The Hettinger-Scranton Night Hawks were building towards another phenomenal win in the early minutes in their matchup against the Beach Buccaneers.
Hettinger-Scranton senior quarterback Cade Warbis took charge of the offense with two touchdown passes in the first quarter, each from over 20 yards. The Night Hawks would never lose their lead, accumulating six touchdowns in a 44-20 victory Friday night in Hettinger.
The Night Hawks held a 30-6 halftime lead, putting any thought of a Beach victory away early. The Buccaneers felt the constant pressure from Night Hawks defense that stalled their offense all night long.
“First off, (I give credit to) coach Cagle and coach Warbis, my assistant coaches. They coach them up really well,” Hettinger-Scranton head coach Jason LeFebre said. “We kind of have a rotating front with about four or five guys that can give pressure. We got big guys for some power rushers, some speed guys off the edge and our middle linebackers Maddox Pierce and Connor Andress flew all over the place. The back end is their tight coverage all game long and we are gonna make you feel it when you get done playing the Night Hawks.”
Injuries in the Buccaneers’ lineup certainly played a part in their difficulties this season with players having to play out of position, including their quarterback Ray Steiner, who started the season as a wide receiver.
Steiner did his best in a new role and wasn’t shy about slinging the ball downfield. He had two touchdown passes on the night to freshman Emery Noll and tight end Shem Baker. Early in the game, he threw a 40-yard strike to tight end Trey Swanson to get them in the red zone. Steiner threw one interception, caught by Night Hawks defensive back Peyton Tuhy, who would later have a touchdown of his own.
“We had some adversity this season … We suited up 14 tonight due to injuries and other things and you know what, I couldn't be more proud of them,” Beach head coach Mike Zier said. The kids battled. The team across the way there is a really good playoff team. We wish them nothing but the best and I am happy for Jason and his kids.”
Night Hawks senior running back Connor Andress had a solid game, scoring the first touchdown of the game from a 24-yard pass from Warbis. Junior running back Tristian Pekas was exceptional as well with 96 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
By the fourth quarter, the game was 36-6 when LeFebre put players from the junior varsity squad with the win secured to give some other guys a taste of varsity football.
Junior quarterback Devin Greff stepped in with the new squad and showed his own arm strength with a 25 yards pass touchdown to wide receiver Tanner Defoe, and another short curl route to offensive lineman Braden Jahner for the two point conversion.
“He (Greff) has been running the same offense for three years now and he throws just as good a ball as Warbis as you saw in that beautiful play to the corner to Tanner Defoe,” LeFebre said. “Two very good quarterbacks and they push each other in practice.”
Hettinger-Scranton remain undefeated in the region and have earned their spot in the playoffs. Their game against Mott-Regent/New England next Friday will determine who will be region champions and earn the region’s No. 1 seed in the playoffs.
“The pressure hasn't gotten to us yet, we are still playing football and loving it,” LeFebre said “We haven't won in a while so playing winning football, there is nothing like it.”
HS 18 14 6 8 44
BB 6 0 0 12 20
HS - Connor Andress 24 yard catch from Cade Warbis (two-point conversion successful), 8-0
BB - 1 yard touchdown run (two-point conversion failed), 8-6
HS - Alex Martinez 26 yard catch from Warbis (two-point conversion successful), 16-6
HS - Peyton Tuhy nine yard run (two-point conversion successful), 24-6
HS - Tristan Pekas two yard run (two-point conversion failed), 30-6
HS - Pekas two yard run (two-point conversion failed), 36-6
BB - Emery Noll catch from Ray Steiner (two-point conversion failed), 36-12
HS - Tanner DeFoe 25 yard catch from Devin Greff (two-point conversion successful), 44-12
BB - Shem Baker 40 yard catch from Steiner (two-point conversion successful), 44-20