Hemet High football defeats Riverside J.W. North last Friday 41-28
■ By Corey Evan / Reporter
Not all dogs are created equal; Some are used to city life, while others enjoy living a quiet suburban existence. Examples of two differing dog breeds came together at Hemet High School last Friday, Sept 7, as the Bulldogs’ football team challenged the Huskies of Riverside’s J.W. North.
The Huskies would kick off the evening’s game with the Bulldogs receiving the ball and making quick work of it. It only took Hemet two minutes and 16 seconds to get on the board, with Dawson Powers bringing the first ball across the end zone. But not content with letting sleeping dogs lie, North struck back and took a touchdown of their own thanks to Jerrell Calhoun. With the extra point, North went into the lead at the 5:25 mark of the first quarter.
The Bulldogs tried to stage their pushback against the Huskies in the second quarter, but not without bruises to Outside Linebacker George Brock and Wide Receiver Kyle Serna. Jeremiah Graves would avenge their injuries, however minor, with the Bulldogs second TD of the evening at 2:03 to halftime. With a successful two-point conversion, Hemet was back in the lead.
The Hemet High band and flag team performed a set called “The Cartoon Show” for this week’s halftime. The band played a medley of famous cartoon themes, including the Looney Tunes, the Flintstones and the Animaniacs, just to name a few. The Bulldog cheerleaders joined in the act to perform routines set to the Pink Panther and Scooby-Doo. This was followed up by the dance team with an ‘after school special’, which was appropriate considering it was the end of the week. It was easy for these performers to capture this audience’s hearts.
Third quarter got off to a rough start, as North saw one of its players sustain a bruise. But he walked it off and gameplay resumed. At the 8:11 mark, Nick Thornburg snagged the third Bulldog TD of the night, followed by Powers with the extra point. But the Huskies caught a lucky break and snagged a second TD, with Jalen Hawkins making the delivery for North at 1:27. With the extra point, it became too close to call.
Tyler Richardson had something to say about that at 10:27 in the fourth: TD number four! Powers kicked in the extra point, sending Bulldog spirit into overdrive. North got a third TD thanks to Nicolas Satcher with 7:52 to go. The Bulldogs got control of the ball, but fumbled with 7:30 still in it and North recovered the ball. Calhoun grabbed the Huskies’ fourth TD of the night and North got the extra point to tie it up 28 – all with 6:51 left. Thornburg broke the tie at 6:13 with Bulldog TD number five. He then followed it with another at 2:52, with Powers kicking in the extra point. It did the trick, winning the game 41-28 for the Bulldogs.
Coach Jason Thornburg acknowledges that while his team came up trumps today, there’s still much to do: “We have a new offensive coordinator and a new defensive coordinator, they’re trying to figure out (what each kid can do), and we’re getting closer each week.”
He also recognizes what his son Nick’s friendship with teammate Richardson adds to the mix: “They’ve been friends since elementary school, so it’s good to see them work together.” Now that’s what we call BFF’s (Best Friends Forever)!
When asked about his former assistant coach taking the job assistant coaching at North this season, Coach admits it felt good to get one back on him. “That’s right,” he said jokingly.
The win pushes Hemet’s record up to 3-1 for the season.
Elsewhere in football:
The West Valley Mustangs were grounded by the Vista del Lago Ravens 24-14.
The Tahquitz Titans hosted, and bested, the Canyon Springs Cougars 51-14.
San Jacinto saw quite a challenge from the Murrieta Mesa Rams, but rose to the challenge and rammed them back 12-7.