Erie head coach Sterling Hudson tossed several plays from the playbook for the Red Devils’ final home game of the 2018 in an attempt to limit the number of hits on his slightly injured senior quarterback Jaden Gard Friday night. Erie’s offensive line did its job in pushing the Red Devils to a 20-6 victory against Northeast.
The Vikings received the opening kickoff, but had to punt after three snaps. The snap was dropped and Erie’s offense took the field in great field position – just 17 yards from the goal line. Erie needed just one play – a run by senior Trent Taylor to capitalize. Senior Alexis Hernandez kicked the PAT and Erie led 7-0 just 1:29 into the game.
Both teams moved the ball in the first half, but the score remained unchanged until the third quarter when the Red Devils added two more touchdowns. Junior Michael Winslow scored on an 11-yard jaunt with 8:45 remaining in the quarter, giving Erie a 14-0 lead. With 3:07 left in the quarter, Gard scored from one-yard out, but the PAT was blocked and Erie led 20-0.
The Vikings’ lone score came in the fourth when sophomore quarterback Karter Dugan scored from three yards out.
“We could have done much better,” Hudson told his players after the game, “but a win is much better than a loss.”
The Red Devils had several penalties, which disappointed the head coach.
“While it was a win, it was disappointing – the penalties and stupidity,” he said.
The Red Devils were penalized a number of times for unsportsmanlike conduct. But not all the flags were calls that upset the coach, too.
A touchdown was called back when an Erie lineman was flagged for a block down field that was considered a “block in the back.”
“I thought the offensive line did a very good job overall,” Hudson pointed out. “A couple of calls were because our linemen were being aggressive. Our line hasn’t always been aggressive. Our running backs were able to make plays because of the o-line.”
The win improved Erie to 3-5 overall. The Red Devils have one more game – Thursday night at Central Heights in the final game of the regular season for both teams. The loss kept the Vikings winless on the season.
“We have a chance to win four games on the season,” Hudson said. “We haven’t done that since I have been here and not for several years before that.”