KINK – The Houston Hawks defeated their crosstown rival Redington Huskies 35-14 at Redington Friday night.
Houston senior running back Tolupo Falaniko undoubtedly lead the Hawks’ offense by scoring four of their five touchdowns, including three in the first half.
“[Falaniko] he’s one heck of an athlete. He’s a tremendous leader,” Houston head coach Glenn Nelson said.
With Houston leading 21-14 in the second half, Falaniko capped off the opening drive by outrunning the Redington defense for a 67-yard touchdown, his second touchdown run of more than 50 yards this game. Falaniko ran 132 yards just on plays when he scored touchdowns.
“He was a receiver last year and he says ‘coach we need a running back this year. I can do it,’” Nelson said.
Right out of the gate, though, an explosive Redington offense quickly gained a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. After losing the first drive to a Houston interception, they immediately regained possession by recovering a fumble. Facing third-and-long, junior quarterback Wayde Bowman ran 13 yards for a first down. Bowman then handed the ball off to freshman Trevor Bowman to score the first six points of the game with 8:32 left in the first quarter.
The Huskies’ backup quarterback Trevor Bowman led the team to their second and final touchdown and a two-point conversion with 2:51 left in the first quarter. Wayde Bowman was injured earlier that possession, one of six Huskies injured during the game.
Down 14-0, Houston had then accumulated 47 unanswered points going back to their 33-0 loss against Wasilla this season.
“It took a little minute for us to find something that was going to work for us – and the kids didn’t give up they didn’t hang their heads. They were light on each other,” Nelson said. “We had some hiccups with that young line. We had to crank up the pressure and we had to quit trying to strip the ball and just start making hard hits and big tackles and I think it made a difference.”
Houston’s offense began to take shape that would dominate the rest of the game. Falaniko capped off the possession following the Huskies’ final scoring with a 58-yard touchdown run to put the Hawks on the scoreboard with 2:32 left in the first quarter. The momentum shift continued for Houston into the second quarter with the tandem running duo of Bunn and Falaniko who both exclusively ran the ball 71 yards to score the touchdown that tied the game 14-14 with 8:40 left in the second quarter. After Redington went four-and-out the following possession, the duo got back to work and scored the final touchdown of the half with 4:36 left.
With momentum in their favor, Houston’s defense locked down the Huskies’ offense in the second half. The Hawks forced a fumble in the third quarter which they recovered and then scored the same drive when junior quarterback Colton Bunn ran 11 yards for a touchdown with 2:41 remaining in the third quarter.
Redington’s fourth quarterback junior Ezra Scoggin sparked some late life for the Huskies with a 53-yard pass, but was called back due to an offensive penalty.
Along with Wayde Bowman, Trevor Bowman and Scoggin, sophomore Trevor Lawrence quarterbacked for the Huskies and was the third quarterback of the first half following Trevor Bowman’s injury.