HEMET – Hemet’s Bulldogs threw every offensive weapon they had at J.W. North Friday. Including at least one the Bulldogs didn’t know they had.
The breakaway speed of quarterback Nick Thornburg made a guest appearance in the late stages, accounting for two touchdowns that enabled Hemet to put away a 41-28 victory.
“I didn’t know he had that gear,” said Thornburg’s coach and father, Jason Thornburg. “For sure, he is a better runner than I thought. That’s probably me being a very picky dad-coach.”
Nick Thornburg’s biggest run came after North (1-3), which had been chasing the Bulldogs for most of the night, finally caught them. Two touchdowns, just over a minute apart, pulled the Huskies into a 28-28 tie with 6:51 remaining.
After a quick completion and unsportsmanlike conduct penalty moved the ball into North territory, Thornburg slashed into an opening on the left side. What looked like a nice gain turned into a 36-yard touchdown when he hit another speed and outraced the North secondary.
When Hemet got the ball back, he staged an encore, breaking loose for a 35-yard gain. He then secured the victory with a 13-yard touchdown run with 2:52 to go.
“It definitely gives us another weapon,” Jason Thornburg said. “You get a quarterback who can throw and run and that makes it tough for defenses.”
Hemet (3-1) had a balanced offense, but in an odd way. In the first half, the Bulldogs had 27 yards on the ground and 160 in the air. In the second, they had 186 on the ground and just 10 in the air.
In addition to Thornburg’s late-game fireworks, Tyler Richardson had a spectacular 68-yard run, featuring two drastic cross-field cuts.
Hemet needed it all to stay one step ahead of the Huskies, who saddled up tailback Jerrell Calhoun in a relentless pursuit of Hemet.
Calhoun carried 20 times for 89 yards and caught seven passes for 62, scoring twice. North also got a solid game from quarterback Nicolas Satcher, who completed 22 of 33 passes for 202 yards.
“We just made too many mistakes,” North coach Dennis Brown said. “That includes me. We made some coaching errors that put us in some bad situations and left some holes.”