High School Sports: Too much first half deficit for Hinton to overcome against Woodbury Central (8/29/22)

(Photo courtesy of Blake Stubbs, The Record) Hinton’s Caden Winters crashes into Woodbury Central’s ball carrier during Friday’s game. He finished with two tackles on defense and led Hinton receivers with four catches for 65 yards.

MOVILLE — Hinton’s football team played even with Woodbury Central in the second half, but a 28-0 first-half deficit was too much for the Blackhawks to overcome in a 41-13 loss to one of the last year’s Class A semi-finalists.

“I think we really showed heart in the second half,” Hinton head coach Kadrian Hardersen said. “Led 28-0 at halftime, you get to see what your boys are made of. They fought the whole second half and played out a 13-13 draw and I thought that was a testament to their tenacity. In the end, we walked out of the gate slowly and played passive football for two quarters and that was our demise.

Woodbury Central scored the first touchdown on a 10-yard pass from Drew Kluender to Eric McGill. A 25-yard touchdown run from Max McGill extended the lead. A 45-yard touchdown pass to Will DeStigter made it 21-0. Woodbury Central converted a 4th-and-5 play for a 25-yard touchdown pass to Eric McGill as they took a 28-0 halftime lead.

Kluender joined Eric McGill twice more in the second half on touchdown shots.

Both of Hinton’s second-half scores came on rushing plays from Beau DeRocher, including an 80-yard fumble for the score. DeRocher finished with 125 rushing yards on six carries in the contest.

“Before, we played well enough to win, but we need to improve the mental side of the game in our backfield,” Hardersen said. “In the second half we were better at making plays when we had the chance and were able to get a bit of a flow. Beau DeRocher had a great night carrying the football and a big play was waiting to happen. I initially thought Garrett Divis was the real deal on Friday night. He was solid in all aspects of the game and the rest of the O line followed his lead.

The rest of the Blackhawks’ rushing attempts weren’t able to gain much with Dylan Hartman next on the team with 20 yards on 10 carries.

Hinton’s passing game was a bit more successful when they were able to make connections, but that was only on just over a quarter of the team’s passing games while the two quarters of the team combined for an 11-of-41 completion rate. Senior Glen Carlson went 7 of 18 for 122 yards, but also had one interception. Sophomore Gabe Anderson completed just four of 23 attempts for 36 yards.

Caden Winters downed four targets for 65 yards and Carson Peirce added three receptions for 58 yards as top receivers for Hinton.

Carter Worden had an interception for the defense. DeRocher and Hartman led the team with 9.5 tackles while Jacob Bishop was next with 8.5 tackles in the game.

“Defensively, I think we made some really good adjustments in the second half and were a lot more aggressive in our mindset. In the first half, I thought we lost our heads a bit and the guys had stopped reading their keys and focusing on their jobs,” Hardersen said. “Dylan Hartman was a tackle machine all night and our front did a good job of keeping him clean in the second half. “

Both teams resumed their series last season after a break in 2020. The Wildcats won last year’s meeting by a score of 52-0. Hinton won every year from 2016 to 2019, all with double-digit scores.

Woodbury Central (1-0) will travel to face Logan-Magnolia (0-1) on Friday. Those teams met twice last season with the Wildcats winning 18-13 in the district contest and then by a score of 26-7 in the state quarterfinals.

Hinton (0-1) will also open district play on Friday as they host MMCRU (1-0). The Blackhawks won last year’s game by a score of 7-6.

“Moving forward, the big key for us is getting back to basics and focusing on the work of each man,” Hardersen said. “We’ve taken the early game tremors out of our system and now we need to refine what we’re doing and improve.”

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