MILFORD — Foran High football coach Jeff Bevino is most comfortable when Jared Hubler has the ball in his hands. And even after two fumbles by the star quarterback, rest assured that mentality isn’t going to change.
“He’s a leader, a warrior, he does everything,” Bevino said after Foran defeated Harding 34-22 Friday behind another big night by Hubler. “I love putting the ball in his hands. Even after the fumbles, he told me, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll take care of this.’ ”
Hubler really did everything for the Lions. Well, almost. There were eight touchdowns and he had a hand in six of them. Hubler was 13 for 19 passing for 205 yards and three touchdowns, and rushed 28 times for 113 yards and another score. And, oh yeah, his two fumbles set up both of Harding’s third-quarter touchdowns, which turned a 21-point Foran lead into a five-point nail-biter.
But then Hubler engineered a seven-minute drive that began late in the third quarter and ended with an 18-yard scoring pass to Zach Cleary with 10 minutes remaining that made it 34-22.
“(Hubler) is one tough kid, he’s a player,” Harding coach Eddie Santiago said. “We hit him a lot and tried to slow him down but he kept on coming.”
Actually, the same could be said of the Presidents (0-3), who trailed 27-6 at halftime. With a little help from Hubler, the Presidents quickly made this a game. A 20-yard Kevin Bednarz to Coleman Adams pass set up a one-yard dive by tackle-eligible Leon Hanley,
And four plays after Hubler’s second fumble, Quran Blow raced 22 yards for a score. Suddenly it was 27-22.
“We played tough again,” Santiago said, referring to last week’s 54-35 loss to North Haven when Harding was outscored 27-0 in the second quarter only to rally and fall short. “Our kids showed grit but we’ve got to eliminate mistakes.”
Bevino, meanwhile, can live with a couple mistakes from his quarterback, considering what else Hubler has to offer.
“We’ve had some good quarterbacks at Foran since I’ve been here,” Bevino said. “But he’s as good as any of them.”
After an evenly played first quarter that saw Harding take a 6-0 lead on Zamir Harrison’s 80-yard run before Hubler hit Matt Cruz on a 29-yard scoring strike to tie it, the Lions took command.
First it was Cruz running it in from three yards out before Hubler hooked up with Cleary (nine receptions for 121 yards) on a 15-yard touchdown. Then after Harding’s curious fourth-and-5 gamble from its own 48 with 1:19 left in the half, the Lions took four plays to make it 27-6 on Hubler’s five-yard run.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
OK, he fumbled twice. But Foran quarterback Jared Hubler passed for 205 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 113 yards and another score.
“Our kids showed grit but in games like this you can’t make mistakes,” — Harding coach Eddie Santiago, whose team was penalized 14 times and committed three turnovers.
MR. EVERYTHING, PART II
While Hubler was the main star, Foran’s receiver Zach Cleary rarely came off the field. Cleary had nine receptions for 121 yards and two touchdowns, was solid at linebacker, kicked four extra points and also played special teams.
Foran 34, Harding 22
6 0 16 0 22
6 21 0 7 34
H — Zamir Harrison, 80 run (pass failed)
F — Matt Cruz, 29 pass from Jared Hubler (run failed)
F — Cruz, 3 run (Zach Cleary kick)
F — Cleary, 15 pass from Hubler (Cleary kick)
F — Hubler, 5 run (Cleary kick)
H — Leon Hanley, 1 run (Coleman Adams pass from Kevin Bednarz)
H — Quron Blow, 22 run (Jaharie Mack run)
F — Cleary, 18 pass from Hubler (Cleary kick)