BY YANEEK SMITH, BEACON CONTRIBUTOR
Hardin Northern started with a vengeance against visiting Danbury, scoring 21 points in the first quarter as it defeated Danbury, 56-6. The Polar Bears (2-1) scored three touchdowns in the first quarter from Owen
Wetherill, who finished with five touchdowns.
Wetherill scored on a 31-yard touchdown run less than two minutes into the game, and the first of eight extra points by Cole Morris made it 7-0. Wetherill caught a 44-yard touchdown pass from Nevin Robson at the 4:03 mark, and scored on a 4-yard run with less than a minute remaining.
He added a 1-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter and caught a 42-yard touchdown pass from Robson in the third. For the game, Wetherill ran 19 times for 201 yards. Robson completed 8-of-10 passes for 160 yards and three touchdowns.
“We didn’t have a lot of answers on defense. Scheme-wise, I think the kids felt good about what we do, (but) Hardin Northern had some nice players, some guys that we’d been watching grow up for three years,” said Danbury coach Keith Mora. “We won by a point last year (against them). They have some nice size and some good skill position players. They could make some noise this year.”
Danbury quarterback Kaden Conrad completed 22-of-47 passes for 146 yards and threw three interceptions. Tommy Owens caught seven passes for 97 yards and Kody Sieger had five receptions for 40 yards. The lone Laker (0-3) touchdown was scored when Andy Zelms hooked up with Jake Mischler from eight yards out late in the fourth quarter.
“We took a step back and we did some things that we didn’t do the week before. It’s important that we continue to take some steps forward,” said Mora. “Offensively, we have to continue to get better. That was a major key, it’s important for us on offense to be effective. If we’re only scoring six points per game, it doesn’t matter how our defense plays.
“(The players) are doing O.K. I’ve been a part of teams where we didn’t have good win-lose records, (but) I don’t think (it’s unraveling). I think they know we can be better. I know they can play better, and I think they know that as well. They understand that they’re getting better each week, it’s just about getting better.”
On Friday, the Lakers host Margaretta, which won its first game last week with a 35-12 win over Monroeville.
“They look strong. I don’t think their record is indicative of how good they are,” said Mora. “They have some good size, nice speed, it’s a tough matchup. It’s something (where) our kids are going to have to dig deep in practice and not look ahead. We just have to continue to work on the things we do.”