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Ross Dylla, a Hastings wide receiver, races down the field with the ball during the first half of Friday's game against Cretin-Derham Hall. (Star Gazette photo by Chad Richardson)

For the first time in more than a decade, Hastings beats Cretin

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Early in the fourth quarter of Friday night's game between Hastings and Cretin-Derham Hall, things didn't look good for the hometown team.

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By the end of the night, though, all that had changed.

Hastings scored a big upset win over Cretin-Derham Hall, beating them for the first time in more than a decade, 34-33, in overtime.

"It was a big win for our kids, and it was a big win for our program," coach Dana Strain said.

After Keegan McIntosh's extra point kick sailed through the uprights and Hastings won, students stormed the field, mobbing their classmates.

"For the students to get a reward and to be able to feel the joy and rush the field after you beat Cretin, that was an awfully cool moment for sure," Strain said.

That his team came back from down 27-14 in the fourth quarter to win didn't surprise Strain.

"This is what our kids have done for three games now - they've come back," he said. "I told them, it'd be a heck of a lot easier on me if they didn't feel like they had to be down 14 points before they started getting back into it. They didn't quit. They made the plays there at the end.

"Historically, Cretin is the team that makes those plays. That's why they've had such a long stretch of dominance. For us to make those plays against a team that is used to making them themselves, that says a lot about our kids."

Hastings came back to beat Roseville last week, and the week before the team rallied from way behind to come back against Woodbury, only to fall short late.

Hastings is now 2-2 on the season.

The action

On Cretin's first play from scrimmage, their highly touted recruit, James Onwualu, raced down field and gained a big chunk of yardage. It certainly wasn't a good start for Hastings, but then the defense firmed up and stopped Cretin on the drive.

Later in the quarter, Hastings took a 7-0 lead when Zach Wiese caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from his brother Alex. McIntosh kicked the extra point.

Cretin then got a big play, scoring on a 50-yard touchdown pass to tie the score.

Hastings countered with 8:51 to play in the second quarter when Zach Wiese caught another touchdown, this one covering 15 yards. McIntosh again converted and Hastings was up 14-7.

"Certainly, we played pretty well very early in the game," Strain said.

A big play again victimized Hastings, as C-DH scored on a 56-yard pass play to tie the score.

Late in the second quarter, Cretin scored on a five-play drive that covered 83 yards, and they took a 21-14 lead into halftime.

They added to the lead with 11:31 to play in the fourth quarter, scoring on a three-play 16-yard drive. Their kick was blocked and they led 27-14.

Hastings, though, didn't give up. HHS got on the board with 3:53 to play when Alex Wiese scored on a five-yard touchdown, capping off a seven-play drive that covered 93 yards.

The Hastings defense then came up big and stopped Cretin, getting the ball back for the offense. Hastings then covered 43 yards in six plays, tying the game 27-27 when Brandon McCarthy scored on a two-yard touchdown.

McIntosh took the field with a chance to win the game for Hastings, but his kick was no good and the game went into overtime after the Hastings defense earned another stop.

"After we missed that kick, it would have been easy for the kids to be dejected and to feel like they missed the opportunity," Strain said. "The kids just moved their attention to defense. We stopped them, and went into overtime. It was neat for me to feel the calm on our team when we missed it. You almost felt on the sidelines that people were like, 'Let's do whatever else it takes to get the win.'"

Cretin got the ball first and scored a touchdown. They planned to kick an extra point, but a bad snap foiled those plans. Cretin almost recovered on the play, nearly converting a two-point conversion attempt, but they were stopped just short.

Hastings got the ball and Alex Wiese scored on a two-yard run to tie the game. McIntosh then hit the game-winner and everyone went bonkers.

The stats

Hastings threw the ball all over the place against Cretin.

Alex Wiese completed 17 of 32 attempts for 274 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for two touchdowns.

Zach Wiese, meanwhile, finished with nine catches for 160 yards and two touchdowns.

Drew Pottinger had one catch for nine yards, Ross Dylla had three catches for 41 yards, Daryale Harris had three catches for 41 yards and Brandon McCarthy had two catches for 43 yards.

On the ground, Harris ran for 28 yards, Dylla ran for 41, McCarthy ran for 32 and Zach Weise ran for 39.

"We've got some playmakers on offense," Strain said. "We know we can be a pretty scary offensive team if we are doing things the right way. Up to this point, we had just been too inconsistent. It has been like riding a roller coaster. We will be unstoppable, and then we'll shoot ourselves in the foot with a turnover.

"In this game, we cleaned things up. We didn't stop ourselves, and you see the results. We took on a perennial powerhouse at the big school level and really had them on their heels."

The Hastings defense was big, too. They gave up 445 yards to Cretin, and allowed some big plays, but when the team needed a stop the most, they got it.

Zach Mellick recovered a fumble for Hastings and Zach Anderson had an interception.

This week

Hastings plays at home Friday night in the homecoming game against East Ridge at 7 p.m.

The Raptors are 2-2 on the season.

They lost to Cretin in their opener, 34-24.

They beat Forest Lake in week two, 42-7, and lost to Mounds View on Sept. 14, 10-7.

They beat Woodbury, 28-26, last week.

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Chad Richardson
Chad Richardson is the publisher and editor at the Hastings Star Gazette. He was the general manager of the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages from 2000 to 2007. He previously worked at the Star Gazette from 1996 to 2000 as a photographer and reporter. He also worked as a photographer and writer at the Pope County Tribune in Glenwood.
(651) 319-4500
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