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Fisher seals win for Hubbard vs. Girard

September 7, 2013
By KAYLA HANUSCHAK - Tribune Chronicle correspondent ( , Underthelights

HUBBARD - Although Girard completely shut out Hubbard in the second half, Eagle defender Bill Fisher made sure his team didn't lose the game.

Fisher intercepted Girard quarterback Nick Cardiero's final pass of the night, securing the Eagles' fate, beating the Indians 28-26 at Hubbard Memorial Stadium.

"A couple plays before, I was thinking that I needed to make a play," Fisher said. "They kept passing it to my side and isolating the receiver to my side so I figured that they were going to bring it to them again. I stayed a couple of yards off and waited for the pass, I saw it coming and made sure that I caught it and got up-field. I wanted to score but I started to cramp up a little at the end."

Hubbard coach Brian Hoffman recognized the team went through a series of unfortunate events, but was proud that they were able to hold them off to get the win.

"Tonight we had some tough circumstances," Hoffman said. "The first half I felt like we had full command of the game and then some things changed. Larry (Scott) went down with an injury and we had some other guys who were battling with some injuries as well. We had some new kids playing this week that we weren't expecting. They did a fine job tonight for us. Although we gave up 26 points, we played well at crucial moments when we had to. The play at the end by Billy Fisher, on the pick with the interception was just a great play. It just capped the night."

Thirteen seconds into the game, Scott, Hubbard's standout junior running back, carved his name in stone on his brand new field by returning a 67-yard touchdown on the first touch of the game, - the only touchdown of the quarter. Scott only played for about half of the first quarter before getting injured and had to leave the game, causing the Eagles to continue without their best rusher. In about 6 minutes of play, he led the team by carrying eight times for 102 yards.

That play set the mood for most of the first half. Again, seven seconds in the the second quarter, senior Darnell Tate caught a 32-yard pass for a touchdown. Once again, it was the first touch of the quarter. But with two seconds left in the first half, the momentum in the air shifted when Girard's Jordan Graziano ran for a touchdown, earning the team their first points of the game. At the half, the Eagles led, 28-6.

Girard rallied from there.

Coming out for the second half, the energy began to change. With 9:22 left in the third quarter for Girard, senior James Cupan, who led the team with 13 carries for 103 yards, scored the first touchdown of the half. Cardiero ran for 3 yards, scoring the final touchdown of the quarter, leaving Hubbard scoreless. He was second to Cupan, carrying 27 times for 50 yards. The final touchdown was a 73-yard pass from Cardiero to Graziano with 8:03 left in the game.

Girard coach Nick Cochran understands the capabilities of his team and knows what they need to do to improve for next week.

"That's how we have been playing," Cochran said. "We didn't really play well in the first half, defensively, but if we made some plays defensively there, the score should be 7-0 by the end of the first half. The offense has to push. We can't expect to win a game that way."

Hoffman recognizes that Girard gave them a good fight and was grateful for the learning experience.

"They put us in a bind with what they were doing offensively," Hoffman said. "They were running their option game well, they were running their quarterback well for a while and their quarterback threw the ball accurately at times. They had a good game plan. Like I said, I'm not disappointed. It's a great win because it's one which you had to earn and I think that will help us as we move forward but it was a tough four-quarter game. I'm glad we can get through this one and I'm looking forward to next week."

Fisher has faith that his team will not let the second half of this game happen again.

"It was crazy, we came out in the first half and were firing off all cylinders and everything," Fisher said. "Second half we came out a little bit flat but we are going to fix that. It's not going to happen next week."

Cochran believes in his team and knows that they will get better.

"It's the kids, they just have to believe in themselves and remember what they are taught, execution, tackle," Cochran said. "Football is easy. It's the easiest game around. You have to tackle people, you have to catch the ball and you have to run the ball and make great plays."