There is a cruelty in sports that, at times, the better team does not win the game. The Hull High football team learned that hard lesson on Saturday. After outplaying its opponent, led by a stingy defense that twice was one play away from a shutout win, the Pirates allowed Norwell to escape Finlayson Field with an improbable 20-12 win in double overtime.
With Hull leading 6-0, Norwell faced a fourth-and-18 from the Hull 20-yard line in the final minute. The Clippers quarterback Jake Croke then wiggled out of a sure sack, and his desperation heave toward the goal line was caught. It was short of a touchdown, but enough for a first down. Norwell then reached paydirt on the next play and suddenly was in a position to win the game with a successful conversion. The extra point went wide right. The game was going to overtime.
Hull (0-1) took the first lead in the extra session on a 6-yard run on fourth down by Jimmy Polito. The Pirates failed on the 2-point conversion and led 12-6. Needing to match Hull’s score on its possession, the situation looked bleak for the visitors after a Hull sack. However, Croke kept his team alive with a scoring pass on fourth down. Norwell again was in a position to win with a successful conversion and again failed as the teams entered the second overtime at 12-12. Norwell had possession first in the second extra session and scored quickly and this time added the conversion for a 20-12 lead. An untimely sack on third down squandered Hull’s chances to even the game as a fourth down pass was intercepted at the goal line.
Hull’s defense had a stellar performance, led by Zach Smith (six tackles,) Jayden Stilphen (five), Tyler Sordillo (five, and a fumble recovery), Aiden Robey (four), and Ethan Campbell, who recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown on a Norwell-botched punt that gave Hull the lead in the third quarter.
On offense, John Gianibas had four receptions for 112 yards, along with 26 yards on seven carries. Polito finished with 45 yards on 12 carries. Quarterback Luke Richarsdon was 5-for-10 passing for 117 yards.
Hull will host Carver on Saturday at noon.
The boys’ and girls’ track teams both came up winners on Wednesday with impressive wins at Randolph.
The boys (1-1) had several first-place winners in their 58-11 triumph. Matthew McCluskey was a four-time winner, taking the blue ribbon in the high jump, long jump, 55-meter-high hurdles, and 55-meter dash. Tony Alibrandi was first in the 300 meters and the shot put. Sam Tuchman crossed the finish line first in the 600, and Robert Hunter was fastest in the mike.
The girls (1-1) were 55-41 winners, led by first-place performances by Liz Luggelle (shot put), Mattie Tuchman (55 hurdles), Elsie Harper (55 meters), Bridget Fleming (600), and Ronni Fleming (300). The 4×200 relay team of Elsie Harper, Ronni Fleming, Nina Tiani, and Maddie Tuchman and the 4×400 relay team of Ena Durbin, Bridget Fleming, Nadine Eagan, and Margo Harper were also first-place finishers.
Youth teams spring into action
Hull United Youth Soccer is back in action after a year on the sideline due to COVID-19. HUYS will dress 107 players in their new uniforms, with seven travel teams ranging from third- to eighth-grade. Practices will begin on March 29. It will also be the first full season with all home games being played on the high school turf field.
The In-Town program will also happen this spring, and registration is still open. Age information and other criteria are posted on the HUYS website. The program will again take place at the Dust Bowl Field.
Hull Youth Lacrosse will start practices on April 1, with the first games scheduled for April 11 at the high school. This a learning program for all ages. Grades three through eight will have a travel schedule, while grades one and two will have minimal travel. The teams will be as follows: girls’ teams – grades one and two; three and four; five and six; and seven and eight. The boys’ teams will be: grade one and two, three through five, and six and seven. The program has registered 110 participants.
Babe Ruth League registration
Registration is still open for the 2021 Hull-Hingham Babe Ruth Baseball League. Coach Eric Rickard is hoping that enough Hull players register so that there can be one team with all Hull players. That scenario happened last season, with the Hull team (the Dodgers) taking first place. There will be a 10-team league this year, with the addition of three teams from Cohasset. Opening day is scheduled for Sunday, April 25. To register, go to: https://www.hinghamsports.com/baberuthbaseball.
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