Hastings Raiders head football coach Dana Strain said his team need to find a way to be more explosive this season and they certainly did that in their season opener at Henry Sibley. The Raiders shutout the Warriors and racked up yards and points on the way to a 49-0 victory Thursday night in West St. Paul. Hastings amassed 341 yards of total offense and seven touchdowns (six on offense, one on special teams) in the win.
The Raiders started the scoring early and never let up. They scored less than two minutes into the game on a 5-yard touchdown run by senior running back Corbin Leflay, who also converted the two-point attempt to make it 8-0 Hastings. At the end of the first quarter, senior Ben Streeter scored from 16 yards out and junior C.J. Brenny make the extra point. They led 15-0 after the first quarter.
Leflay scored again midway through the second quarter, this time on an 18-yard touchdown run, and the Raiders expanded their lead to 22-0. Senior Sully Levos received the start at quarterback and did not disappoint. He hit junior wide receiver Jackson Kirchoff for a 23-yard touchdown pass less than two minutes after Leflay's touchdown, and then threw another touchdown pass (17 yards) to junior Thomas Ritt at the end of the half. Hastings led 36-0.
Leflay was not done yet as he ran back the opening kickoff of the second half 92 yards for a touchdown to put Hastings ahead 42-0. With less than a minute left in the third quarter, the Raiders finished their scoring when junior Josh Anderson scored from 11 yards out and 49-0 was the final.
Strain said he was pleased with his team's week one performance.
"We played exceptionally well for game one," he said. "Dominant up front and a lot of great individual performances."
Hastings ran for 228 total yards on 41 carries and were led by Leflay, who rushed 19 times for 154 yards and two touchdowns (plus the one on special teams). Streeter and Anderson both added touchdown runs and a total of seven Raiders carried the football. Levos was 7-for-14 passing for 113 yards and two touchdowns. Leading the team in receiving were Ritt (two catches for 41 yards and a TD), Kirchoff (two catches for 32 yards and a TD) and senior Noah Kullmann who hauled in one catch for 30 yards.
The Raiders' defense was equally dominant against Henry Sibley's pass-happy offense. Hastings held the Warriors to under 200 total yards, just 30 yards rushing and only 149 yards passing on 20 completions. They also forced four turnovers, an interception by senior Devin Redding and fumble recoveries from Redding, senior Trey Petrich and Brenny.
Hastings hosts Hill-Murray next Friday, Sept. 7, for their home opener.