Wilbur Cross holds off Foran in opener
MILFORD >> It was an inch or two, a link of a chain, a fortunate spot that might’ve erased Foran’s overgenerous first half and Wilbur Cross’ scuffling second.
The Lions’ fourth-down attempt with 44.4 seconds left came up just short Friday night. Wilbur Cross held on for a 27-22 win to open the SCC football season at DeVito Sports Complex.
The Governors took a 21-0 lead to halftime off five Foran first-half turnovers, scoring all three touchdowns off takeways.
“The turnovers were a little bit speed,” Wilbur Cross coach John Acquavita said.
But the Governors had cramping problems in the second half, sometimes with four starters on the sideline, and the Lions nearly came all the way back.
“I was making up stuff (defensively),” Acquavita said.
The turnovers proved the difference. Rickqueal Warren forced a fumble that Noah Washington recoveredd late in the first quarter to set up the first Governors touchdown.
Junior back Jasiah Barnes had 15 carries for 93 yards in the first half. He finished with 28 for 137 and a touchdown.
“We just came out with more energy,” said Washington, seemingly everywhere at times. “We came out hyped up.
“It was a good game, but we expected better of ourselves in the second half.”
Foran held at its 36 with 2:51 to play down by five, and quarterback Jared Hubler led the Lions downfield with his legs.
He scampered to a first-and-10 from the Governors 29 with 1:41 left.
“We’ve got big playmakers, Jared as a quarterback, making plays, Zac Cleary’s a great wide receiver,” said Foran senior co-captain Mark Wootton, who had long punt and kick returns to set up second-half scores.
Hubler went 8 yards on first down. The Governors threw Matt Kennedy for a loss. Hubler threw an incomplete pass on third down.
On fourth, he spun from contact and dove backward nearly to the line to gain, about the 19. The spot looked a smidgen generous, but the measurement came up just short.
Hubler, who moved to quarterback from receiver, ran 20 times for 123 yards and two touchdowns in all after carrying four times for 4 yards in the first half.
“I said it about three times already this week, I said to (Foran) coach (Jeff) Bevino, I watched these guys on film and it felt like the same group was back for like the eighth year,” Acquavita said. “That’s a credit to the staff and their kids. They do their jobs.”