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HUBBARD DEFENSE UP FOR THE TASK

MAHONING VALLEY SPORTS

HUBBARD, Ohio – Nik Hendrix threw two touchdown passes, and both top backs would add 50-yard games as the Hubbard Eagles (5-2) blanked the Lakeview Bulldogs (3-4) in their 22-0 win on Homecoming night. Ben Wilcox and Xzander Owens each caught a touchdown pass, and Garland Warren rushed for another.

The Eagles would start their opening drive at their own 36 yard-line but took no time at all to get into Lakeview territory, picking up gains of twenty-five and fourteen on their first two plays from scrimmage. Five plays later and the Eagles would take a lead that they would never relinquish.

The teams would trade scoreless drives throughout the remainder of the first half, sending the game into the break 7-0. A scoreless opening drive for Hubbard and a beautiful punt to pin the Bulldogs at their own two yard-line would turn into a safety for the Eagles defense on Lakeview’s first play from scrimmage in the second half.

Hubbard would fail to convert on their extra possession, turning the ball over on downs at the Bulldog 4, but after forcing a three and out, the Birds would move the ball down the field and into the redzone again before Garland Warren would find paydirt from nine yards out.

Lakeview had no answer offensively tonight, turning the ball over on four separate occasions, their second to last setting the Eagles up for their final score of the night, on a Hendrix to Owens connection from twenty-one yards out.

WARREN WATCH

Garland Warren’s nine-yard touchdown rumble was the first of his varsity career. The 5 foot 11, 190-pound junior has seen a ramp up in touches since the start of the season. Warren’s nine carries was his second highest total of the year, while his fifty-five-yard game marks his career high. The bruiser has all the makings of a traditional Hubbard bell cow, something to keep an eye on as we head into the closing weeks of the season.

BIG PERFORMERS

HUBBARD: (13 penalties, 130 yards)

Nik Hendrix: 9-17, 164 yards, 2 TDs, 6 carries, 61 yards

Ben Wilcox: 15 carries, 62 yards, 2 catches, 26 yards, 1 TD, 3 defensive INTs

Garland Warren: 9 carries, 55 yards, 1 TD

Xzander Owens: 5 carries, 25 yards, 2 catches, 27 yards, 1 TD

LAKEVIEW: (1 penalty, 5 yards)

Boom Gillis: 3/13, 25 yards, 3 INTs, 12 carries, 16 yards

Andrew Brown: 2 catches, 26 yards

PLAYOFF IMPLICATIONS

The Hubbard win is their fifth of the season over a team with a losing record. With a strong strength of schedule staring down four of those five victories, the Eagles are in almost a must win scenario against the Girard Indians if they are to hope for a home playoff game. A surging Struthers team may help the Eagles as well.

With three games left to play, the Bulldogs are faced with three tough challenges on their schedule. A win over one of the top teams in the conference will leave the Bulldogs with a chance to make the postseason for the first time since 2017.

UP NEXT

Hubbard: Following their first shutout since week 5 of last season, the Eagles will look to bring the same defensive prowess against the vaunted Girard offense. Pat Pearson and the Girard Indians (5-2) will host the Eagles on a two-gamelosing streak after winning their first five matchups by a combined total of 159 points.

Lakeview: Dropping their third game in a row, the Bulldogs are sub .500 for the first time this season, and the road doesn’t get any easier. Tom Pavlansky will make his return to Cortland with his Poland Bulldogs (4-3) this coming Friday, before Lakeview will end the season on the road inSouth Range (7-0), then at home against Jefferson (5-2).

*Contributed By YSN’s Jamie Thomson.

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