NC’s boys of fall welcomed Rushville to Neal Field and put a whipping on the Lions 35-14 in front of a packed house. NC moves to 2-0 for the first time since 2006 and host 2-0 Pendleton next week in a huge HHC game.
Rushville received the kickoff and the Trojan D showed what was to come the rest of the night. D Ray Ford and Brayden Miller had tackles for loss on Rushville’s first possession causing them to punt. The ball was tipped and NC took over. 2 minutes and 16 seconds later, Drew Barber found Luke Bumbalough for a 15 yard TD and Skylor Stevenson hit the PAT for a 7-0 Trojan lead. Rushville answered the score with one of their own. NC then went on a 9 play 79 yard drive with Barber hitting Bumbalough for a 4 yard TD reception. Stevenson was good again and after one it was 14-7.
NC’s defense recovered nicely and forced a Rushville punt that Colin Holcomb and Dylan Beck tipped, giving the Teojans the ball on their 25 yard line. 2 plays later, Barber threw a pass that was tipped and landed in the hands of Triston Chesher for a 24 yard TD. Stevenson hit the PAT and it was 21-7. Rushville took possesion and went for it on 4th and 1 when Holcomb and Mason Hardwick had a tackle for loss, turning the ball over to the Trojans. NC moved it but Barber’s 4th down pass was incomplete. Rushville tried again on their possession to go for it on 4th and 1 when Miller stuffed the Lion runner for no gain. NC took advantage this time when Dakota Durick took the handoff, turned the corner, and turned on the jets on a sweet 21 yard TD scamper. Stevenson was good again and it was 28-7. Rushville fumbled with 14 seconds left that was recovered by Miller, but NC didn’t score and took that 28-7 lead into the half
There were only 3 possessions in the 3rd quarter as NC punted on the first one, going 3 and out. Rushville ate up 5 minutes of clock, when on 4th and 1, Gavin Ridge and Nicholas Grieser combined for a tackle for loss, stopping the Lions. NC took the ball and ate up 5 minutes of clock , culminating in a Barber to Grieser 27 yard TD pass on a corner route. Stevenson again was good and at the end of 3 it was 35-7.
Rushville started with the ball in the 4th quarter, and on the 2nd play, Grieser picked off a pass returning it 21 yards to the Lion 40. NC pounded the rock with workhorse Gage Burk finding running lanes as the line of Chase Marcum, Bailey Melton, Caleb Kundert, Landon Hutson, and Blake Webb opened up hole after hole. NC had the ball down on the Rushville 5 getting ready to score when a bad handoff caused a fumble, recovered by Rushville. The Lions cashed in with 15 seconds left making the final 35-14.
Offensively for NC, Barber was 20-30 for 208 yards and 4 TDs. Bumbalough had 9 catches for 95 yards and 2 TDs, Tytus Ragle 6 for 39 yards, Chesher 2 for 38 and a TD, James Thompson 2 for 10 yards, and Grieser 1 for 27 yards and a TD. Burk was again the workhorse, toting the rock 15 times for 86 yards. Durick had 3 carries for 21 yards and the TD.
The Defense is much improved this year as playmakers are making plays. The Mean Green D had 11 tackles for loss, stopped the Lions 3 times on 4th down, had a fumble recovery, an Interception, and 2 tipped punts. Dylan Beck led the way with 12 total tackles. Stephen Spears, Mason Hardwick, Trenton Williams, Colin Holcomb, and Nicholas Grieser had 9 tackles a piece. Brayden Miller was outstanding at nose, with 6 total tackles, 3 for loss, a sack, and a fumble recovery and Grieser had an Interception.
NC is back home next Friday at Neal field. The fireworks will be shot off, the cannon will be booming, and the bell rung as Pendleton comes to town. Game time is 7:30. Get there early as it will be a packed house for this crucial early season HHC battle of 2 undefeated teams. Be loud, be proud, and come ready for battle.