San Marino Simply Too Good
San Marino High’s football team came calling against Hoover last Friday night, and remained undefeated after the 40-7 nonleague thrashing.
Using the run and pass effectively, the Titans finished with 168 yards on the ground, as running back Ben Harwich tallied two scores in the opening half, and Benny Hung added a solo touchdown.
Quarterback Joe Forgatch tossed two touchdown passes in the second half to wide receiver Stevie Yortsos, and Hung had a long touchdown run.
Winning football games isn’t something that Hoover (156 total yards) has done consistently. In fact, the Tornadoes snapped a 21-game losing streak the previous week.
So it wasn’t surprising to see Hoover’s defense stumble against Forgatch (19 of 28 passes for 202 yards with no interceptions).
Forgatch’s 18-yard pass to Yortsos with 11:43 left in the fourth quarter increased the San Marino lead to 26-7, and when the two hooked up with just less than five minutes left, the score was 33-7. Hung’s 48-yard scoring run with 1:28 showing made it 40-7.
The lone Tornadoes’ score came with 1:09 remaining in the first quarter. A 25-yard pass from quarterback A.J. Pule to wide receiver Elvis Fuentes capped off an eight-play drive, and cut the lead to 13-7.
Hoover’s other bright spot was the stout play of running back Ivan Tello, who had 62 first-half yards on 10 carries, and 35 yards on seven rushes in the second half.
Other than that, San Marino (3-0) flexed its muscles nearly every time, as Hoover (1-2) was nearly helpless to counter any move.
“In the second half, we couldn’t get field position,’’ said Hoover Head Coach Chris Long. “We were always playing on our side of the field.”
Long acknowledged Hoover’s dismal past. “Yeah, the last few years we’d really get blown out. But we don’t want moral victories. We want wins. Our goal is to make the playoffs. That means every game is do or die.”
San Marino built a 20-7 lead after two quarters, and scored on its initial possession.
The 65-yard, eight-play drive saw Harwich plunge in from one yard out and just over eight minutes left.
“We don’t worry about the other team,’’ San Marino Head Coach D.R. Moreland said before the contest. “We want a balanced offense but we also take what the defense gives us.”
The Titans added to their lead when Pule (five of 17 for 37 yards and two interceptions) was picked off by Luke MacGregor. Four plays later, Harwich scored on a one-yard run and 5:05 left to make it 13-0.
“That first interception was just a great play,’’ said Long. “It was an acrobatic play.”
San Marino made it 20-7 after Hoover was forced to punt. Starting from their 20, the Titans marched down the field and capped off the 13-play drive with Hung (17 carries for 126 yards) scoring on a two-yard run and 21 seconds left.