HULBERT — Lightning delays were the norm across the high school football landscape on Friday night, as a line of severe storms cut across the state diagonally from the northwest to the southeast. It was only a matter of time before it reached Rider Field in Hulbert.
A few moments after halftime, several cracks of lightning nearby forced the officials to send both Hulbert and Warner to their respective locker rooms to ride out the storm. A deluge then ensued as fans scrambled for a dry landing spot.
Both teams tried to refocus in hot, humid locker rooms on the south end of the field.
“We tried to get ‘em up,” said Hulbert coach Mitchell Crittenden, whose team lost 26-19 to fall to 1-1 on the season. “...I challenged the offensive line and they responded pretty well after that.”
The Eagles sat and enjoyed the light show put on by Mother Nature.
“We opened the door — we couldn’t go outside — so it was hot in there,” said Warner coach Chris McMullen, whose team scored the go-ahead touchdown on Justin Wright’s 1-yard run with 38 seconds left in the contest.
“We just talked about a few adjustments that we needed to make, and it was just kind of like an extra halftime.”
The delay, which started at 8:52 p.m., lasted 28 minutes. The rest of the game was played under pleasantly-cool temperatures.
Thompson takes over
Early in the second quarter, Hulbert quarterback Chris Vance suffered what appeared to be a right-leg injury. He hobbled toward the sidelines to get his ankle retapped.
Enter, Brandon Thompson.
The junior running back took over briefly at quarterback before Vance was able to return on Hulbert’s next drive.
Thompson finished the game with 13 rushes for 51 yards and a touchdown — a 12-yard scamper, which put the Riders up 19-18 with 4:02 left to play in the fourth quarter.
“He did a pretty good job,” Crittenden said of Thompson. “He hadn’t been throwing as much in practice; when you’re not the starter, you don’t get as many tosses. He had trouble getting his feet set, but he ran the ball really well.”