Hersey moves to 7-0 with dominating offensive performance
Friday night at Wheeling High School, Hersey quarterback Jimmy Makuh made a statement.
Makuh connected on 14 of 16 passes, good for 236 yards and 4 touchdown passes. Makuh added a 5-yard touchdown run, all in the first half in the Huskies' 42-18 win over the Wildcats.
The win sets up next weeks Mid-Suburban East showdown with Prospect for Hersey's homecoming.
Hersey is now 7-0 and 3-0 and Prospect is 6-1, 3-0.
"The Prospect game has been in the back of my mind since we lost to them last spring," Makuh said. "That's the game I want to win more than any other game."
The Huskies used a quick-strike offense in building a 35-6 halftime lead. Hersey's reserves played the second half of the contest.
"I like the quick strike," Makuh said. "Tonight, everyone executed. That's what we need to do, and we have to keep doing it."
After receiving the opening kickoff, Hersey took just 33 seconds to score on the first of 3 touchdown passes to senior wide receiver Dylan Carlquist. Carlquist caught the 22-yard pass from Makuh for a 6-0 lead.
Carson Koclanis connected on all six extra points.
It took 1:41 for the Huskies to build a 14-0 lead when Makuh hit Carlquist on a crossing pattern in the end zone early in the second quarter.
A 2:27 drive ended with Makuh hitting Sam Nudo with a touchdown pass for a 21-0 lead.
Wheeling (1-6, 0-3) pulled out a nifty 77-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brandon Roman, who found receiver Joseph Mitrol in the flat that narrowed the margin to 21-6.
Makuh then scored on a 5-yard run for a 28-6 advantage.
An interception by Hersey's Cole Woods set up a 2-play, 59-yard drive and a 35-6 lead. Again, it was a Makuh-to-Carlquist connection for 26 yards.
"I couldn't do what I did without Jimmy," Carlquist noted. "He put the ball right where it needs to be. The receivers have worked hard with him since he was a sophomore. All our receivers are threats."
Carlquist caught 9 passes for 142 yards. Nudo caught 4 for 46.
"They wanted to take away the deep throws so they played back," Makuh explained.
"I took what they gave me. My offensive line did a great job of pass blocking and reading their stunts.
Makuh credited Miki Jovanovic, Zack Ott, Alex Jelaca, Ryan Dempsey and Tylef Pflomm for the protection.
"We don't take Jimmy for granted," Hersey coach Joe Pardun said. "Jimmy does a great job controlling the offense. He's showing the ability to lead us. You need a kid like that to take control. And our offensive line, well, we go as the 'O' line goes."
Hersey finished with 428 yards of offense. Reserve quarterback Carter Hansen hit Ryan Stearns with a 15-yard touchdown pass to finish the Huskies' scoring.
Wheeling accounted for 302 yards of offense.
Roman rushed 13 times for 51 yards and a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns. Simon Micula added some punch with 52 yards on 13 carries.
"We've been hearing from the media that our offense dosen't show up," Wheeling coach Peter Panogakis stated.
"We took that personally and we knew we had backs that could run the ball. We couldn't keep passing the ball and going three and out. We only have 35 players, but they show up every game and play hard. We have some underclassman that are going to be good football players."