Hastings falls to WBL, 7-3Well, it happened again. The Hastings High School football team put itself in a position to win another ballgame, this time using a stifling defense to shut down the opposing White Bear Lake Bears.
By: Chad Richardson, The Hastings Star-Gazette
Well, it happened again. The Hastings High School football team put itself in a position to win another ballgame, this time using a stifling defense to shut down the opposing White Bear Lake Bears.
Again, though, the Raiders came up just short, falling in a Suburban East Conference game, 7-3.
The Bears scored on their first possession, then were shut down the rest of the way.
Hastings, meanwhile, moved the ball all night long but just couldn’t get into the end zone to win the game.
“It was just execution, and the lack of a big play in the red zone,” coach Dana Strain said. “We did rack up quite a few yards. We moved the ball very well, much more effectively than they did. We were able to do what we wanted from the 30 to the 30, but we just couldn’t finish a drive with a touchdown.”
Hastings got its points late in the first half on a field goal by P.J. Piotrowski. An earlier attempt by Piotrowski was blocked.
In the second half, the Raiders couldn’t settle for field goals and in each case the Raiders drives stalled out before they could reach the end zone.
Not all is lost, though. Hastings has a 2-5 record and has been competitive in each game. In four of them, especially, the result could have been a win instead of a loss.
“They’re all carbon copies,” Strain said. “Every game, except for the Cretin-Derham Hall one, we have had the ball late in the game with a chance to win. That’s really all you can ask for. You would expect if you do that enough times, you’ll win your share of them. We’ve won two – but we haven’t won enough of them.
“We’re still doing good things and having fun, but as far as the wins and losses go, it’s just falling a play or two short here or there.”
Hastings now turns its attention to the postseason. The team will know when and where it will play its first playoff game at about 9 a.m. Thursday. Hastings is hoping for a top four seed, which would mean they’d play a home playoff game Tuesday night.
“We’re good enough to be a very scary football team for anybody to play,” Strain said.
White Bear Lake scored with 8:55 to play in the first quarter, but that was all the Hastings defense would allow, limiting White Bear Lake to just 171 yards on 47 plays in the entire game.
“The defense played extremely well,” Strain said. “Danny Anderson, Jake Swenson, Aaron Karnick, Tory Behny, Sam Hicks, Jake Anderson, Isaac Eichmann – they all played really good. The defense, as a whole, played physically.”
Alex Boyer had a fumble recovery for the Raiders
On offense, running back Tyler Mellick had another strong game, gaining 124 yards on 32 carries. Tate Sykes gained 38 yards on four carries.
Through the air, quarterback Aaron Stoneberg completed five of 24 attempts for 125 yards. Eighty-nine of those yards went to Ellis Williams, who caught two passes. Mike Rodriguez had one catch for 21 yards and Jon Barber had a reception for 16 yards.
Hastings closed out the regular season on Wednesday night against Stillwater. Results of that game were not available at press time.