Tahlequah Daily Press

High School Sports

October 28, 2012

Riders struggle to stop Comet offense

KANSAS — The Kansas Comets were just too much to handle for the Riders of Hulbert on Friday night.

Kansas sophomore quarterback Logan Blaine and the rest of his offense scored 28 first-half points as the Comets claimed a 28-13 victory.

The first Comet touchdown came off junior quarterback Brandon Thompson’s interception on Hulbert’s first drive of the game.

“After I threw that interception I erased it from my mind, I knew it was early and the game and I had to forget about the mistake or my team would suffer,” Thompson said.

That set the Comets up at the Rider 32-yard line where the Comets would punch it into the end zone quickly to get an early lead. On their next drive, the Riders were unable to produce offensively and gave Kansas another short field.

Blaine went on to lead the Comets to three more touchdowns and headed to the locker room with the game in control.

In the second half, senior defensive back Spenser Frye put a hit on a Comet wide receiver that gave the Riders the football back. On that drive, Thompson would score off a 4-yard touchdown breakaway. That score in the third quarter got the Riders within two touchdowns of the Kansas Comets with a quarter and a half left to play.

“Our slow start really hurt us, but we made some needed adjustments at halftime that worked,” Thompson said.

The Rider defense came out to play in the second half holding their opponent to minimal yards each series. The Riders just could not move the ball down the field fast enough, though. A huge stop on fourth-and-goal gave Hulbert the ball on their own 4-yard line with 11 minutes to play in the fourth quarter.

“We just kept fighting and never gave up, we knew when we got the ball back that we were still in the game,” Hulbert’s Chris Vance said.

Vance would drive his team all the way down to the Kansas 4-yard line, where the Riders were faced with a fourth-and-goal of their own, which was a must-score to have any chance. Vance was swamped by a group of Comet defenders and Kansas took possession of the ball with 1:14 remaining.

“I just couldn’t get away from the defense on that last play,” Vance said. “I knew we needed a touchdown and we couldn’t convert.”

The Kansas Comets would go on to run out the clock.

“I am really proud of the way we competed that second half, we shut out a good team in the second half,” Hulbert head coach Mitch Crittenden said.

This loss puts Hulbert’s season record at 2-7. The Riders will face Ketchum Thursday night at 7.  

“This program is on the rise, once we can play a complete game I think we could be very good,” Crittenden said. “Next week we will have a playoff mindset and play hard.”

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