By Paul Evers, sports editor
Time and time again, Hersey quarterback Owen Goldsberry evaded the pursuit of the Prospect defense. Whether he rolled out to complete a pass downfield or to create a first down, Goldsberry always was able to outrun any sort of pursuit.
“He’s the best athlete on the field,” varsity head coach Mike Sebestyen said. “Simple answer, he outran us at times… give him credit.”
The Knights fell to the Hersey Huskies 36-16 on Friday night. The Huskies were led by Goldsberry who had 287 yards passing and 108 yards rushing, along with creating an interception on defense. Senior Chase Cummings had a breakout game for the Knights, catching 6 passes for 73 yards.
Junior Nick Ergastolo made his first start at the varsity level with Senior Andrew Shafis on the sidelines. Ergastolo finished 10 of 23 passing for 131 yards, but also threw three interceptions.
“Nick is trying to do what he can; he’s young,” Sebestyen said. “He made some very good plays [and] he made some mistakes. It’s his first game as a starting quarterback in a very pressure situation, so I think overall Nick did a nice job.”
In the first half, the Huskies scored first at the end of the 1st quarter to take a 7-0 lead. With about 6:40 remaining in the 2nd quarter, the Knights struck back with a two-yard run from sophomore Brandon Onori (6 carries, 13 yards) to tie the game at 7-7.
The Huskies immediately answered back, with Goldsberry throwing an 80-yard
touchdown to wide receiver Matt Abfall (6 receptions for 152 yards) on the first play of Hersey’s drive. Prospect was able to get a field goal from senior Jack Pruban to close out the half trailing 14-10.
To begin the second half, the Knights forced a Hersey three and out but could not take advantage afterward. The Knights threw two interceptions on two consecutive possessions that led to two touchdowns for the Huskies.
“We struggled to get anything going again. We turned the ball over [and] they hit a big play again, Sebestyen said.
With the Knights trailing 28-10 with 38 seconds remaining in the third quarter, sophomore Michael Shafis (5 carries for 53 yards) broke off a 31-yard touchdown run. The Knights went for two, but fell short, keeping the Knights down 28-16.
The Huskies iced the game after scoring a touchdown and converting a two-point conversion with about 6 minutes remaining in the 4th. With Hersey leading 36-16, the Knights were not able to get anything going to finish the game.
Next week the Knights take on Wheeling at home, fighting for their playoff lives.
“What we have to do is simply regroup, which is what we’ll do as a team. We’ll rally around each other and we’ll go play next week,” Sebestyen said. “We’re playing a playoff game right now; we’re 3-4 and we need to win the next two games to even have a shot. Right now, we just have to worry about maybe winning the 4th game. That really has to be the key right now.”