ZEPHYR COVE, Nev. - Hughston Norton was the definition of running back Friday night, rushing for close to 300 yards and running in eight touchdowns in the Warriors 88-22 win over Smith Valley High School.
It took the Warriors all of three plays to find the end zone, and once they got inside they didn't leave much. The Warriors dominated their second and final eight-man game largely because Norton was unstoppable.
About five minutes into the first quarter it became no mystery the ball was going to Norton, but it didn't matter as the running back continued to pile on touchdowns like the defense wasn't there. Norton coupled with a brick-wall defense and eight out of 12 successful two-point conversions, paints a pretty good picture of Whittell High School's football game Friday.
Quarterback Austin Buyak and Norton took turns running in touchdowns all night. Norton collected his eight and Buyak came away with four. It was Buyak who put the Warriors on the board first, running in a touchdown on the third play, and Kody Dangtongdee hauled in the two-point conversion.
Then Norton started amassing yards and touchdowns. He ran in a 77-yard touchdown on the opening plays of the Warriors next possession. Three minutes later, Norton than ran in yet another on a kick return.
"We were playing really well as a team and in the beginning of the game, I just decided to go out there and have fun," Norton said.
Fun seems like an understatement for what Norton did. It was still the first quarter, when Norton ran in yet another 15-yard touchdown and two-point conversion after he facilitated a turnover by blocking a punt that Cody Gibson railroaded over Smith to recover.
Starting to sound like a broken record? It sure looked like one and it was still the first quarter.
To add insult, Whittell then recovered an onside kick and Norton ran it into Smith's red zone on the next play. With less than a minute on the clock, Buyak took in one more for good measure and the first quarter ended 40-6 Warriors.
The Warriors defense was on par too, holding Smith to three and out until late in the first quarter.
No surprise here, but the second quarter opened with a 42-yard pass to Norton for a touchdown.
The second half continued much like the first. Norton added two more touchdowns on a 40-yard and 64-yard run in the third taking the Warriors to 70-22.
Buyak and Norton then added two more apiece to open the fourth and for his final trick of the night Norton snagged an interception and comfortably maneuvered around Smith for his eighth touchdown run.
The Warriors return to 11-man play in their next game at Battle Mountain on Friday with a 7 p.m. kickoff.
"To be honest, I think the offense is going to run even better in the 11-man game," head coach David Housel said.