Eagles' Younkins is a stud in the mud
Brookfield's Jarvis Bills just missed rushing for 1,000 yards on the season as he gained 22 yards.
By CHUCK HOUSTEAU
HUBBARD -- Joel Younkins has always been a fan of playing in the mud. By all accounts he enjoyed himself immensely Friday night at Hubbard Stadium.
The senior fullback played tailback most of the night because of the deplorable field conditions caused by a steady rain for most of the day and an injury to starting tailback Steve Cinicola.
Younkins was right in his element as he rushed for 147 yards and scored both of Hubbard's touchdowns in the first half of a 14-0 Trumbull Athletic Conference victory over rival Brookfield.
Assured of playoffs
The Eagles (9-1, 7-0) were already assured of a home playoff game in Division 3, Region 9, and will likely finish first or second in the region with the win over the Warriors.
Brookfield (5-5, 2-5) was eliminated from the postseason.
Younkins finished with 162 yards on the night as the field became nearly unplayable in the second half and both teams struggled to do anything offensively.
"This was the kind of game you were forced to play close to the vest," said Hubbard coach Jeff Bayuk. "You know I like to play it that way."
Younkins was the workhorse as he carried the ball 23 times.
"It wasn't bad," Younkins said of the field conditions. "You have to play in what you are given and every kid loves to play in the mud anyway."
Younkins got the Eagles on the scoreboard on their very first drive of the game following the opening kickoff.
Younkins and Robert Wigfall carried the ball nine times in the 66-yard drive and quarterback Marty Kanetsky threw one pass for a 3-yard completion.
Younkins finally broke free on the ninth play by bursting off tackle for a 26-yard touchdown.
TD dictates strategy
"We wanted to control the football," Bayuk said. "By scoring first we were able to play the game we needed in this weather."
Brookfield had a chance to get back in the game in the second quarter after a poor punt by Hubbard gave the Warriors the ball on the Eagles' 39-yard line.
Brookfield moved Garrett McMullen from fullback to tailback to have more of a power game and the move was successful as the Warriors drove toward the Hubbard end zone.
But on McMullen's fourth carry he fumbled and Hubbard recovered on its own 11.
With only five minutes remaining until halftime and neither team able to do much offensively, Younkins again came to the rescue.
Hubbard moved from its own 11 to the 36 on five straight carries by Younkins, a pass play, a run by Joe Marando and then a short run by Younkins.
On the ninth play, Younkins again broke off tackle and raced 62 yards to a score with just 48.4 remaining in the half.
That was all the scoring Hubbard would need as weather conditions worsened and both teams battled against loose footballs or punted the ball away.
There were three turnovers each by the two teams and a combined 12 punts.
Brookfield only managed to cross midfield once in the second half of the game.
Hubbard rushed for 208 yards and had 247 total yards of offense while the Eagles' defense limited Brookfield 28 yards.
Wigfall added 43 yards rushing for Hubbard while Brookfield's Jarvis Bills just missed rushing for 1,000 yards on the season as he gained 22 yards on the ground.