The Eagles' running back rushed for 300 yards in a 41-21 win over Newton Falls.
By BRIAN RICHESSON
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
HUBBARD -- Shaun Lane's heart may be at Wilson, but his legs are in Hubbard.
Lane, a 5-foot-10, 170-pound junior, rushed for 300 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Hubbard High football team to a 41-21 victory over Newton Falls in a Trumbull Athletic Conference opener Friday at Memorial Stadium.
A transfer from Wilson, Lane dazzled in only his fourth game for the Eagles (4-0, 1-0), scoring on runs of 75 and 80 yards.
He was so explosive that he challenged Hubbard's single-game rushing record (321 yards), set by Carmen Tanferno in 1998.
"It's a big difference," said Lane, on being at Hubbard. "My heart is at Wilson; I still have much respect for them. I know they're going through hard times with their schedule, but I have to do what's best for me."
Lane reached 300 yards on his 19th carry at the outset of the fourth quarter, but Hubbard coach Jeff Bayuk elected to keep his standout on the sideline thereafter.
"We were aware of it [the record], but we're not like that. That's not why we're here," Bayuk said. "We're here to win games, and we're not going to take a chance with a back like Shaun.
"I don't see any reason to do that to the kids on the other team and the kids that worked so hard during the week on our team," Bayuk said.
Hubbard took command with a 13-point flurry to close the first half. That gave it a 27-7 halftime lead after Newton Falls had cut its deficit to 14-7.
"Our kids did a good job of not panicking," Bayuk said. "They had us on our heels a little bit when it was 14-7."
But with 1 minute, 18 seconds remaining before halftime, Lane burst through the line for his 80-yard touchdown run.
Newton Falls (3-1, 0-1) fumbled on the first play of its ensuing possession, and the Eagles took advantage when senior quarterback Gabe McKee scored on a 1-yard run with 14 seconds remaining for a 27-7 lead.
"He's developed himself into a great leader," Bayuk said of McKee. "He knows what's going on, and that was exemplified on that drive near the half when we were running out of time."
The only question after halftime was whether Lane, who had 274 yards at the break, would set Hubbard's rushing record. He fell just short.
"He's very explosive," Bayuk said of Lane. "He did a lot of great things once he got through the line. Our offensive line did a really good job tonight. Once he gets into the open field, it's really hard to bring him down."
Lane preferred to talk about the linemen who helped make his breakout game possible.
Hubbard's starting line is John Dominic (right tight end), Mark Mehalco (right tackle), Brian Dell (right guard), Sam Gonder (center), Brian Falhamer (left guard), Steve Mort (left tackle) and Todd Coonce (left tight end).
"Shaun's a great back, but he's got some good people in front of him," Bayuk said.
Junior running back Chris Buccilli scored two touchdowns for Hubbard, while Lane's sophomore brother, Ben, ran 53 yards for a fourth-quarter touchdown.
Newton Falls junior running back Matt Gillespie ran for 94 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown before an injury forced him out early in the fourth quarter.