Three touchdowns in the first 12 minutes gave the Raiders a comfortable lead and was something the defending Northern 4A champs have not been used to this season. And even after the game was over and his team won by 16 points, head coach Ernie Howren still had some words for his players.
“You know what I told them? I’m always proud of them. I always love them, always love them,” Howren said. “It’s just that they know when we go in and watch film there’s going to be a little bit of butt-chewing going on of how poor we executed and how undisciplined we were in the second half of the game. Fortunately we set the tone in the first half and put ourselves in a good position going into the second half.”
The Raiders’ bitter 41-14 loss to Bishop Manogue seemed to be a distant memory as the they took just over three minutes to score in the opening drive against Reno. Quarterback Brent Showalter capped it off with a 3-yard touchdown run to go up 7-0. After stopping Reno’s offense, the Raiders went right back to work after a short punt by the Huskies. Reed only had to drive half the field before junior John Covello could run the ball 2 yards into the end zone for a two-touchdown lead.
Another short punt after the Huskies’ next drive, again gave the Raiders excellent field position. Once again, Reed drove the ball smoothly into the red zone and this time junior Chad Gray carried the ball 2 yards for the score.
Reno bounced back on its next possession when quarterback Anthony Hascheff connected with senior Jeremy Fischer for a 22-yard score. An onside kick attempt was recovered by Reed but the Huskies got the ball back on an interception. Reed stopped Reno’s ensuing drive, though, and extended its lead when junior Alex Young scampered 67 yards after catching a floater pass from Showalter.
The Huskies again bounced back, this time on a 34-yard dash by Hascheff through the Reed defense. The extra point put the score at 28-14.
But before the homecoming king and queen were named, Reed put one more touchdown on the board, this time on a meticulous drive down to the Reno 1-yard line. Showalter punched the ball into the end zone behind his driving offensive line and at intermission Reed had a 35-14 lead.
The Huskies took possession to start the second half, but turned the ball over on downs while trying to keep a drive alive near midfield. Reed took advantage when Showalter ran 38 yards for a score. Reno again responded when senior Jake Pinocchio caught a 9-yard pass from Hascheff to bring the score to 42-21.
The fourth quarter saw Reed put up a field goal and Reno score one more touchdown, putting the final at 45-29. Showalter contributed most of Reed’s offense, rushing for 173 yards while completing 14 of 20 passes for 197 yards.
Despite the win, which put Reed at 6-2, Howren continued to talk about the same issue he has for several weeks: execution.
“I guess one thing that you can take away that you can be happy about — not that being happy about bad execution is the right thing — but that does tell me is we still have a lot of good football ahead of us. I think these are correctable mistakes as a team and this stuff will get better.”
Next week, Reed travels to Damonte Ranch.