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Examiner
  • Falcons finish strong in loss to Hogan Prep

  • Van Horn receiver Nolan Ingold was certain the Falcons finished Friday’s 35-12 loss to undefeated Class 3 No. 7 Hogan Prep the way tight end and teammate Joseph Naiuli would’ve wanted.

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  • Van Horn receiver Nolan Ingold was certain the Falcons finished Friday’s 35-12 loss to undefeated Class 3 No. 7 Hogan Prep the way tight end and teammate Joseph Naiuli would’ve wanted.
    Naiuli was injured going for a third-quarter onside kick Friday and left the field at Truman High School on a stretcher. On the sidelines, “there was a lot of emotion,” but the Falcons knew he’d back eventually, said Ingold, who contributed a TD reception, as did Naiuli. They also knew he’d want them to play hard.
    “So that’s what we did,” Ingold said. “We didn’t give up.”
    Van Horn coach Jeff Tolbert noticed “maybe a little bit” of an increase in intensity in the Falcons following Naiuli’s injury. Overall, the Falcons’ second half was better than their first, he said.
    “We weren’t executing consistently enough the first half,” Tolbert said.
    Because of that inconsistency, the Falcons (4-3) found themselves in a 20-0 hole within the first 13 minutes. The Rams scored on their first three possessions, all on plays of 60 yards or longer.
    Anthony Sherril’s 81-yard TD run and Ke’Waun Riley’s extra-point kick gave Hogan Prep the opening lead with 6:58 left in the first quarter. Quarterback Isaih Baylis then connected with Sherril for a 63-yard TD pass and Riley booted another point after with 3:21 left in the quarter. Edward Collins’ 60-yard romp made it 20-0 with 11:26 left in the second quarter.
    “Given them credit,” Tolbert said. “They’ve got some of the most outstanding athletes in this area. A lot of people don’t know about them, but their kids are faster than anybody we’ve seen maybe since I’ve been here.”
    The Falcons answered Collins’ TD with a 10-play, 79-yard drive, capped Naiuli’s 9-yard TD reception from Anthony Winningham.
    “It was a little bit of a misdirection play,” Tolbert said. “We really didn’t fool them as much as we thought. But the quarterback made a great play to get the ball over their defenders.”
    “Joseph made an outstanding catch,” he added. “It was low and away from him. He reached out and caught it and got in the end zone.”
    Sherril’s 10-yard TD run and Kevis McArthur’s two-point conversion run with 24.8 seconds left helped the Rams take a 28-6 halftime lead. An interception set up Ingold’s 38-yard TD reception from Winningham, who threw for 219 yards overall.
    Capitalizing partly on soft coverage, Ingold had about a 15-yard cushion that soon closed to about 5 yards, he recalled. “It just wasn’t enough,” Ingold said.
    Naiuli was injured during the ensuing onside kick. Taking over at the Hogan Prep 48-yard line, the Falcons stalled at midfield. Taking possession following Van Horn’s punt, the Rams staged an eight-play, 66-yard scoring drive, capped by Sherril’s 7-yard run and Riley’s point after, to help secure their non-conference win and improve to 7-0.
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