While John Law couldn’t be sure what was going to happen last Saturday in his debut as the head coach of the Hun School football team, he already knew that his players possessed character.
When longtime Hun assistant coach Law suddenly took the helm of the program earlier this month as previous head coach Dave Dudeck was placed on administrative leave by the school due to ongoing litigation in connection with his tenure as Princeton police chief, the players didn’t miss a beat in preparing to face Seton Hall Prep in their opener.
“The kids are resilient,” said Law, who has been coaching at Hun for 23 years. “They are so task-oriented, they know what their goals are. The seniors have really taken that on. They were only concerned about Seton Hall Prep.”
In the early going of the contest last Saturday, Law was concerned as Hun made three turnovers and fell behind 3-0.
“You have new faces and new kids seeing varsity action for the first time,” said Law.
“We wanted them to play smart football sooner than later. It was evident in the game that we are not there yet.”
The team’s heart, though, was evident as Hun rallied to take a 13-10 lead at halftime. In the second half, the game turned into a topsy-turvy contest with the lead changing hands five times. In the end, Hun fell just short as it lost 31-27.
While Law was disappointed with the result, he had no qualms with the effort he got from his players.
“That was a heckuva high school football game,” asserted Law. “Seton Hall is a very good team and we think we are a very good team too. The heartbreak of it is that we ask the players to give everything they have got and they left it all on the field but we couldn’t overcome our mistakes.”
The Raiders appear to have a good one-two punch in the backfield with junior quarterback Donavon Harris and junior running back Christopher Sharp. Harris went 17-of-30 passing for 156 yards and scored on touchdown runs of 12 and 55 yards while Sharp had touchdown jaunts of 27 and 12 yards.
“Donavon is what we were hoping for; he had never taken a snap before,” said Law.
“We definitely think he is a dual threat. It was amazing to see some of the things that he did and how he managed the game. He has a bright future. Chris is another young kid who is learning. He is an exceptional talent. He is learning tailback, he played receiver last year. The more experience he gets, the better he is going to be.”
Hun got some good play in the trenches from seniors Colton Jumper and Andrew Foster.
“I was really happy with Colton Jumper, he is a middle linebacker out of Tennessee,” added Law.
“He was a rock in the middle and he really helped with the leadership. Andrew Foster did a good job on the line.”
Overall, Law is enthusiastic about his team’s prospects going forward. “When you go into the first game, you don’t know what it is going to look like,” said Law.
“We thought that we had hungry, talented kids who like to play and are physical and we saw that.”
Law acknowledges that Hun needs to fine-tune its execution. “I knew we were going to make some mistakes but I was disappointed by how many we made,” said Law.
“It starts in practice by being regimented and disciplined. We had some first game jitters.”
As he reflected on his first game at the helm of the program, Law acknowledged that he experienced some jitters.
“It is a little different,” said Law. “My coaching staff was instrumental in helping me. Coach [Pat] Jones took over the offense which allowed me to stay with the defense. There was a lot of emotion. I told the coaches to stay calm and focus on what is going on and I tried to do that.”