Start­ing with a win

Hur­ri­canes foot­ball opens sea­son on top of Pan­thers

The Calvert Recorder - - Sports - By ANDY STATES as­tates@somd­

The 2016 sea­son was not an easy one for the Hunt­ing­town Hur­ri­canes foot­ball team, as the re­build­ing pro­gram en­dured a sea­son that fea­tured just one win on the field.

Com­ing out of that, though, the play­ers com­mit­ted them­selves through­out the off­sea­son to work­ing to­wards a bet­ter 2017. It paid off on Fri­day night, as the Hur­ri­canes opened the sea­son by up­end­ing the vis­it­ing Patux­ent Pan­thers 2414 in a South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence non­di­vi­sion con­test.

“We had a great turnout of kids show­ing up in the off­sea­son. I heard one kid yelling, when he was run­ning over to [cel­e­brate a touch­down] in the end zone, ‘That’s why we work so hard in the off­sea­son,’” Hunt­ing­town head coach Paul Friel said. “It’s kind of a cul­mi­na­tion of all the hard work. It does pay off when you do the right things. It was an emo­tional roller coaster, but they were very, very happy and for good rea­son. Patux­ent’s a great pro­gram and they have great coaches. That’s big for us.”

Hunt­ing­town (1-0 over­all), which never trailed in the game, led 10-7 at the half. Patux­ent (0-1) re­ceived the sec­ond-half kick­off, but Caleb Kar­bowsky took an in­ter­cep­tion back for a touch­down to strengthen the Hur­ri­canes’ ad­van­tage. The Pan­thers pulled back to within 1714 af­ter Matthew Bran­son’s rush­ing touch­down, but were un­able to score again while the hosts tacked on an­other touch­down to ef­fec­tively put the game out of reach.

“We’re a young team, and a young team can’t af­ford to make that many mis­takes against a well­coached team like Hunt­ing­town,” said first-year Patux­ent front­man Nick Allen, cit­ing his team’s strug­gles with penal­ties and turnovers in its opener. “Friel does a great job over there, and his kids came ready to play. They took ad­van­tage of all the op­por­tu­ni­ties and our kids did not.

“I don’t think it was from a lack of ef­fort on our kids’ part. They played hard. Just too many mis­takes across the board to win the foot­ball game.”

The Pan­thers, who also re­ceived a touch­down from Taz­man Davis in the first half, are sched­uled to host North­ern at 7 p.m. Fri­day ver­sus their former coach Steve Crounse and quar­ter­back Reese Crounse. The Pa­tri­ots de­feated Calvert in Week 1, 49-7.

Hunt­ing­town, which had touch­downs scored by Dakota Cram and Jalen Jones in ad­di­tion to

Kar­bowsky’s pick-six and a Thomas Weiskircher field goal, will look to carry its Week 1 mo­men­tum over to its sched­uled con­test at Lackey at 7 p.m. Fri­day. The Charg­ers shut out Leonard­town in Week 1, 35-0.

The Hur­ri­canes had de­liv­ered a pair of rel­a­tively un­even per­for­mances in the pre­sea­son, with a largely suc­cess­ful scrim­mage against Broad­neck fol­lowed by a dis­ap­point­ing ef­fort ver­sus McDonough. But un­der the lights in a game that counted, the team was able to snag a win. Last year’s team wasn’t able to en­joy a vic­tory un­til Week 7.

“It was great. The kids earned it,” Friel said. “That first scrim­mage they played to their po­ten­tial at the time. We were still rough around the edges. Sec­ond scrim­mage we didn’t play to our po­ten­tial. We fun­da­men­tally got bet­ter but just didn’t play at a level we needed to fo­cus-wise. ... We still have a lot of fun­da­men­tal stuff to do, but the fo­cus was there, the com­pet­i­tive edge was there. They def­i­nitely en­joyed the ride and it was a great feel­ing.”

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