Hall wins shootout over Trojans

Mendota’s Ryne Strouss, left, and Isaac Smith try to bring down Hall quarterback Mac Resetich on Sept. 23 at Spring Valley. (Reporter photo)

SPRING VALLEY – A player the caliber of Mac Resetich needs to touch the football as often as possible. That’s why the Hall coaching staff switched the Red Devil star from running back last year to quarterback this year – so he could get his hands on the ball every offensive play.

The decision was a good one, and Mendota can attest to that. Resetich had a part in an amazing 90 percent of Hall’s yardage against the Trojans as the Red Devils outgunned Mendota, 66-45, in a Three Rivers Conference East Division shootout on Sept. 23 at Nesti Stadium in Spring Valley.

With the loss, the Trojans dropped to 2-3 overall and 1-2 in league play, and it means they have to win three of their final four games of the season to have a realistic shot at their second consecutive post-season berth. The same is true for Hall, which stands at 2-3.

Mendota’s defense has had its struggles throughout the season, and it had no solution to stopping Resetich. The senior signal-caller made his presence felt less than a minute and a half into the game when he rambled for his first of seven rushing touchdowns on the night. Two of those TDs covered single-digit yardage, while the rest were for 40 yards or more. Mix all of that together, and Resetich’s final numbers were astounding.

Out of Hall’s 505 total yards, Resetich accounted for 453 of them. And the most impressive part is 427 of those yards came from running the football 30 times for an average of 14.2 yards per tote. He only passed the ball twice and connected once for 26 yards.

As has become customary, the Trojans tried an onside kick to open the game, but Hall was able to recover at the 50-yard line, and it needed only four plays to open the night’s scoring. Resetich did the honors, bolting 46 yards to the end zone with 10:35 showing on the first-quarter clock. The quarterback completed a two-point conversion pass to Gianni Guerrini for a speedy 8-0 Red Devil lead.

Hall’s ensuing kick was also short, and Mendota began its initial drive of the game in great field position at its own 48. The Trojans made short work of their first possession when they covered 52 yards in five plays, with Isaac Smith running in the final play from 18 yards out. The two-point pass was incomplete. A 30-yard run by Anthony Childs was the big play of the drive.

Mendota gave Hall another short field to work with when the kickoff traveled only 10 yards to the 50. The Red Devils weren’t quite as fast scoring their second touchdown when they needed 10 plays and three and a half minutes to get back into the end zone. Joseph Bacidore capped off the drive with a 1-yard run, followed by a Resetich two-point conversion run for a 16-6 Hall lead.

The Trojans used some trickery on their next possession. Facing a punting situation from its own 39, Mendota snapped the ball short to Childs, who zigzagged his way 25 yards down to the Red Devil 36-yard line and a first down. From there, the Trojans drove the ball down to the 1, where Charles Heiting finished off the series with a 1-yard TD run. Angil Serrano added the PAT kick and Mendota was within a field goal with 23 seconds left in the quarter.

For the third straight time, Mendota’s short kickoff resulted in excellent field position for Hall, this time inside Trojan territory at the 49. On Hall’s first play, Resetich got loose and went 49 yards to paydirt, and then he hit DeAnthony Weatherspoon with a two-point conversion pass and the Red Devils led 24-13 after one.

The offensive fireworks show continued in the second quarter, with both teams tallying three touchdowns.

Mendota was back in the end zone 27 seconds into the period when Justin Randolph hooked up with Ryne Strouss on a 39-yard touchdown pass that completed a quick three-play, 60-yard drive. The extra-point kick was no good.

The Red Devils scored the next two touchdowns to open up a 38-19 lead. Resetich ran for 37 yards to the Trojan 20, and then on fourth-and-two from the 12, the Trojans had an opportunity to stifle the Hall drive, but Mendota jumped off-sides and the penalty gave Hall a first down at the 7. From there, Resetich completed the series with a 7-yard run, and then he passed to Bacidore for the two-pointer.

Hall’s defense rose up and got the ball back for the offense when it stopped the Trojans on a fourth-and-three at Mendota’s 40. During Hall’s ensuing possession, Resetich completed his one pass in the game to Joe Schrader that advanced the ball to the 19. Then from the 10, Bacidore scooted across the goal line to increase Hall’s lead to 38-19.

But the Trojans responded with a big play on special teams and a defensive take-away to score two straight touchdowns to claw their way back to within a one-score deficit. After Hall’s TD, Mendota’s Isaac Smith took the Red Devil kickoff 75 yards down the sideline for a Trojan score to make it 38-25.

Then, Smith made his presence felt again, this time on defense when he fell on a Hall fumble at the Mendota 42-yard line with 1:58 left before halftime. The Trojans were able to move the ball down to the Hall 3-yard line, where Strouss gathered in a touchdown pass from Randolph with just six seconds to go. The extra-point kick was no good, but the Trojans looked to be in good shape trailing by just seven points and awaiting the second-half kickoff.

But in a jaw-dropping can’t-believe moment, the Red Devils had time for one more play before intermission, and Resetich made the most of it, sprinting 52 yards to the end zone with zeroes showing on the time clock, to give Hall a 44-31 halftime lead.

Three touchdowns were scored in the third period, with Hall getting two of them to take a 58-37 lead to the fourth quarter. Resetich had TD runs of 75 and 5 yards sandwiched around a Mendota scoring play of a 64-yard pass from Randolph to Smith.

Then each team tallied one touchdown in the fourth frame. A Resetich 40-yard TD run and a successful two-point pass made it 66-37.

Heiting completed the Mendota scoring with a 5-yard touchdown run and a two-point run with 2:24 left.

As daunting as Hall’s offensive numbers were, the Trojans put up some impressive offensive statistics as well. They finished with 418 yards – 219 on the ground and 199 in the air. Childs gained 131 yards rushing on 21 carries, while Randolph completed 14 of 25 passes. Smith, Strouss and Braiden Freeman all had four receptions.

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