Hastings football team loses close one to Cretin-Derham HallAnother week. Another competitive game. And, unfortunately for the Hastings Raiders, it was another loss.
By: Chad Richardson, The Hastings Star-Gazette
Another week. Another competitive game. And, unfortunately for the Hastings Raiders, it was another loss.
This week’s, though, stings less than the other three. While Hastings slipped to 0-4 on the season, Hastings had a strong game against one of the state’s top teams, No. 3 ranked Cretin-Derham Hall. C-DH improved to 4-0 on the season with the 27-13 win.
“Again, it was close,” coach Dana Strain said. “We’ve been in every game. We were in this one, and that’s a positive.”
Hastings trailed 14-6 at halftime. Cretin took a 14-0 lead with 9:16 to play in the half, but Hastings put together a seven-play, 46-yard drive at the end of the first half to pull within eight points.
“We didn’t get off to a great start defensively, but there were a lot of positives in that one,” Strain said. “Scoring like that, right before the half, that was big. It was a nice hard run by Tyler (Mellick).”
In the third quarter, Cretin scored 13 points to pull away. Late in the fourth, Hastings added its second touchdown on a one-yard pass from Aaron Stoneberg to Ellis Williams. P.J. Piotrowski kicked the extra point.
Hastings struggled to get much going on the ground, gaining 19 yards on 26 carries. Mellick had the most luck, gaining 28 yards on 17 carries.
“We knew they were going to be a tough team to run on,” Strain said. “Their front four is so good. We watched other teams on film trying to run on them. It wasn’t an easy thing to do.”
It was through the air that the Raiders did most of their damage. Aaron Stoneberg completed 22 of 39 attempts for 271 yards. Ten of those completions went to Ellis Williams, who finished with 176 yards on the night.
“Stoney had a good game,” Strain said. “He threw the ball very well. Several of their coaches stopped me and talked to me about how good he is. He is obviously a talented kid and played well. That started up front – they pressured us quite a bit, and our offensive line protected him extremely well. That’s a real credit to our offensive line.”
Mike Rodriguez had three catches for 30 yards; Jayson Bauer had one catch for three yards; Mellick had two receptions for five yards; John Tate had two catches for 28 yards; Tate Sykes had two catches for 12 yards and Alex Nygaard had two catches for 17 yards.
Williams had a nice night on kickoff returns with four of them for 78 yards total.
Cretin, meanwhile, inflicted its damage on the ground. They rushed for 281 yards on 37 carries. Through the air, C-DH gained 161 yards.
After Cretin took a 14-0 lead, Hastings made some changes and from that point on the team fared better.
“After the first two scores, we talked about things we had to do better and the kids responded and made those adjustments,” Strain said. “They did a nice job.”
Aaron Karnick and Alex Boyer each had fumble recoveries.
Eric McCarthy had an interception for Hastings and he forced one of the Cretin fumbles.
“Eric had a big game,” Strain said. “Tate Sykes played well, too. Dylan Nelson played well at the free safety position. He tackled very well for us. Danny Anderson had another good, active game.”
Hastings travels to Woodbury on Friday night to face East Ridge. The Raptors have a 1-3 record on the season, having just lost to Woodbury in a wild overtime game on Friday, 35-34.
It is East Ridge’s homecoming game.
“They’re a lot like us in that they’ve lost have all been very close,” Strain said. “They’re a good football team that doesn’t have a great record. We know they’re a much better team than their record indicates. It should be a real good game. If we do the things we’re capable of doing, we’ll have a chance to win it.”
The homecoming game for Hastings is planned for 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, against Park.
Hastings plays host to White Bear Lake on Oct. 14 and then travels to Stillwater on Wednesday, Oct. 19, to close out the regular season.