NEODESHA — Led by a 181-yard rushing performance from Connor Haviland, Humboldt pulled away in the second half for a 56-14 victory over Neodesha in a matchup of Tri-Valley League foes Friday night at Bluestreak Stadium.
The Cubs — now 1-0 overall — will remain on the road Sept. 13 when they make the trip to Fredonia for another TVL contest. The Yellowjackets are also 1-0 on the season following a 38-14 home victory over Erie.
Meanwhile, the Bluestreaks — under the direction of first-year coach David Gillett — dropped to 0-1 on the season heading into this week’s contest at Erie (0-1).
Haviland was a big part of Humboldt’s success in the season opener. The Cubs finished with 369 total yards, including 322 of that on the ground. Haviland recorded 12 carries for his 181 yards, which also included four touchdowns.
Humboldt started off the scoring in the opening quarter on a 69-yard scramble to the end zone by Isiah Coronado. But Neodesha answered on a six-yard run for six by Phoenix Carpenter as the teams were knotted at 6-6 after one quarter of play.
The Cubs used a big special teams play to take back the lead. Jackson Aikins took the ensuing kickoff and returned it 86 yards for a score. That was the start of a 20-point second quarter by the visitors, which included a 39-yard TD pass from Haviland to Cooper Jaro and a 47-run to the end zone by Haviland. The Bluestreaks also picked up a 35-yard scoring strike from Mayson Ellis to Toby Curtis, but the Cubs went into the intermission up 26-14.
Humboldt blew the game wide open in the second half on the legs of Haviland. The senior added touchdown runs of 30, three and 44 yards in the third quarter alone to give the Cubs a commanding 50-14 edge.
Humboldt tacked on one last score in the fourth period for the final margin of victory.
Neodesha closed out the contest with 213 yards of offense — 124 on the ground and 89 through the air. Carpenter led the way with 14 carries for 73 yards and a touchdown. Ellis also completed 7-of-11 passes for 89 yards and the other score.