Football: Hillclimbers trip up Raiders
By DINA PIERCE
LONDON — It was clear from the start that it was going to be a high scoring game when both London and Urbana scored on their first possessions of the season.
Then Urbana kept scoring while London struggled to make tackles on defense and hold on to the ball on offense. The game got out of hand quickly and Urbana rolled to a 65-14 victory in the season opener.
When all was said and done, six Urbana players scored, led by receiver Tyler Powell with touchdown receptions of 7, 38, 28 and 4 yards. Shane Ware was as star on offense and defense, catching a 32-yard touchdown reception and grabbing three interceptions, returning one 45 yards for a score.
The Hillclimbers also had touchdown receptions from Drake Frost (8 yards) and TD runs by Tanner Lawrence (1 yard), backup quarterback Thomas Russell (64 yards) and Daniel Shover (2 yards).
The big play touchdowns tell the biggest part of the story. London had trouble tackling the whole night.
“If we don’t tackle better than this, then it’s going to be a long year. Our tackling was atrocious,” Red Raider coach Jerry Wasserman said. “Tackling is all about ‘want to.”
Offensively, London was led by quarterback Kyle Fisher. London will continue to look for offensive line help. Fisher had open receivers and completed a number of passes, but he was on the run in the backfield on most plays.
“He was running for his life out there,” Wasserman said.
After Urbana’s Powell scored on a 7 yard pass from Nathan Mays, London answered when Fisher scrambled 13 yards to tie the game 6-6.
Powell and Mays hooked up two series later on a 38-yard pass play. London was driving again when the first quarter ended and on second and goal at the 7, Fisher didn’t see a defender crossing the route and was intercepted by Same Niswonger in the end zone. Urbana turned that into a touchdown and then scored again when Ware intercepted Fisher and returned it for a TD. By the time halftime rolled around, it was 38-6 Hillclimbers.
“They scored and then we scored and we were playing good. Then we made a couple of mistakes and got down on ourselves,” Wasserman noted. “We’ve got some work to do.”
Urbana expanded the lead in the second half. With both teams’ reserve players in, London added a fourth quarter touchdown when Dylan Miller hit Kumhar Jones on a 10-yard strike with 7:50 left in the game. Urbana answered with its subs with 2:35 left for the final tally.
London hosts Hamilton Township next Friday.