Matt Hubley wasn’t a factor in Catholic Memorial’s offensive attack last season.
In fact, he didn’t get a single carry.
He didn’t waste much time changing that this season.
Hubley took CMH’s first offensive play of the season 40 yards to the end zone, giving the Crusaders the early lead that they wouldn’t relinquish, as CMH cruised to a 43-14 victory over Milwaukee Riverside.
It was an impressive opening week performance for CMH against a Tigers club that played in the state semifinals last season.
While this Riverside team is young and looks very different compared to the team that made a deep playoff run last season, Hall of Fame coach Bill Young was still pleased with how his team performed.
“We have a lot of work to do yet, but we are headed in the right direction," Young said. "This is a game we should have won, and we did.”
The opening play touchdown wasn’t the only highlight of Hubley’s day. The senior later added touchdown runs of 57 and 39 yards, finishing the day with 176 yards on only eight carries.
“That’s the thing that hurt us last year; Matt wasn’t involved in our offense at all,” Young said. “He’s going to be a key player for us.”
Riverside was unable to do much on either side of the ball against CMH’s first unit.
A safety on a punt snapped out of the end zone, touchdown runs from junior Alec Kocour and Hubley, as well as a 33-yard field goal from senior Mitch Meindel, gave CMH a commanding 26-0 lead at the half.
The lead stretched to 33-0 when Hubley took the very first play of the second half 39 yards for the score. Senior Sam Tiahnybik added a touchdown run in the third quarter to make it 40-0.
“I was really happy with how our offensive line did on perimeter blocking,” Hubley said. “They opened up pretty big holes for us. It feels really good.”
The Tigers were able to get on the scoreboard against the Crusaders’ second-string defense.
Junior quarterback Jeremy Gray connected with sophomore wide receiver Demetrius Hermon for a 28 yard touchdown strike early in the fourth quarter, while senior running back Jaree Collins later added an 80-yard touchdown run. Collins finished with 145 yards on the ground for Riverside.
While the second string yielded some yards and points, CMH’s first unit shined in all three phases of the game. The offense put up points, the defense didn’t allow much, and Meindel drilled two field goals.
Of Riverside’s 311 yards of total offense, 254 of it came against the Crusdaders’ second team defense.
“It’s just the ability to run it, throw it and have a real good kicking game,” Young said. (If you can do that) you have a chance to be in every game.”
The layout of the next week will challenge the Crusaders. Not only does conference play start a week earlier this season, but CMH plays Waukesha South on Thursday, making the week a day shorter.
It causes Young to change the normal practice routine, with prep for South beginning right away Saturday morning.
“They will run their munch offense and do all of that spread stuff,” Young said of South. “We will have our game plan ready to go by tomorrow morning.”