With a heavy dosage of Owen Goldsberry, Hersey was able to wear down Highland Park in nonconference play Friday for a 40-7 victory, bouncing back from a tough defeat a week ago.
The Huskies continued to feed Goldsberry the ball throughout the night, and it worked in their favor. The quarterback rushed 27 times and dropped back to pass 12 times -- and the Hersey offense got stronger as the game went on. Hersey followed a 12-point first half with 28 points in the second half.
"We obviously always want to run the football, but we feel like we have a lot of weapons," said Hersey coach Joe Pardun, whose team improved to 2-1 on the season. "So it is about what is working that night. Our offensive line did an awesome job tonight."
The ground game led by Goldsberry is what worked best Friday. His final two runs were for 48- and 63-yard touchdowns. He finished the night with 252 yards on the ground and 98 yards through the air.
He said he felt tired at the end of the game. However, with the frequency he carried the ball, especially in the first three quarters, it is easy to tell his conditioning has paid off.
"Owen is a hard worker and you could see it in the fourth quarter," Pardun said. "I have known Owen for a long time. That is how he works. We have talked in the program about earning it, and he earned it tonight."
Goldsberry was humble after the game and took little credit for his success. He lauded coach Tom Nelson for creating the off-season conditioning program that allowed him to handle a heavy load and thanked his teammates for making his job easier.
"My 200-and-whatever yards was all the offensive line," said Goldsberry, who will lead the Huskies against Niles West next week. "Without them, I gain zero yards."
While Goldsberry received the majority of the carries, many players put up points for the Huskies. Nick Wiley, Luke Cecala and Luke Picchiotti each had touchdown runs.
In the first half, however, points were hard to come by and Hersey found other ways to score. Caleb Augustyn tackled Highland Park running back Ryan Brinks for a safety, and Scott Tangney kicked a 28-yard field goal.
The defense made it easy for the offense, holding the Giants without a touchdown until Brinks scored midway through the fourth quarter.
"Communication (was the key) by far," said Hersey linebacker Colton Kamysz, who had a sack and a forced fumble. "When our team is communicating, we are working well together, playing fast and playing physical and it really brings everyone together."
Goldsberry said the defense did a great job of keeping the pressure off the offense.
"Our defense is setting us up great, giving us great field position, giving us the ball back," Goldsberry said. "They were playing great ball. You have to give it to them."