The Hillsborough High School football team kept its playoff hopes alive with a victory over North Hunterdon Friday evening on Homecoming. The Raiders scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 99-yard drive while holding the Lions to three second-half points in a 30-23 victory.
The Raiders scored on their opening drive, going 57 yards on nine plays. Nico Mukendi had two receptions on the drive, including an 11-yard TD catch to give the Raiders an early 7-0 lead.
The second quarter saw five touchdowns, three by the visiting Lions and two by the home team. When the half ended, the score was tied at 20.
The Raiders had a golden opportunity to score a touchdown late in the third quarter when they had first-and-goal at the Lion 1-yard line. But a 15-yard personal foul penalty and a holding penalty ended their touchdown hopes and they settled for a 33-yard Brian Nagy field goal.
Down by three in the fourth quarter, the Lions pinned the Raiders on their 1-yard line with a 59-yard punt but the Raider offense came through with a 12-play, 99-yard drive to put the Raiders up by 10. The big plays on the drive was a 42-yard pass to Mukendi and an 18-yarder after a Raider holding penalty put them in a 1st-and-20 hole.
RAIDER OF THE GAME
Nico Mukendi - The senior wide receiver had 7 catches for 123 yards and a touchdown.
"He's been making some tough catches for us" Raider head coach Kevin Carty Jr. said. "It's his first year playing and he's still learning the game but he's got allot of talent and has been improving each week".
TOP RAIDER OFFENSIVE PERFORMANCES
John Banaciski - 35 carries for 269 yards, 1 reception for 13 yards, 3 touchdowns
Nico Mukendi - 7 receptions for 123 yards and 1 touchdowns
TOP RAIDER DEFENSIVE PERFORMANCES
Ian Whitman, Josh Brown, Robert Foti - Each had 5 tackles.
"In the second half, our defense played with more urgency and we were able to make some plays. In the first half each team was feeling each other out and we didn't really make too many plays"—assistant coach Kevin Carty Sr. on the Raider's defensive play.
NEXT UP - Franklin High School Saturday November 3rd at Franklin.
North Hunterdon (3-5)