Hersey puts up record 78 points in win over Wheeling
Former Chicago Bears and current University of Illinois football coach Lovie Smith used to say his team got off the bus running.
Saturday at Wheeling, Hersey's football team piled off the bus a half-hour before game time -- well, three buses to be exact -- to run and pass its way to a school record.
The Huskies recorded 595 yards from scrimmage, 369 rushing and 226 through the air, in a 78-20 Mid-Suburban East win over the Wildcats.
The old school mark for points was 63, and Saturday Hersey had that score eclipsed by halftime.
"We've come close the last few years," said Huskies 6-foot-3, 250-pound left tackle Matthew Mysza. "We had 63 earlier this year to tie it and we scored 62 last year. We came out fast today, and we came out physical."
Wheeling (0-5, 0-1) played well on the offensive side of the ball. The Wildcats finished with 175 yards on the ground (138 by Paul Ufir), quarterback Austin Hembd passed for 160 yards, and wide receiver Daniel Provost caught 7 passes for 104 yards.
The Wildcats 'D' however, gave up numerous big plays to the Hersey offense.
"Our offense has been functioning all year," said Wheeling coach Brian Hauck, "but our defense is struggling. We're very young, and we're struggling. As a program we're not doing all of the things we need to do.
"That's my job to get that fixed," added Hauck. "These kids care about each other and they care about this program, and they care about this school. They just don't know how to be successful and it's my job to find a way for them to be successful."
Hersey (5-0, 1-0) tallied 9 touchdowns in the first half, along with a safety.
Ben Clawson caught a 7 yard pass from quarterback Jordan Hansen, Ben Randall had a 49-yard TD catch, and Quin Carpenter ran 10 yards for a score.
Jimmy Matanovic scored twice, a 6-yard run and a 38-yard catch, and Hansen had 4 rushing touchdowns -- one a 98-yarder.
It was Hansen's tackle-breaking 17-yard run with 26 seconds left in the first half -- and the point after kick from Max McCall -- that put the Huskies up 64-7 and set the record.
"We feel like every week is another chance for us; just like everybody else we want to go out and get better," said Hersey coach Joe Pardun. "Our offense executed in the first half which is what we ask them to do. I felt like we got better today.
"I said to one of our kids today it's how we perform as a team," said Pardun about the 78-point explosion. "I know we have a record board at school, I haven't looked at it to be honest. It's more important to get the win but when we're executing like we did today good things happen."
Provost snagged a 20-yard pass for a Wheeling score in the first half, and in the second half Wheeling dented the end zone twice more, on a 10-yard run by Ufir and a 33-yard pass from Hembd to William Snarski.
Hersey's second-half scores were from Caleb Bontje (a 59-yard pass from Jimmy Makuh) and a 5-yard Makuh run.
On defense, Anthony Cardi had 2 interceptions for the Huskies.
"Our focus today was to come out and fight for respect," said Hersey defensive lineman Conrad Twardowski. "It felt good. We just take it one week at a time, our next opponent is Prospect and we're looking forward to that game."
Hansen finished with 226 yards rushing on just 7 carries. His other 3 touchdown runs came from 28, 18, and 17 yards out.
"We feel like we can make it to state," added Mysza. "We know we can do it this year. We have the talent, we have the size, we've just got to play with more energy."