HN football falls short to Bellmont

The Huntington North High School varsity football team got edged by host Bellmont, 21-18, on Friday, Sept. 15.

The Vikings made the Braves work for the victory, battling back from double-digit deficits on two occasions before succumbing to their Northeast 8 Conference foes. The hosts scored a touchdown accompanied by a two-point conversion in the first quarter, then reached the end zone again in the second to craft a 15-0 advantage. Coach Rick Burnau’s squad responded with a four-yard rushing touchdown by running back Mason Landrum, followed by a 39-yard field goal from Aidan Hosler as time expired in the second to trim Bellmont’s lead to 15-10 going into the break.

After a scoreless third quarter, the Braves bumped their advantage back up into double figures with a touchdown in the fourth. With 8:44 remaining, the Vikings countered with an 18-yard scoring toss from quarterback Austin Spahr to wide receiver Deven Newcomb. While the Vikes were successful on a two-point conversion attempt, those would prove to be their last points of the game as the Bellmont defense held on for the win.

Huntington North, 0-5, 0-3 in conference, got 78 yards passing from Spahr, who completed five of seven tosses. Wide receiver Andrew Smekens caught two of those passes for 21 yards while wide receiver Richard Gutierrez hauled in one for 31 yards.

Landrum supplemented the Vikings’ efforts through the air with 42 yards on the ground, carrying the ball 12 times. Spahr added 35 yards on 11 rushes while Gutierrez chipped in 22 yards on six carries. The Huntington North offense finished with 280 yards overall.

Bellmont, 2-3, 2-1 in conference, totaled 241 yards on offense, amassing all of them on the ground. The Braves’ runners toted the ball 53 times for an average of 4.5 yards a carry.

The Vikings’ defensive effort was highlighted by linebackers Charlie Agnew and Isaac Hill, who registered nine and eight and a half tackles, respectively.