POTTSTOWN >> The quarterback completed 16 passes covering 270 yards, four of them comprising the bulk of 34 unanswered points.
And that was only what the Hun School offense did during the first half of Saturday’s game with the Hill School. But it accurately summed up the Raiders’ overall performance in their 41-12 Mid-Atlantic Prep League victory over the Rams at the Hill’s Dell Field.
The Hun’s Patrick Holly finished the day 17-for-23 and 295 yards, with five scoring throws along the way. In one stretch of the first half, the Raiders’ junior signal caller had 10 straight completions to his credit; and 10 of his throws covered 10 or more yards.
Ironically, its passing game hasn’t ranked as the principal weapon in the Hun’s offensive arsenal.
“We came out trying to get after them with the pass,” Raider head coach Todd Smith said after watching his club go to 2-0 in MAPL play (5-0 overall). “We know we can run the ball.”
To its credit, the Hun did gain 175 yards on the ground, the bulk of it coming from John “Tucker” Strycharz (eight carries, 86 yards) and Jai Miller (77 yards on seven totes). Strycharz also had a two-yard scoring run inside the game’s first five minutes, staking the Raiders to a 6-0 lead that grew on each of its four remaining first-half possessions.
But the passing game, with seven different players on the receiving end — five of them scoring — was the Raiders’ staple.
“Our quarterback was excellent,” Smith said. “He spread the wealth. He made sure to do that.”
The Hill (0-2, 2-4) got on the scoreboard before the end of the first half, quarterback Syre Gruber (9-for-16, 53 yards) hooking up with Ian Lawrence on a 20-yard scoring pass inside the final minute. The Rams grounded out another touchdown to start the fourth quarter, Pete Boone bulling his way one yard through left tackle to close out the game’s scoring.
But those were the bright spots for the Rams, who were left with minus-eight yards rushing and Brennan Keil, closing out at quarterback, the leader with one carry for 12 yards at the game’s end.
“They have talent all over the field,” Hill head coach Mike Hollway noted. “We struggled in the back, and they took advantage of it.”
Following Strycharz’s opening TD, the Hun got a 30-yard touchdown catch from Christopher Renna (four receptions, 109 yards) and Thomas Bahr (4-66). Kevin Johnson (3-48) collaborated with Holly on a 31-yard TD toss late in the second quarter, and Joshua Henderson — 77 yards on seven carries — then completed a 25-yard scoring play off another Holly toss in the Raiders’ early streak.
“We’re really run heavy,” Smith said. “This is the balance we’re capable of.”
The Hun brought the running clock into play on its second series of the second half, going up 41-6 when Holly hit Dante Diaz-Infante with a 40-yard TD pass at the 6:56 mark. The rest of its passing game got contributions from Grant Hansen (2-136), Henderson (2-23) and Malcolm Brunson (1-8).
Goyo Mendez ended up the Rams’ leading receiver, with three catches for 24 yards. Lawrence’s 20-yard scoring reception was the Hill’s longest completion.
“The kids are resilient,” Hollway said. “I know we’ll give our next opponent a better effort.”
NOTES >> Keil stood out on the Hill’s special teams, averaging 41.3 yards on his six punts (248 yards total). … The Hun had no punts, fumbling the ball away twice — the recoveries by the Hill’s Nolan Smith and Will McCarter — and turning it over on downs in the second half. … The Raiders got only five conversion points off six touchdowns: Holly with a toss to Bahr on their second score, Ryan Kasper with three PAT kicks.
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