HOWLAND, OH – A three-game road stand is never easy, but the Hubbard Eagles and coach Brian Hoffman have been responding to the adversity very well. Despite a slow first half, the Eagles picked things up in the second half en route to a 20-8 victory over the host Howland Tigers at Lombardo Field.
The Eagles started quick on their opening drive. They used a nice methodical running attack to get things going, a category in which they achieved 246 yards on. Hubbard would then get the boost when Royal McConahy scampered down the field for a 28-yard touchdown run. The extra point by Caleb Mackay made it 7-0 Eagles. McConahy finished the night with 77 yards on 6 carries (12.8 average) to go along with his score.
Hubbard then drove down the field again late in the first, but they would be denied by a huge fumble recovery by the Howland defense, one of the strong points of Howland’s early season start. Then in the second quarter, the defense for the Tigers would step up again as they would stop the Eagles on a fourth down attempt. It would remain a 7-0 ball game at halftime. Despite giving up 290 total yards of offense on the night, it is important to note that the Tigers have not given up more than 21 points throughout their first three games.
It was a quick third quarter, as both teams were having a hard time moving the ball. However, things took a huge turn late in the third quarter. Hubbard’s Nunzio Scachetti would jump in and block a Howland punt that would set the Eagles up on the Tiger 40. It would only take one play for Hubbard to capitalize off of the blocked punt as Xzander Owens raced down the sideline for a 40-yard touchdown run. Mackay’s extra point made it 14-0 Hubbard as the third period ended. Owens would then pick up a huge 22-yard touchdown reception to start the fourth quarter as Hubbard started to roll away with it 20-0 (with a missed PAT). Owens rushed for 54 yards on 5 carries (10.8 average) with his rushing and receiving touchdowns.
The Tigers, however, would not go down with a fight as they would drive the length of the field with time running off the clock. They were aided by a huge roughing the passer on fourth down, which gave them an automatic first down and some huge momentum. And then on a 4th & Long from the Hubbard 22, junior quarterback showed his potential yet again as he found Carter Mock all alone down the left side for a 22-yard touchdown. Things got even better for Howland as holder Sam Vacha made the best out of a botched extra point, picking it up and running it in for the two-point conversion to make it 20-8. Unfortunately for Howland, the onside kick would go out of bounds as Hubbard got the ball and knelt down to seal the victory. Perry finished 5/10 for 37 yards and a touchdown. Marco Massucci for Howland also picked up 80 yards on 17 carries (4.7 average)
The Eagles will improve to 3-0 with the victory as they pick up their third-straight victory over the Tigers. They tie up the all-time series against Howland at 22-22 as they will now travel to Poland to finish a three-game road stand in their first NE8 matchup of 2022. The Bulldogs (1-2) are coming off a 31-7 loss to archrival Canfield in the Battle of 224.
The Tigers will drop to 0-3 for the first time since 2018 with the loss. They will still search for their first victory next week as they play host to Boardman. The Spartans (1-2) are coming off a 43-14 loss to Massillon Jackson and are on a two-game losing skid.
YSN’s Noah Ricks got the chance to talk to Hubbard head coach Brian Hoffman following tonight’s victory. You can watch the video below.
*Contributed By YSN’s Noah Ricks