Tigers cruise to a win against Douglas
BOX ELDER - After the Huron Tigers struggled to punch the ball into the end zone in the first quarter, they had no such issues in the second and third quarters, opening up a tie game with 41 unanswered points to take a 48-7 victory over the Douglas Patriots Friday in Box Elder.
Douglas opened the game with the ball on their own 10-yard line, but went backwards, leading to a punt that put the Tigers on the Patriot 29-yard line for their first possession.
Gavin Moeding took the first play on a sweep run, gaining nine. He then took the pitch on the second play, flipped the ball to CJ Gainey, and Gainey avoided a tackle and then found quarterback Colton McNeil for a 20-yard touchdown. After a Nick Kleinsasser point-after kick, the Tigers were quickly ahead 7-0.
The second Douglas possession also went backward, and the Tigers began on the Patriot 46-yard line. Cashton Caudell ran hard on a pair of runs and McNeil went 10 yards up the middle for a first down. However, on the first pass by McNeil, he was intercepted by Casen Tibbetts of Douglas.
Moeding then picked off Douglas quarterback Aiden Russell on the second play of the ensuing drive, giving the Tigers the ball back on the Douglas 29.
McNeil ran for a first down to the Douglas 17, but then Huron went backward due to a sack and a penalty, eventually turning the ball over on downs.
Douglas got a strong run from Casen Tibbetts a sack brought them back to their own 22-yard line. Russell completed a pass to Marcus Woods who shook loose one defender and was off to the races for a 78-yard touchdown. The kick tied the game 7-7.
Huron leaned on senior running back Caudell in the next drive, with Cashton running over Douglas defenders, including a huge 62-yard run that included multiple broken tackles before Caudell sprinted to the end zone. A Kleinsasser kick made it 14-7 early in the second quarter.
Russell looked for big tight end Jason Fisher for eight yards on the second play of the next drive, but when he went back to the air again, Russell was intercepted for the second time by Moeding.
Moeding took a sweep run around end for seven yards to start the drive, and a late hit penalty on Douglas put the Tigers all the way to the Patriot 29. Caudell went up the middle for 11 yards,
McNeil found Gainey on back-to-back plays for another first down, and Caudell got Huron down to the one yard line. McNeil faked a handoff and ran around end for the score. The kick was blocked, but Huron was up 20-7.
The Huron run defense stuffed up the Douglas attack and then got a big sack, forcing a punt. The Tigers began with a Caudell run to bring the ball near midfield.
McNeil then hit three straight passes, the finale of which was a 33-yard catch-and-run with Moeding. The kick made it 27-7 Huron.
A huge fake punt completion from Russell to Steven Koper got the Patriots into Huron territory, but the Tiger defense stiffened up, forcing three incompletions and then getting a sack on fourth down from Kolby Hofer to turn the ball over on downs.
With minimal time before half, Caudell broke a run 29 yards, but he couldn’t get around the final Douglas defender, sending the game to halftime with Huron leading 27-7.
The Tigers went right back to the run in the second half. Caudell broke a 43-yard scamper to put the ball on the Douglas 15. A pair of runs from Caudell and McNeil got the ball down to the one.
McNeil then found Bubba Peterson in the corner of the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown. The kick made it 34-7 Huron.
The Tigers were back at it after a 3-and-out by Douglas. McNeil found Peyton Bischoff for a 31-yard gain into Douglas territory. A pass interference moved the ball down to the Douglas 12-yard line.
McNeil found Gainey on the next play after the penalty for a 12-yard touchdown. The Kleinsasser kick made it 41-7.
After a big sack, Russell attempted to squeeze the ball into Woods but was picked off by Mason Jurgens at the Patriot 18.
The first play of the drive for Huron, Landon Hulst took off for an 18-yard run, and after the kick, the Tigers were up 48-7 with the running clock into place.
Huron subbed out starters for the majority of the fourth quarter, and the final gun sounded with the Tigers holding a 48-7 road victory.
The Huron defense was the big story for the Tigers as they moved to 3-3. The Tigers allowed just 91 yards in total offense to Douglas, but more impressive, the defense held the Patriots to negative-54 yards rushing.
Huron coach Dru Strand was impressed by his defensive squad.
“Defense came out strong,” Strand stated. “When the offense finishes off drives, that helps our defense play free.”
Kolby Hofer had two of the four Huron sacks while Moeding had two of four Huron interceptions.
Caudwell led the Huron offense that racked up 265 yards on the ground with 187 yards and a score on 17 carries.
“Cashton did a fantastic job of making things happen, then everyone else bought in and started executing,” Strand raved.
McNeil finished with 114 yards on 9 of 14 passing with three touchdowns and an interception. He also ran in a score and caught a touchdown.
Douglas falls to 1-5. Russell threw for 142 yards on 7 of 20 passing with a touchdown, but he also threw four interceptions. Woods secured a pair of balls for 81 yards and a score.
The Tigers travel to top-ranked Pierre Friday.
Huron 7 20 21 0 — 48
Douglas 7 0 0 0 — 7
9:13 - H - CJ Gainey 20-yard TD pass to Colton McNeil. (Nick Kleinsasser PAT)
0:23 - D - Aiden Russell 78-yard TD pass to Marcus Woods. (Steven Koper PAT)
9:49 - H - Cashton Caudell 62-yard TD run. (Kleinsasser PAT)
5:14 - H - McNeil 1-yard TD run. (PAT failed)
1:12 - H - McNeil 33-yard TD pass to Gavin Moeding. (Kleinsasser PAT)
8:54 - H - McNeil 1-yard TD pass to Bubba Peterson. (Kleinsasser PAT)
6:10 - H - McNeil 12-yard TD pass to Gainey. (Kleinsasser PAT)
5:16 - H - Landon Hulst 18-yard TD run. (Kleinsasser PAT)
H - Colton McNeil 9-14-114-3-1, CJ Gainey 1-1-20-1-0, Mason Jurgens 0-1-0-0-0. Team 10-16-134-4-1.
D - Aiden Russell 7-2-142-1-4.
H - Cashton Caudell 17-187-1, Landon Hulst 4-31-1, Gavin Moeding 2-16, Peyton Bischoff 1-13, Mason Jurgens 3-10, Colton McNeil 7-4-1, Ethan Olson 1-4, Haydon Shurson 1-0. Team 36-265-3.
D - Casen Tibbetts 9-15, Steven Koper 6-(-11), Aiden Russell 9-(-58). Team 24-(-54).
H - CJ Gainey 5-49-1, Gavin Moeding 2-33-1, Peyton Bischoff 1-31, Colton McNeil 1-20-1, Bubba Peterson 1-1-1. Team 10-134-4.
D - Jason Fisher 3-22, Marcus Woods 2-81-1, Steven Koper 2-39. Team 7-142-1.