Red Hook’s Raiders lose to Highland, 34-23, in second-half heartbreak

Red Hook varsity football managed to keep things tight with Highland at their homecoming game Sept. 20, but a pair of heartbreaker fourth-quarter scores gave the Huskies a 34-23 divisional and Mid-Hudson Athletic League win.

The Raiders got off to an inauspicious start after going four-and-out with a blocked punt in their opening series, after receiving the kickoff. Highland put the first points on the board at 7:16 with an off-tackle run. The Raiders responded with a touchdown two minutes later to knot things at 7-7 heading into the second.

The Raiders marched on their first offensive drive of the second quarter, courtesy of Connor Boryk, who got 22 yards on quarterback Nick Carlson’s pass to bring Red Hook to the 14 yard line. He then ran for a touchdown on a sweep in the next play to put his team up 13-7. Although Carlson, also the place kicker, then missed the point after attempt, he made up for it with a 20-yard field goal with no time left on the clock. That put Red Hook up, 16-14, heading into the half.

After a flip to Dustin Ducey put Red Hook up 23-14 at 10:45, the Huskies clawed their way back in. Following a six-minute possession, Highland scored on a shovel pass and scored the point after to bring the score to 23-21. Highland then scored twice more in the fourth quarter, first on a short running touchdown at 10:26, and again 2:!1 with another off-tackle run.

Carlson led the two-minute drill, but threw an interception into double coverage to end the game.

“We played a great game, but Highland played a better one. We made more mistakes and they capitalized on them,” head coach Bill Stutz told the Observer after the game.

But, he added, “what I said to them (after the game) was that there are bigger things in life that are worth getting upset about, and the way they played tonight was not one of them. They played as a family. They played tight. They have nothing to be ashamed of.”

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