Two weekends ago, the Hun School football team trailed Lawrenceville 21-0 at halftime only to rally for a 35-21 victory.
Last Saturday, Hun trailed Peddie 14-7 at halftime but was undaunted as it displayed resilience for a second week in a row.
The Raiders tied the game at 14-14 early in the fourth quarter as Hun senior Chris Cardinali bulled towards the end zone and classmate Quashae Hendryx alertly fell on his fumble.
Peddie took the ensuing kickoff and marched all the way to the Hun 10-yard-line. The Raiders, though, held the fort as they blocked a field goal attempt and took over on their own 16.
With Hun quarterback Blake Searfoss coming up with some clutch pass completions, Hun marched to the Peddie 43. Searfoss then hit Abdul-Malik Majeed across the middle in a slant pattern and the senior running back raced all the way to the end zone as Hun took a 21-14 lead with 28 seconds left in regulation.
Hun head coach Dave Dudeck was impressed with the resolve he saw from his squad.
“I thought that our kids were really courageous,” said Dudeck. “We were down again and things looked bad. We had enough courage to come back and stick one in with 28 seconds to go and make the PAT and keep on fighting.”
Unfortunately for the Raiders, Peddie didn’t stop battling as quarterback Dominic Borelli ran 14 yards and then hit a 42-yard pass play to Ben Pagan to get the Falcons to the Hun one-yard line with five seconds left. After an incomplete pass, Borelli raced into the end zone to make it a 21-20 game. He then put the final nail into the coffin as he bolted into the end zone for a two-point conversion to give Peddie a 22-21 win.
“My hat is off to Peddie,” said a subdued Dudeck. “They didn’t give up; they kept on pushing and they kept on playing to the end. Even when we went ahead with 28 seconds left, they drive the length of the field and score a touchdown and not only score a TD but get the extra two.”
Over the course of the afternoon, Hun opened the door to Peddie with some sloppy play.
“If I was to point to one thing today that I felt really hurt us; it was the number of penalties we had,” lamented Dudeck, whose team dropped to 3-3 with the defeat.
“All day long, from the beginning of the game to the end, we kept on giving Peddie chances and they took advantage of them. We kept on shooting ourselves in the foot.”
With his team lacking the depth of past years, Dudeck knows that there is little margin for error this fall.
“The other important thing is all year we talked about the type of team we are, that we don’t have enough talent to just show up,” said Dudeck.
“We have to play hard and finish. I think that today was an example where we didn’t finish.”
The Raiders will be looking to finish the fall on a high note as they host Mercersburg Academy (Pa.) on November 4 in the season finale.
“Our kids always play with confidence; they never got down,” said Dudeck. “They hung in there for the whole time. They felt that they were going to win the game. We went up; we just didn’t close the deal.”