Friday night’s Class 2A District 1 clash between the Hennessey Eagles and the visiting Perry Maroons was a slugfest, dominated for the most part by the Eagles, yet close enough to keep the fans from both sides on the edge of their seats up until the final kneel-down. After trading punts and turnovers for the first quarter and a half, Hennessey scored first on a Titan Hix 3 yard power, before throwing 2 more TDs to take a commanding 21-0 lead midway through the 3rd quarter. Perry didn’t quit, scoring 2 Touchdowns on their next 3 possessions, with passes of 25 and 62 yards. With their 3 score lead now down to 7 points with 9 minutes to play, the Eagles Defense forced punts on Perry’s next two possessions, then finished the Maroons off with a Seth Simunek interception, giving the Eagles the ball and the victory, taking the 2022 Homecoming District matchup 21-14.
The Offense scored the points, but the Eagles Defense won the game. Coach Sprayberry’s D allowed only 57 Yards Rushing, pulled down 2 Interceptions, forced 1 Fumble, 6 Punts, and Sacked the Maroon QB 7 times.
The outstanding team defense was showcased by outstanding individual play. Senior Safety Brandon Valles was the leading tackler with 7 Solos and 4 Assists. Fellow Safety, Sophomore Jakob Johns notched his highest total of the season with 5 Tackles and 2 Assists. Seth Simunek wrangled 7 Tackles and a game-deciding Interception. Freshman Outside Linebacker Mauricio Valles pulled down 7 Maroon ball carriers, as well. The key to the Eagles victory, though, was the backfield harassment the Defense put on the visiting QB and RB. Junior DE Cam Griffin got his second multi-sack game of the season with 2 to go along with his 4 Tackles and 3 Assists, Sophomore Jessin Hardin’s 3 Sacks, 5 Solos, and 2 Assists, and Junior Zack Tillman’s 2 QB Sacks and 1 Fumble recovery as part of his 4 Tackle performance. Weston Smith rounded out the defensive dominance grabbing his first Interception of the season.
Offensively, Titan Hix went 13 for 29 with 1 Interception, 161 Yards and 2 Touchdowns Passing. The Freshman QB also ran for a team-high 73 Yards with 1 TD and 1 2-point conversion run. Hix now with 1,091 Yards and 12 Touchdown Passes through 5 games.
Zack Tillman added 41 Yards on 2 Carries, and Langston Smith had a sweet 21 Yard gain on a perfect swinging gate sideways snap from Sebastian Gonzalez. Gonzalez had 22 Yards, Weston Smith with 19, and Jessin Hardin with 3 Yards to round out the Eagles Rushing attack.
Langston and Weston had 21 Yards and 15 Yards, respectively, with Kevin Trillo pulling down 1 Catch for 7 Yards Receiving.
For the 5th time in 13 games played so far in his high school career, Seth Simunek had over 100 Yards Receiving with 4 Catches, 124 Yards, and 2 TDs. Simunek’s 16 Career Receiving Touchdowns now move the Senior to 3rd place all time in HHS history behind only Barry Crosswhite (19) and his very own father, Rob, who had 25 Receiving Touchdowns between 1989-1990. Seth moved up to 6th all time in Career Receiving Yards with 1,202, surpassing Orlando Pina’s 1,143 from 2009-2011, trailing Jose Sanchez by 260 Yards for 5th all time.
The Eagles’ victory ended the Maroons’ 3 game win streak in the series, sending Perry home with a 2-3 overall record and now 1-1 in District play. Things won’t get any easier for the Maroons as they look to host the District’s two best teams, Millwood and Oklahoma Christian, over the next two weeks.
Hennessey, now 3-2, 1-1, turn their sights on the Chisholm Longhorns. Game time is 7:00 pm next Friday night, October 7th, in North Enid. –EAGLE VOICE, Photos by Kenda Copeland