Viking gridders’ comeback attempt falls short against Homestead

Huntington North quarterback Keenan Leichty (middle) looks down the field for an open receiver while his blockers keep the pass rush off him during the varsity football team’s season opener against visiting Homestead on Friday, Aug. 23. Photo by Steve Clark.

The Huntington North High School football team lost its season opener to visiting Homestead, 37-28, on Friday, Aug. 23, when a fourth quarter comeback attempt fell short.

Trailing the Spartans 30-14 after three frames, the Vikings narrowed the gap to eight when quarterback Keenan Leichty connected with Kole Hale for six and the team was successful on a two-point conversion try. After an onside kick recovery, Huntington North scored again, this time on a Leichty scoring toss to Elliot Forth. The team's two-point try, however, was no good, leaving the score 30-28, Homestead.

A Spartan scoring toss with 6:22 to play took the game to its final tally.

Leichty completed 31 of 73 passes for 242 yards and three touchdowns with an interception.

Hale and Scott McClellan were Leichty's favorite targets, each catching a touchdown and hauling in nine passes. Hale had 85 yards receiving and McClellan had 80.

Elliot Forth caught six passes for 50 yards and a score.

McClellan's touchdown grab and a pair of Spartan scores put the Vikings in a 13-6 hole at halftime.

Homestead opened the second half with kickoff return touchdown. Though Huntington North responded with a rushing touchdown by Charleston Dydasco, the Spartans responded right back with a rushing touchdown of their own. A Homestead field goal set the stage for the Vikings' comeback attempt in the final frame.

Dydasco led Huntington North on the ground with 73 rushing yards and a score.

Drew Fawcett, Houston Lehman and John Miller with the Vikings' leading tacklers, with three apiece. Thomas Parker and Mason Bickel each had a forced fumble.

Huntington North, 0-1, next plays Carroll at home on Friday, Aug. 30