Wimberly's Versatility Paces Hun Football As It Overcomes Sloppiness to Nip Peddie
By Bill Alden
His uniform was splattered with mud and there were blades of grass stuck to his face.
But after helping the Hun School football team escape with a 14-13 win at Peddie last Friday, Turner Wimberly managed a smile that showed both relief and fatigue.
As reflected by his dirty uniform, Wimberly was in the thick of the action in the testy, hard-hitting contest.
The post-graduate quarterback threw touchdown passes to Myron Rolle and Buddy Buckner, he handled the punting duties, he returned kicks, and he helped in the defensive secondary.
While Hun's victory was hardly a thing of beauty as it shot itself in the foot with numerous penalties and other miscues, a tired Wimberly savored the result that improved the Raiders to 4-2.
"I'm sore," said Wimberly, who scrambled for several big gains in addition to his production through the air. "They ran a 3-4 and blitzed a lot. We had trouble picking that up at first. It was ugly but I'll take a win any day."
Wimberly used his resourcefulness to engineer the pivotal offensive play of the day when he lofted the 55-yard touchdown pass to Buckner late in the third quarter.
"The pocket broke down and I was rolling to the right," recalled the 6'2, 195 lb. Wimberly, a native of Austin, Texas. "I saw that Buddy was alone down the field and I threw it off my back foot just before the defense got there. Buddy made a good play on it."
Wimberly acknowledged that Hun's offense sputtered much of the afternoon. "Last week we scored a million points," said Wimberly, referring to Hun's 48-0 rout over Blair. "This week we made some big plays but we just weren't as consistent. We didn't execute as well as we should have."
After a lengthy post-game session in which the coaches aired their concerns over Hun's sloppy performance, Raider head coach Dave Dudeck focused on the bottom line.
"A win is a win is a win," said Dudeck, shaking his head with a rueful grin. "I guess I always look at the glass as half full and I want to say that our defense played phenomenally well. Their backs were to the wall all day. What disappointed me was our offense."
With his team getting called for more than 20 penalties, Dudeck placed the blame squarely on his shoulders.
"It starts with me," asserted Dudeck. "The problems with the offense, the penalties, the embarrassment of that, it starts with the head coach. That has to get better."
Still, Hun's talent on offense helped make the difference. "We had a couple of more skills kids which helped us to get over the top in some different situations," asserted Dudeck. "My hat's off to Peddie; they played a helluva football game."
Dudeck's hat was also off to Wimberly and hard-running Angel Clybourn, who bulled for several first downs in the waning moments of the game to help Hun run time off the clock.
"Turner made some phenomenal plays for us all throughout the game," said Dudeck, whose team sealed the win on a leaping interception by Charlie Martin with just over a minute remaining in the fourth quarter.
"During the timeout on our last drive, Angel came over and got the whole team up and said you just give me a little hole and I'm going to put the team on my back and he did."
Hun will need more stellar efforts like Clybourn's when they play at Poly Prep this Saturday. "We've got to get better," asserted Dudeck. "Next week we're looking at a monster in Poly Prep, no question about that. We're going to work everyday to get better. Maybe we need to start doing fewer things and doing those things better."
Wimberly, for his part, is looking to end his football foray to New Jersey with a flourish. "It's been different but I like it," said Wimberly. "Our coaches are great; I really like the guys up here. We want to win out the rest of the season; that's our goal."
And with Wimberly giving every ounce of his energy and talent, Hun certainly has a shot at that goal.