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Highlands rallies past Armstrong @HighlandsSD @HighlandsAthl @AHSRIVERHAWKS

Written by: on Saturday, October 17th, 2020

 

Highlands rallied from a 27-6 third-quarter deficit to down Armstrong 34-27 Friday night at the NexTier Athletic Complex.

“That was a great game for both teams,” said Highlands head coach Dominick Girardi. “Armstong executed well in all three phases of the game, but I’m so proud of our kids to fight back.”

Down 21 points with 7:44 remaining in the third, things were not looking good for the Golden Rams.

However, Highlands scored touchdowns on their final four possessions while their defense clamped down to hold the Riverhawks at bay.

“It’s easy for high school kids to get down on themselves when you’re down multiple scores,” said Girardi. “We kept fighting and clawing, and I’m proud of the character our kids showed tonight.”

Brock White, who led all rushers with a game-high 187 yards on 31 carries, scored on a 2-yard run with 17 seconds to play, giving the Golden Rams the lead.

 

Highlands defense then sacked Cadin Olsen for a nine-yard loss before swatting down his Hail Mary passes for the shocking win.

“Defensively, we made a few adjustments,” said Girardi. “It’s a tall task to stop them. Their quarterback is terrific. Our adjustments were enough to help us.”

White, who rushed for three fourth-quarter touchdowns, ran for 135 yards in the second half. His 26-yard run to open the fourth-quarter pulled Highlands to within a touchdown.

Following a three-and-out, the Golden Rams drove down the field to pull to within a point on White’s 4-yard run. However, he dropped the 2-point conversion pass.

When Highlands got the ball back with under two minutes to play, White redeemed himself with his 2-yard run to seal the win.

“I’m happy for him with that,” said Girardi. “Brock is one of the guys we like to get the ball to, especially when it’s crunch time. That wasn’t going to change down at the goal line.”

Highlands converted a 4th-and-11 play from the Armstrong 33-yard line on a 20-yard completion to Caleb White.

Chandler Thimons and Caleb White hooked up on a 6-yard touchdown pass that brought the Golden Rams within 27-12 with 3:11 to play in the third quarter.

Armstrong started the second half with a bang as Cadin Olsen and Aaron Robb connected on a 76-yard bomb.

Caleb Retzer then hauled in a 42-yard screen pass from Olsen that put Armstrong in front 27-6.

“They imposed their will on us, we thought we had a chance to put them away, but we didn’t,” said Armstrong head coach Frank Fabian. “At times it looked their quarterback was playing 7-on-7. Our pass rush disappeared. Their perimeter run got to us. They were the more physical team in the second half.”

Olsen had another big game for the Riverhawks, throwing for 297 yards on 19-31, passing with four touchdowns.

However, Olsen began the second-half 5-for-5 for 165 yards and two touchdowns but completed only 2-of-9 attempts for 11 yards the rest of the game.

“After we took the lead, we couldn’t get any offensive rhythm going,” said Fabian. “The dropped passes and penalties killed us.”

Aaron Robb had five catches for 118 and two touchdowns for Armstrong. Robb’s 4-yard touchdown from Olsen gave Armstrong a 13-6 lead late in the first half.

Olsen’s 10-yard touchdown pass to Shawn Feliciano opened the scoring following Cole Brown’s interception.

 

Highlands reached the scoreboard on Jrake Burford’s 46-yard reception from Thimons.

The Golden Rams went on a 13-play 71-yard drive to open the game but failed to score as Thimons 4th-and-goal pass was knocked away.

Thimons and Highlands nearly scored to close the first half, but he stopped at the 1-yard line as time expired after trying to scramble for the touchdown.

Thimons completed 22-of-37 passes for 273 yards and two touchdowns with an interception while also rushing for 62 yards. D.J. Loveland caught 12 passes for 113 yards.

Game Highlights:

 

Highlands 34 Armstrong 27

Score by Quarters

Highlands – 0 6 6 22 – 34

Armstrong – 0 13 14 0 – 27

Scoring Summary

Second Quarter

A – Shawn Feliciano 10 yd pass from Cadin Olsen, (Adam Hudock pat), 5:05

H – Jrake Burford 46 yard pass from Chandler Thimons, (kick failed), 4:28

A – Aaron Robb 4 yd pass from Olsen, (rush failed), 2:47

Third Quarter

A – Robb 76 yd pass from Olsen, (Hudock pat), 11:49

A – Caleb Retzer 42 yd pass from Olsen, (Hudock pat), 7:44

H – Caleb White 6 yd pass from Thimons, (kick failed), 3:11
62
Fourth Quarter

H – Brock White 26 yd run, (D.J. Loveland from Thimons), 11:56

H – Brock White 4 yd run, (pass failed), 4:27

H – Brock White 2 yd run, (White rush), 0:17

Individual Stats: Rushing – Highlands – Brock White 31-187, Thimons 14-62. Totals: 45-249. Armstrong – Caleb Retzer 4-8, Olsen 6-6, Team 1-(-6). Totals: 11-8.

Passing: Highlands – Thimons 22-for-37, 273 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception. Armstrong – Olsen 19-for-31, 297 yards, 4 touchdowns.

Receiving: Highlands – D.J. Loveland 12-113, Brock White 2-44, Burford 1-46, Caleb Whte 4-41, Landan Signorella 1-13,Nick McQuade 1-8, Jeremiah Saunders 1-8. Armstrong – Feliiciano 2-19, Cole Brown 5-67, Noah Cooper 3-19, Robb 5-118, Retzer 2-51, Jesse Hepler 2-23.

Interceptions: Armstrong – Brown.

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