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Hard lessons learned

Hillman falters in a 42-0 loss against?University?Liggett

August 31, 2012
BY ERIC BENAC - News Sports Writer (sports@thealpenanews.com) , The Alpena News

HILLMAN-Hillman football coach Bill Koenig did not mince his words when it came time to describe his team's 42-0 loss against Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett on Thursday night at Hillman High School.

"We played like crap," Koenig said.

Hillman had very little luck playing against Liggett.

Article Photos

News Photo by Eric Benac
Travis Powers of Hillman (26) stretches in the end zone to try to catch a pass from Ty Jones. This drive came in the last 35 seconds of the first half and was the closest Hillman got to scoring all night in a 42-0 game against University Liggett.

Hillman QB Ty Jones connected only four passes out of 11, with only 37 total passing yards and one interception.

Hunter Fessler led in passing yards with 25 yards on two catches.

Traditionally, Hillman is a strong running team, which may excuse so many dropped passes. However, Hillman only put up 81 total running yards., with Alex Cheek leading the way with 43 yards.

Hillman was without the playmaking skills of running back Kenny Kolchan, who limped off the field with around 7:30 left in the first quarter having only contributed seven yards to the game.

Liggett on the other hand connected on 12 of 22 passes for a 176 total passing yards. It also ran for 167 yards, including a 60-yard touchdown run with 10:35 left in the fourth quarter.

Koenig lamented his team's efforts, especially in comparison to their impressive 27-14 win against Gaylord St. Mary last week.

"They came out and played with no effort," he said, "The offensive line wasn't blocking and plays weren't landing. They played terrible, lazy football tonight."

Koenig felt his young team may have gotten a bit too much confidence from last week's win.

"They got cocky and they played poorly," he said. "They're still coasting on last year's high and tonight was a tough lesson for them to learn."

Liggett scored early in the game with 8:06 left in the first quarter. They scored on a six-yard pass but missed the field goal. It was during this kickoff that Kolchan was injured.

Hillman's defense did hold Ligett to a single touchdown for the rest of the first quarter. It wasn't until there was 9:39 left in the second quarter that Ligett scored again. They then scored a two-point conversion to bring the score up to 14-0.

After this score, Hillman had a four-play drive that ended in a punt. Liggett then threw the ball into the hands of Hillman's Michael Olshanski on the first play of their drive for an interception.

This could have been a momentum changing point in the game. Unfortunately, Hillman had another very short drive that ended in an incomplete pass thrown by Mason VanPamel. VanPamel was one for two as a passer.

Hillman's defense held off a Liggett touchdown until just before the two minute warning. Liggett missed the extra point again.

On the second play of its answering drive, Hillman's Michael Klein dropped the ball in the red zone. Liggett recovered and scored on the next play, scoring a two point conversion to bring the game up to 28-0.

Hillman seemed to come alive at the very end of the half, driving all the way down the field, sitting within 25 yards of the end zone. It was the closest the Tigers got all night. Tight end Travis Powers dropped two passes in the end zone to end the half.

Hillman's lack of offensive success kept its defense on the field most of the night. Koenig was also displeased with the defensive effort put forth by his team.

"The defense would stop them three plays in a row and then take a break on the fourth," he said. "They couldn't stop the run, they couldn't stop the pass and they started to panic."

Koenig doesn't believe that school size had anything to do with the loss Thursday.

" The school might be bigger but you can't blame our loss on that," he said. "They had the same number of kids on the team, pulled from a similar sized group. They simply outplayed us. I'm embarrassed by how we played tonight. We can and will do better than this."

Hillman will play Au Gres at home next Friday at 7 p.m.

 
 

 

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