(Photo by Bill Allen/NJ SportAction)
STORM CENTER: Hun School center Tyler Stockton (No. 56) prepares to snap the ball to quarterback Turner Wimberly last Saturday through a downpour in Hun's 7-0 win over visiting Lawrenceville. The Hun defense held the Big Red to 16 yards total offense and three first downs in improving to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) play.end
Hun Football Embraces Downpour As Defense Stymies Lawrenceville
By Bill Alden
While the deluge that hit the area last weekend cancelled many an event, the Hun School football team was determined to make the weather its friend as it hosted archrival Lawrenceville last Saturday.
"We talked about it Friday," said Hun head coach Dave Dudeck, referring to the potent storm. "We told the guys to realize mentally that we were going to play football on Saturday, no matter what. We wanted them to fight the urge to get down. We told them it's a great thing to have the chance to play football."
The Hun defensive players, in particular, proved that they weren't going to let the downpour rain on their parade as they totally stymied Lawrenceville in sparking the Raiders to a 7-0 win. Dominating things in the trenches, Hun held the Big Red to three first downs, negative 2 yards rushing, and 18 yards passing.
The only score of the game came on a touchdown plunge by Angel Clybourn in the first quarter which was set up by a Steve Diverio punt return to the Lawrenceville 19-yard line.
Although Dudeck conceded that the weather helped slow Lawrenceville, that didn't take away from the brilliance of Hun's defensive performance.
"The defensive line and the linebackers really played well," said Dudeck whose team improved to 2-2 overall with the win and 1-1 in Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) play.
"The defensive backs didn't have to make as many tackles as they have in our other games. If you look at the numbers, it was one of our best defensive efforts. The defense worked hard all last week. We put together a good defensive scheme. Our kids were just real hungry and real aggressive."
One of Hun's most aggressive performers was post-graduate linebacker Buddy Buckner, who was credited with nine tackles on the afternoon.
"Buddy was tremendous," said Dudeck of the 6'3, 215-pound native of Lorton, Va. who has anchored the stingy Raider defense which has only given up 16 points this season. "He is very hard for teams to block. He is so quick off the ball and gets such good leverage."
Hun also got an inspirational performance from junior linebacker Shane Davis. "Shane had his best game ever," said Dudeck. "He came on the field with a lot of emotion, he was really fired up. The way he was hitting people really put a smile on my face."
The play of Hun's special teams last Saturday also gave Dudeck reason to smile. "I think one thing that gets lost in everything is the play of our kicking game and special teams," asserted Dudeck.
"On that first possession, Turner [Wimberly] kicks that ball inside the five and Nick Williams downs it. We hold them and get a good punt return. Ryan Demler had two kickoffs and he put them both in the end zone. We had them in a hole all game and on a day like Saturday that makes a big difference."
Hun, though, needs its offense to start making more of a difference. "We keep shooting ourselves in the foot," said Dudeck, whose team has only scored 23 points this season. "We were inside the 20 eight times on Saturday and we got a touchdown and two field goal attempts. We're hurting ourselves with turnovers and penalties."
Still, Dudeck saw some rays of hope through Saturday's rain. "Running the ball has been the bright spot for our offense," said Dudeck, whose team did accumulate 123 yards on the ground last Saturday. "We actually threw the ball better than we have been doing. Turner was 5-for-11 passing and there were two or three dropped passes. We'll keep pushing the kids to improve."
Hun will get pushed again this Saturday when they host MAPL rival Blair.
"They are a tough team," said Dudeck. "They run a wishbone offense and their defense will be scrappy. We have to continue to get better. The kids have been hanging tough."
If Hun can keep playing with the toughness it showed in gutting out its win last Saturday, it could send another MAPL foe home with a loss.