The milestones keep coming for the Huron football.
In 2019, the River Rats snapped the state’s then-longest losing streak. Last year, Huron beat crosstown rival Pioneer and qualified for the state playoffs, both firsts for the program since 2002.
On Friday, Huron (4-1, 3-1 SEC Red) checked off another milestone with a 38-14 victory over Monroe, its first win against the Trojans in program history.
Huron head coach Antaiwn Mack said that Huron was playing shorthanded due to injuries and illnesses.
“We overcame a weird week,” Mack said. “We had a lot of guys hurt and sick, and coaches developed young guys throughout the week. I’m proud of the guys for how hard they fought, just coming back and continuing to play.”
Huron was not without star quarterback Anthony Pinnace, who produced an eye-popping 348 yards passing and four touchdowns in the victory.
Trailing 7-3 early in the second quarter after Monroe senior Tristin Panza scored a touchdown, Pinnace put the Rats in the lead for good, rolling right and finding Torrence Greene wide open for a 37-yard touchdown.
Following an interception by Huron safety Zyers Ruff II, the Rats increased the lead with a 7 play, 47-yard scoring drive that was capped with a 6-yard touchdown run by junior DeVeion Mclilley. The Rats converted two third downs on the drive, including a 29-yard reception by Mclilley on third-and-14. Huron led 17-7 with 3:19 remaining in the first half.
Huron’s explosive second quarter wasn’t finished. The Rats got the ball back in Trojan territory after Bruce Williams sacked Monroe’s quarterback on third down. Three plays later, receiver Jamari Thomas made an incredible, over-the-shoulder catch good for 35 yards to Monroe’s 1-yard-line.
Pinnace scored on an option keeper next play, putting the icing on top of a dominant second quarter that saw Huron outscore Monroe 17-0. Huron led 24-7 at half.
Huron’s momentum continued early in the third quarter. Pinnace engineered an 8 play, 66-yard drive that netted Mclilley’s second touchdown of the night, this one coming on a 29-yard pass from Pinnace.
Huron has a number of offensive weapons surrounding Pinnace, and it showed in this game. Two-way senior Brandon Johnson broke into the scoring column with a highlight-reel 23-yard touchdown reception that saw him escape an attempted arm tackle, dodge a second defender, and score.
Huron led 38-7 with 9:12 remaining in the fourth quarter after kicker Adam Samaha converted his fifth extra point in five tries for the game. He also made a 42-yard field goal in the first quarter.
Despite the scoreboard showing a 24-point win for the Rats, Huron’s performance was far from perfect. The Rats committed 24 penalties and two turnovers, which Mack noted when addressing his team following the game.
“We’ve not played a 48-minute game yet. We have to continue to stay focused, and be disciplined down the stretch,” Mack said. “We’re playing some good football teams down the stretch, so we can’t self-destruct and have to continue to push.”
Huron will need to play 48 minutes next week, as it faces one of its biggest challenges so far when Dexter (4-1) comes to Riverbank Stadium. The game is scheduled to kick off Friday at 7 p.m.