BATH TWP. — One half.
That was all Highland’s football team needed Friday night, as it efficiently picked apart Revere en route to a 35-0 Suburban League victory at Joseph F. Pappano Stadium.
After allowing the Minutemen (1-6, 0-4) to string together a long drive to open the game before forcing a turnover and then going three-and-out on their first possession, the state-ranked Hornets (7-0, 4-0) scored on their next five possessions to remain perfect.
“We have to come out of the gate stronger than that, but we handled it and took it from there,” Highland quarterback Bruce Kinsey said. “Coach (Tom) Lombardo strives for us to be efficient, and after that first drive, he really challenged us to come out even stronger.”
Highland’s defense ended each of Revere’s first two drives with interceptions — one by Coltin Kinsey that he returned for 42 yards and the other by Cory Moncol — to set up the Hornets’ first score.
“They come out with a nice drive to start, and then we stopped them and had a couple of big interceptions,” Lombardo said. “We then got really efficient offensively, throwing it and running it, and got the lead at half. I’m just happy to see we were able to keep a team out of the end zone.”
The Hornets settled in and closed the first quarter with a 1-yard TD run from Alex Harris and a 17-yard strike from Bruce Kinsey to Coltin Kinsey.
Bruce Kinsey, who finished the game — or the half, to be more precise — 7-for-13 passing for 91 yards to four different receivers, then had TD tosses of 8 and 10 yards to Collin Paich and Coltin Kinsey, respectively, to break the game open.
“Some of those bubbles he threw, I didn’t even know the ball was in the air,” Lombardo. “I’m looking at the back, and all of a sudden there’s the ball on the other side, so he’s seeing things even before we see them.”
Highland then took it to ground, as Harris picked up 130 yards on 16 carries in the opening two quarters, including a drive on which his name was called nine times for 69 yards before Nick Corvo’s 4-yard touchdown dive.
In all, the Hornets averaged 7.1 yards a carry in the first half, picking up 237 yards total offense in a variety of ways.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Bruce Kinsey said with a grin. “It makes things easier for me, too, because I know if I’m having an off night or if someone else is having an off night, everybody else will pick each other up and we’ll go from there.”
While Highland was putting together a proficient attack, Revere had 9 rushing yards in the first 24 minutes and followed positive plays with miscues or penalties.
Quarterback Chase Costanzo (9-for-22, 85 yards) threw for 80 yards in the first two periods, but had two interceptions and four passes broken up, with Moncol being responsible for three of the latter. Combine that with sacks from Corvo, Ethan Jackson and Nick Haas and it made things downright difficult.
The Hornets left it up to their reserves to close the game. While they didn’t find the end zone, backup quarterback Blake Phelps managed the game and Grant Wallace got some work in the backfield, allowing the starters to refocus and get ready for the stretch run.
“Our coaches’ biggest message is to take it game by game,” Bruce Kinsey said. “Each game is a new evaluation, and it tells us what we need to work on and what we need to get better on. We just take it from there.”
Contact Dan Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Highland 35, Revere 0
HIGHLAND 14 21 0 0 — 35
REVERE 0 0 0 0 — 0
H — Alex Harris 1 run (Luke Allen kick), 3:31.
H — Coltin Kinsey 17 pass from Bruce Kinsey (Allen kick), 2:23.
H — Collin Paich 8 pass from B. Kinsey (Allen kick), 11:39.
H — C. Kinsey 10 pass from B. Kinsey (Allen kick), 7:50.
H — Nick Corvo 4 run (Allen kick), 0:56.