson joint for a total of 19 yards, and HFL found themselves deep in Marcus Whitman territory with a first and goal at the 6. Unable to punch it in on the first 3 tries, a 13 yard run to the wide side of the field by Meacham resulted in a diving touchdown as he launched over the pylon following a big hit by the Marcus Whitman defender. Nolan smith then caught the extra point throw by Young in the end-zone to put HFL up early 7 to 0. HFL’s lead would be short-lived as the Wildcats took only one play after the kick-off to tie the score at 7 apiece. The Marcus Whitman kicker then pinned the Cougars deep in their own territory with 1st and 10 at the Cougar 19. The HFL Offense could not get into the rhythm that netted them 7 points on the first drive and eventually surrendered the football to Marcus Whitman on their own 15 yard line. It only took two plays for the Wildcats to punch it in and miss the extra point to take a quick 13 to 7 lead as the first quarter came to an end. To start the 2nd quarter of play, the visiting Wildcats made the big mistake of kicking it deep to Joey Rogers who electrified the home crowd with a fantastic 71 yard kick-off return for a Cougar touchdown! The score was now dead-locked at 13 … but unfortunately … not for long. On the very next kick-off by the Cougars, the Marcus Whitman returner answered the HFL score with his own 67 yard return for a touchdown. Troy Mooney denied the extra point by stripping the ball from the Wildcat runner before he crossed the goal-line … HFL 13 , Marcus Whitman 19. Despite big tackles on Defense by Jack Harvey, James Killenbec, Smith, Kirby and Rogers … and a big 31 yard run by Meacham on Offense, the HFL squad went into halftime down to a tough Marcus Whitman ball-team 26 to 13.
The second half would not be kind to the young Cougar team as the visiting Wildcats would score again on their opening drive. The Cougars fought back, but were unable to move the ball very effectively against the stingy Marcus Whitman Defense. HFL did manage to push the ball into Wildcat territory on a pair of tough “smash-mouth” runs up the middle by Hayden Meehan, but the drive eventually stalled. The Youth Cougars did not give up however, and the Defense stepped up a number of times in the second half to deny any more scoring by the Wildcats. Joint, Mooney, Conlan Rorick and Colton Miller handed the visitors their first 4-and-out of the second half, while a flurry of consecutive tackles by Meacham and a strip and recovery by Killenbec put the brakes on the final Marcus Whitman drive of the day. Although the final score was Marcus Whitman 32, HFL 13, the boys fought hard till the very end and played a tough 4 quarters of football. The B-Team will try to get back on the winning track next weekend as they start a 2 week road trip by traveling to Midlakes High School to take on the Jr. Eagles.
Stealing a game from the Pal-Mac Red Raider B-Team is a feat that no-one has accomplished yet this year. Unfortunately, the HFL Cougars would find themselves no closer to that elusive goal once all was said and done on a grey overcast Sunday at Pal-Mac High School.
Pal-Mac set the tone early in the game by taking the 3rd play from scrimmage 52 yards for the first TD of the game. After tacking on the extra point for a 7-0 early lead, the Cougar Offense took over at their own 42 yard line. Unable to find a rhythm, the ball was given back to the Pal-Mac squad after a quick 4-and-out. Big tackles by Charlie Kirby, James Killenbec, and Garrett Hall on the ensuing possession stopped the Pal-Mac Offense dead in their tracks. The HFL Offense used the 3-man running attack of Zac Meacham, Hayden Meehan, and Killenbec to punch the ball to what looked like a first down, however a great leap out of bounds (and well past the first down marker) by Killenbec went unrewarded by the officiating staff whose poor spot of the ball robbed the Cougars of a hard fought first down … enter the HFL Defense for a 3rd time. Following a nice Joe Rogers tackle, Chance Bears stripped the ball from the Red Raider Running Back and Meehan recovered it to give it right back to the Cougar Offense. With a chance to tie the game in the 2nd quarter, the Cougars tried again to get that elusive initial first-down of the game … to no avail. On its 4th Defensive stand of the game, the young squad stood its ground with big stops by Killenbec, Carson Joint, Nolan Smith and Ben Carson. The Cougars now had a chance to tie it up with one final drive of the 1st half, but unfortunately, the wheels came off with very little time remaining. After losing too many yards on consecutive plays, the Cougars were backed up to their own goal and suffered a safety with 50 seconds left … Pal-Mac 9, HFL 0. The following “free kick” from the HFL 20 yard-line was then returned for a 45 yard touchdown, and in the blink of an eye, the Cougar B-Team was going into the Half down 15 to 0.
There is no quit in this team, as was evident when 2 plays after having the ball intercepted by Pal-Mac at the start of the second half, Ben Carson stripped and recovered a Red Raider fumble to give the Offense another shot at the end-zone. Killenbec broke a long 60 yard run into the end-zone on the very next play, only to have it nullified by a face-mask penalty … and then a false-start … and then Holding … 1st and 30 at the 20 yard line. Meacham would get most of that back on the next play with a 20 yard run to make it 2nd and a manageable 10 yards to go … now it was Killenbec’s turn. As if to say “now we are even”, Killenbec ripped off another 60 yard touchdown run … NO FLAG ON THE PLAY! Brody Young then targeted a nice pass to Jack Vandenbush on the extra point conversion to bring the Cougars to within 8 of the Red Raiders … 15 to 7. With one quarter left to play, the Cougars would valiantly attempt to rally the troops and mount some sort of comeback. The Pal-Mac Offense would, however, eventually wear down the Cougar D and put another two touchdowns on the board before the final buzzer sounded … Pal-Mac 28 … HFL 7. The Youth Cougar B-Team will re-group and take on a formidable opponent, the Marcus Whitman Wildcats, next Sunday at home.