On Friday night, the Horizon Christian Warriors embarked on a journey to Duluth to face off against the Notre Dame Academy Irish Wolfhounds, and this showdown evolved into a spectacular performance by none other than Nate Hernandez. Stepping into the quarterback role, the seasoned senior played a pivotal role in all five touchdowns and three 2-point conversions that propelled the Warriors to a resounding 36-6 victory.
Hernandez showcased his versatility by contributing in various ways. He delivered two impressive touchdown passes, caught a touchdown pass himself, and executed a remarkable rushing touchdown. After each touchdown, he continued to shine by orchestrating two passing and one rushing conversion. On the defensive front, Hernandez showcased his prowess by intercepting three passes, one of which he returned for a pick-6.
The game commenced with Horizon (1-1) receiving the opening kick but being intercepted by Notre Dame on their very first offensive play. The ensuing minutes of the first quarter witnessed an intense back-and-forth struggle between the Hounds and the Warriors as they sought to find their way into the end zone.
With just 3 minutes and 2 seconds left in the first quarter, Hernandez made a crucial connection with wide receiver Hunter Beenken, resulting in a spectacular 45-yard touchdown pass. Hernandez then took matters into his own hands by successfully converting a 2-point attempt on the ground.
Notre Dame encountered a setback when they fumbled the ball to Horizon on their next drive, granting the Warriors a favorable starting position in the second quarter. In a surprising turn of events, Beenken transitioned from running back to quarterback and connected with Hernandez for the Warriors’ second touchdown. Unfortunately, Horizon’s attempt at a 2-point conversion fell short.
After a short kick, the Hounds initiated an offensive drive from midfield. However, their efforts were stymied, leading Notre Dame to punt the ball back to Horizon.
The Warriors embarked on their offensive drive from inside their own 30-yard line. A combination of passing, running plays, and penalties propelled Horizon past midfield, but they ultimately turned the ball over on downs to Notre Dame.
Hernandez showcased his exceptional skills once more by intercepting an errant pass on the Hounds’ next offensive play. Just three plays later, the Horizon offense surged into the end zone with a remarkable 55-yard pass from Hernandez to Beenken. Hernandez followed up with a precise connection to Carson Bedford for a successful 2-point conversion pass, bringing the score to 22-0.
The Warriors executed an onside kick to perfection, with Thomas Hair recovering the loose ball. Hernandez’s dynamic play, coupled with a reception by Hair, advanced the Horizon offense into the red zone. However, a determined sack by the Hounds pushed the Warriors out of the red zone.
As the second quarter wound down, Hernandez once again sprinted into the end zone. On the ensuing 2-point attempt, Hernandez found Josh Ott in the flats, and Ott’s determined effort propelled him forward into the end zone, concluding the first half with a commanding 30-0 lead for Horizon.
The second half commenced with Horizon kicking off to Notre Dame. In a remarkable play, Hernandez intercepted a pass on the Hounds’ second offensive play and sprinted 55 yards for the Warriors’ final touchdown of the game.
Hernandez continued to demonstrate his defensive prowess in the second half, securing another interception as both teams engaged in a fierce battle for field position. Jacob McCoy and Bedford made significant contributions with their runs, advancing the Horizon offense before a fumble resulted in a turnover to Notre Dame.
In their bid to break the shutout, it took just four plays for the Hounds to register a 65-yard touchdown in the closing moments of the game. However, their 2-point conversion attempt was thwarted by the combined efforts of Micah Berger and Bedford.