AURORA — After watching teammates Chukwuma Obinnah and Grant Neal rack up close to 300 yards in Regis Jesuit’s season-opening win last week, …
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AURORA — After watching teammates Chukwuma Obinnah and Grant Neal rack up close to 300 yards in Regis Jesuit’s season-opening win last week, Chase Bertinelli wasn’t expecting to see a whole lot of carries in last Friday’s contest with visiting Horizon.
But when injuries forced Bertinelli into the spotlight, the senior was more than ready to show he was the man for the job. Bertinelli racked up 130 yards and a score on 22 carries as the Raiders pulled away late to score a 21-14 win over the ninth-ranked Hawks in front of a packed house at Kellog Field.
“Chuk and Grant went down early, they were playing good, and I came in and the O-line was blocking great out there, they opened some great holes,” said Bertinelli, who picked up 94 of his yards in the second half. “We kept fighting and got it done.”
Regis Jesuit (2-0) dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and eventually wore out Horizon (1-1), which was fighting injury problems of its own.
“A lot of their team played both ways and they were tired by the end and our line took advantage of it,” Bertinelli said.
“You can’t play a slugfest against a powerhouse football team with six guys going both ways,” Hawks coach Frank Ybarra said.
Still, Horizon was left to lament missed opportunities. The Hawks drove inside the Raiders’ 30 seven times, but only came away with two scores. Senior quarterback Auston Stackhouse threw for 322 yards but was intercepted once and coughed up a fumble that Will Deines scooped up and returned 80 yards for a touchdown as Horizon was driving for the tying score with under two minutes remaining in the game.
Regis Jesuit, meanwhile, only completed one pass, a 4-yarder from sophomore Matt Houghtaling to Cody Lippert with 8 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
Instead, the Raiders relied on their dominant line play and efficient running attack to wear down the Hawks. While Regis Jesuit was consistently ripping off 4- and 5-yard runs or greater, Horizon only had one run go for longer than 5 yards all night long.
“We couldn’t get our running game established, just couldn’t,” Ybarra said. “We have to rely on our run to set up our pass and we weren’t able to do that today.
“That No. 7 (Antonio Broadus) for them, holy cow...that defensive end is a player.”
While Stackhouse and senior wideout Dustin Rivas (nine catches, 265 yards receiving) were able to put up huge numbers against the Raiders, Horizon’s passing game was inconsistent. The Hawks didn’t string together back-to-back completions until their final drive of the contest, after they had fallen behind 21-7.
Horizon took a 7-0 lead midway through the second quarter on a 1-yard scoring run by Dante Chad that was set up the play before by a Rivas fumble recovery. Bertinelli evened things up on Regis-Jesuit’s first drive of the second half, breaking a tackle in the backfield before bouncing outside for a 14-yard touchdown run.
The Raiders took the lead for good with 4:51 left in the fourth on Jalen Williams’ 61-yard run that saw him start left, cut back through the center of the field and then outrace the defense down the right sideline into the end zone.
Horizon’s next drive started at its own 8-yard line, but Stackhouse was able to drive the Hawks down to the Regis-Jesuit 10, hitting Rivas on completions for 20, 39 and 24 yards.
But Stackhouse had three straight pass attempts into the end zone fall incomplete, and then on fourth down was hit by Michael Guenther and Eddie Gonzales behind the line.
The ball popped free and Deines scooped it up and raced the other way for the deciding score with 1:48 left.
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