Raiders fall to Mustangs, 42-21
Games couldn’t start much better for Hastings than how Friday’s did. Hastings took a 7-0 lead over Mounds View after a 60-yard touchdown pass, and the homecoming football game had a promising start.
After that score, though, Mounds View took over the game, scoring the next 35 points en route to a 42-21 win over the Raiders.
Hastings had five turnovers in the game.
“You can’t turn it over that many times and expect to win,” coach Dana Strain said. “It was one of those games – it was a competitive football game if it weren’t for the turnovers.”
Complicating matters for Hastings was the fact that senior quarterback Brandon McCarthy was suffering from an illness. He played for the first two possessions, but then came out. He eventually came back in for another series, but wasn’t himself.
“He’s dealing with a virus,” Strain said. “He’s just got to let it run its course. He tried to give it a go for us. It really got worse as he tried to go hard on Friday night.”
McCarthy gave way to sophomore Payton Agen, who came in and had a strong night. He completed 12 of 20 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns.
“He did a nice job for us,” Strain said. “We like him as a player. He did a fantastic job, and so did the kids in the offensive huddle. The veteran leaders in the huddle did an outstanding job in the huddle with encouraging him and helping him settle in.”
Hastings trailed 14-7 at halftime but then the turnover bug really hit hard. After the Mustangs scored with 10:37 to play in the third quarter, they took a 21-7 lead. Hastings then stopped Mounds View on their next possession with a thrilling goal-line stand at the one-yard line.
Unfortunately for Hastings, the Mustangs got the ball right back after a fumble and they scored one play later to go up 28-7.
Hastings came clawing back at 9:55 of the fourth quarter when Agen hit Drew Pottinger for a 13-yard touchdown. At 6:57, Agen and Zach Wiese connected for a 10-yard touchdown.
Trailing 35-21 with under seven minutes to play, Hastings tried an onside kick, but the attempt wasn’t successful.
Mounds View scored after a 52-yard drive and that made it 42-21.
Hastings finished with two interceptions and three fumbles.
“We have to do a better job with ball security,” Strain said. “That’ll be a point of focus this week.”
Hastings got one turnover on the night. Mike Junker intercepted a pass for the Raiders.
“He had a real good game again,” Strain said. “He was great on special teams and he was outstanding at corner for us. He’s a bright spot.”
Hastings gained 71 yards on the ground and 264 through the air.
On the ground, McCarthy did most of the damage. He gained 47 yards on eight carries. Also recording carries were Shane Anderson, Ross Dylla, Daryale Harris, Wiese and Agen.
Pottinger finished with one catch for 13 yards and the touchdown.
Dylla had four catches for 80 yards.
Wiese caught five passes for 78 yards and a touchdown.
Anderson had two catches, including the long touchdown.
Harris had one catch for 14 yards and Jacob Cooper caught two passes for 20 yards.
In the kicking game, Jonah Harrington successfully converted all three of his point-after-touchdown attempts.
Hastings plays at Woodbury on Friday night.
The Royals are 2-4 on the season, as are the Raiders.
Woodbury has wins over White Bear Lake (31-29) and Forest Lake (41-13).
They’ve lost to Mounds View (27-7), East Ridge (49-12), Roseville (48-7) and Park (36-28).
They are led by quarterback Brady Mundahl, who has completed 49 of 103 pass attempts on the season for 681 yards and three touchdowns.
On the ground, they are led by John McNiff, who has 475 yards on 71 carries (an average of 6.7 yards per carry). Donnell Rogers has 52 carries for 366 yards and four touchdowns.
“They’re a lot like us,” Strain said. “They’re in about every football game. They have a chance to win, and they’ve lost a couple close ones. It should be a very good game.”
Strain isn’t obsessing over his team’s 2-4 record.
“You don’t really worry so much about what your record is,” Strain said. “You go to work each week. There isn’t anything we can control about what has happened in the past. We’re just going to get to work.”
Hastings plays host to East Ridge at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 16, in the final regular season game of the year. The Raptors are 5-1 on the season and are tied with Roseville and Mounds View atop the Suburban East Conference standings.
The Raptors are the No. 3-ranked team in the metro area.