Plenty of Pate for Hurricane
As Nitro keeps gaining momentum in its quest to end the streak, Hurricane continued to show its muscle by rolling to a 51-21 victory over the Wildcats on a muggy night at Underwood Field.
The Redskins, coming off an impressive offensive performance last week in a 44-7 home win against Winfield, again displayed their weapons as Zach Pate ran for 252 yards on 10 carries, scoring five total touchdowns.
"I get a lot of help from my wideouts on stop blocks and it makes it easier for me to get into the open field," said Pate.
"I was kind of disappointed with some of our play. We try to go to the passing game too much when we need to power it in there, " said Redskins coach Jeremy Taylor. "Give Nitro credit. Coach [Derek] Midkiff has them in the right direction and they came at us. We still need to work on some things when we get back to practice next week."
Nitro saw its three-year losing streak reach 17 games.
The Redskin offense with senior Pate in high gear came out strong in the first quarter, taking the opening drive downfield on five consecutive running plays with Pate going in from 5 yards out. After a quick three-and-out by the Wildcats, Pate scored on a 55-yard well-executed screen pass by the Redskin offensive line.
"If we don't come out in the first 10 minutes like a deer in the headlights, I thought we played fine,'' said Midkiff, Nitro's first-year coach. "We started getting after them and competed well. We're getting better as we go. We need to work on pass protection and we'll come even closer to turning that corner."
The end of the first quarter brought another Pate screen pass touchdown for the Redskins, this time from 80 yards.
Midway through the third quarter, it seemed as if the Wildcats might mount a comeback as senior Nick Humphrey hauled in a 47-yard catch and run from senior quarterback Chris Moody to bring the Wildcats within two scores at 29-14.
However, the momentum was short-lived as on the next Redskin drive, Pate once again had an answer. He reeled off an electrifying 62-yard scamper that seemed as if every Nitro defensive lineman had a grasp on him.
For the Wildcats, Moody threw for 213 yards, with most of his connections going to Ethan Clark.