Hurons bounce back with Thursday night win

Coach Cory Malocha (back at right) addresses his team after a 14-7 win over Inland Lakes Aug. 31. (Photo by Richard Lamb)
Coach Cory Malocha (back at right) addresses his team after a 14-7 win over Inland Lakes Aug. 31. (Photo by Richard Lamb)

by Richard Lamb–Advance Editor

After a not-so-great start to the season, the football Hurons (1-1) turned it around in dramatic fashion Thursday (Aug. 31). A 14-7 win over Indian River Inland Lakes erased the memory of a bitter defeat in week one.

“They worked so hard during the week for this game. They knew they were the underdogs and I think that is what made them play better. They practiced very hard this week. They wanted to beat this team so bad,” Malocha said.

Inland Lakes gained only 90 yards on the ground and 69 yards in the game with 57 yards of those coming on two big plays.

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JD Ellenberger holds on to a pass during the Inland Lakes game. (Photo by Richard Lamb)
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As Zane Grzesikowski makes the tackle of the Inland Lakes quarterback, Cory Sweeso Jr. makes a recovery of a fumble that set up the Hurons’ first touchdown. (Photo by Richard Lamb)
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Huron junior quarterback Caleb Bade rolls out looking for a receiver. (Photo by Richard Lamb)
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A hit by Caleb Bade and Kaleb Budnick jarred the ball loose for Zane Grzesikowski (60) to pounce on to give the Hurons possession.

Following a scoreless first quarter, the Hurons got a break on defense as Cory Sweeso Jr. recovered a fumble at the Bulldog 2-yard line with 7:46 left in the second quarter. Inland Lakes had taken over at its own 4-yard line following a Huron drive that stalled. On the first play from scrimmage Caleb Bade took the snap from Griffin Bredow and followed the center to the end zone for the touchdown and a 6-0 lead.

In the third quarter Bade got the ball back with a fumble recovery at the Inland Lakes 39 three plays into the ensuing drive. That set up the other Huron score. A 5-yard run by Lewis Fleming came before an 11-yard gainer from Karsten. Runs by Karsten for 3 yards, Budnick for 5 and Bade for 4 put the ball on the Bulldog 11. Karsten plunged the line for a 9-yard gain with 30 seconds left in the third quarter. From there Bade’s 1-yard quarterback sneak with four seconds on the clock netted a touchdown. Budnick’s two-point conversion made it 14-0 at the end of the third quarter.

But the Bulldogs would not go quietly. A broken play off a poor snap turned out to be a 42-yard run. Six plays and an extra-point kick later the score was 14-7 with 9:02 left in the fourth quarter.

Forcing a three-and-out, the Bulldogs returned a punt 31 yards to the 50-yard line with 7:30 left.

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Mike Karsten makes a move around a defender for yardage in Thursday’s win over Inland Lakes. (Photo by Richard Lamb)

A 25-yard pass gave the Bulldogs hope of tying the game. Then two key defensive plays helped seal the win. On second-and-nine, a blitzing Budnick squarely blocked a pass. Then with fourth-and-six, Jalen Fleming and Bade combined to knock down a pass in the right corner of the north end zone.

Inland Lakes got the ball back on a punt with 4:30 left in the fourth quarter, after the Hurons lost 11 yards on three quick plays.

They could not take advantage, as a penalty, an incomplete pass and two unsuccessful running plays gave the ball back to the home team.

(the complete story with statistics will be in the Sept. 7 edition of the Advance)