HORSEHEADS - Freshman Riley Loomis in his second career varsity game rushed for 193 yards on 30 carries as Horseheads edged Corning 28-21 at home in a Southern Tier Athletic Conference football matchup.
“He’s a dynamic player,” Horseheads head coach Kevin Hillman said. “We knew it kinda coming in to the season. We knew were going to bring him up at some point, with all the injuries we’ve had. It just seemed last week was the right time. We knew he was going to be up here with sooner or later anyways, we knew the kind of player he is and he showed it today.”
Despite the heriocs of the freshman with touchdown runs of 33, 13, 2 and 35, The Hawks had a chance to tie the game with 3:52 remaining in the game after being down 28-14 earlier in the quarter.
On a drive that started from its own 23 yard line Corning was aided by two penalties by Horseheads, a 15 yard facemask and a 13 yard pass interference call, but wasn’t able to get big plays down the field against the Blue Raider defense.
On fourth-and-11 with 42.7 seconds remaining from the Blue Raider 35-yard-line, Henry Juan made an athletic leaping tip on a Joey Ott pass that ended the threat.
“We were trying to get the ball to our athletes in space,” Corning head coach George Bacalles said of the final drive. “Joe had a couple of passes that were pretty close, but that’s football.”
Corning never led in the contest as Horseheads scored with 1:54 left in the first quarter on the first Loomis touchdown of the afternoon, a 31-yard run that was set up after a Hawks fumble.
Corning got on the board with 6:58 to go in half, capitalizing on a Horseheads fumble which put them in good field position to start the drive. Ott punched in a five yard score to pull the Hawks to within 7-6.
The Blue Raiders responded the next drive with a 8-play 78 yard drive spanning 3 minutes and 20 seconds capped off by a 13 yard Loomis score and aided by two facemask penalties by Corning to take a 14-6 lead at halftime.
The Hawks seemed to gain momentum coming out of the break, scoring on their first possession with a 10 play drive that ended with a 27-yard diving catch from Ott to Justin Rodriguez in the back corner of the endzone. Ott connected with Ja’Ovian Fisher to tie the score at 14.
Horseheads seized momentum back in its ensuing possession on a drive that featured 35 yards from Loomis and his third score.
“We didn’t give up, we kept our heads up and came right back and scored,” said Loomis. “The line's been great. There's been a lot of holes and I've been able to get into the secondary and make my cuts from there and then go."
After his fourth touchdown in the final quarter, Loomis was given the ball eight straight times to bleed five minutes off the clock that left Corning with minimal time to operate its final drive.
The Blue Raiders improve to 3-2 on the season with its second straight win after a 42-0 victory against Ithaca last week.
"The big thing is we want to get rolling here," said Hillman. "We still have the opportunity to do some things down the road."
Corning falls to 3-2 and had its 3 game winning streak snapped.
Ott completed 11 of 23 passes for 151 yards and a touchdown, Rodriguez caught three passes for 44 yards and a touchdown and Max Freeman hauled in five catches for 78 yards.
On the ground, Max Stansfield had two carries for 23 yards and Fisher posted 36 yards on nine carries.
“Credit to coach Hillman and his staff and his kids,” Corning head coach George Bacalles said. “They did a great job, they came out and won the game. I’m proud of our kids especially being down by two touchdowns and nearly finishing it. I’m proud of the effort, but obviously, we have a lot to work on.”