Jamestown, ND - It may have been the perfect start Head Coach Tony Harper was looking for with the defense looking strong as the Hastings College football team routed Jamestown 31-3 to open the 2018 football season on Saturday.
Before we get to the stellar defensive effort, the offense was on high alert from the early onset.
After the teams traded three-and-outs to start the game, the Broncos would begin its second possession on its own 41-yard line. Tahj Willingham (JR/Greenwood Village, CO) got things rolling with a 13- yard plunge followed by a four yard gain.
Following a 15-yard illegal contact penalty on the Jimmies, Willingham broke off another big run of 14-yards which led to Anthony Cloyd (SR/Omaha, NE) throwing his first collegiate touchdown as he would find his star wideout Jordan Johnson (JR/Spring Valley, CA) from 13-yards out to make it 7-0 early in the first quarter.
The HC defense would once again force a 3-and-out forcing a Jamestown punt where Jacob Tarr (SR/Chaparral, CO) would make a fair catch at the Hastings 30.
Willingham wasted no time taking the Cloyd handoff and breaking through for a 70 touchdown run as Hastings jumped out to an early 14-0 lead.
Yet another 3-and-out by the Bronco defense led to another Jimmie punt that only traveled 33-yards to the Jamestown 43-yard line. From there Travis Agagah (SR/Gretna, NE) raced 43-yards for his first collegiate touchdown pushing the Bronco lead to 21-0 before the first quarter came to a close.
This is where the HC defense would take over only allowed a field goal during the first half as that followed a 13 play 70-yard drive midway through the second quarter.
Throughout the third quarter, the Bronco defense would not allow more than 17 yards on any drive during that period as Hastings would carry that 21-3 lead into the final frame.
Early in the fourth quarter, Jamestown would find itself in position to potentially get back in the game following a Bronco punt that gave them the ball at midfield.
Dylan Klatt would find Branden Edwards for 25-yards on the next play but the Hastings defense was having non of that as on the next play, Nathan Howe (JR/Kearney, NE) picked off Klatt and returned it 50 yards to the Jamestown 25.
From there Hastings would go on an eight play drive capped off by an Anthony Cloyd eight yard rushing touchdown pushing the lead to 25 at 28-3.
On the Broncos next possession, Alex Stogdill (JR/Lincoln, NE) would redeem himself after missing a field goal earlier in the game by making a 32-yarder to finish up the scoring at 31-3.
Hastings outgained the Jimmies 353 yards to 216.
Willingham led the rushing attack with 123 yards on 18 carries and a score. Cloyd added 93 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown while Agagah rushed the ball five times for 51 yards and a touchdown.
Cloyd finished the game going 15-for-24 for 114 yards and a touchdown. Johnson led the receiving corp with 68 yards on three catches and a score.
Jacob Tarr, Tyler Kennedy (SO/Chandler, AZ) and Anthony Murray (SR/Aurora, CO) led the way defensively with eight tackles each. Austin Rowlett (SR/Lincoln, NE) and Kennedy each had a sack while Murray, Howe and Stansell each recorded a pick.
Hastings moves to 1-0 on the year and will be back in action Saturday September 2 hitting the road to take on Southwestern (Kan.) with kick-off set for 6:00 p.m. in Winfield, KS.