Football: River Rats see plenty of positives following opening-night loss to Saline

You don’t have to be perfect to beat Saline in football but you need to at least be on the road to perfection and on Friday night the host Huron River Rats never got out of the parking lot. So any upset plans stalled before they ever got started – and that happens a lot against these Hornets.

With no fans in the stands, Huron was behind 30-0 by halftime and fell 43-19 in the team’s season opener. It was Saline’s second game of the season as the Hornets improved to 2-0.

Huron travels to city-rival Pioneer on Friday night in a battle of 0-1 teams. The Pioneers lost their season opener at Skyline.

Huron Coach Antaiwn Mack broke down the good, bad and things to work on following the tough loss.

“The bad part about the game was our three costly turnovers,” said Mack, referring to a lost fumble, an interception and a safety which put Huron’s defense in bad spots.

But Mack likes to focus on the positives, and despite the final score, there were plenty of reasons to be optimistic for the team in green and white.

“The great thing is that we didn’t have too many penalties and our kids played very hard and never gave up,” he said. “To see our offense have the ability to drive the ball right down the field on one of the best teams in the state was great to see and something we can build on.”

Mack was extremely proud of how hard the River Rats played. And, of course, big picture items.

“It was our first game and facing a very good program that had one game in the books already,” he said. “We came up short, but I learned a lot about our program and where it’s headed.”

Huron needs to work on finishing drives offensively. “We left 21 points off the board and had great opportunities to score, so offensively we have to be more consistent,” he said. “As a team we need to continue to grow together. Our program has a lot of new faces and young guys playing on the varsity level this year.”

After a scoreless first quarter, the Hornets ran up 30 points in the second quarter.

Huron’s points came on a 41-yard field goal by Adam Samaha, a 45-yard touchdown pass from Tyson Edmondson to Anthony Pinnace, a safety from the defense and a 65-yard interception return for a touchdown by Pinnace.

“We are very talented, with a great staff,” Mack says. “Our kids play very hard and want to be a great football program. This group of young men want the best for each other which is awesome.”