HARBOR BEACH — The early-season get-to-know-your-team quizzes are now over for Harbor Beach.
Next week, the big tests start to arrive.
The Pirates moved to 2-0 here Thursday night with another convincing and impressive victory, this one a 48-0 blanking of North Huron.
Throw in last week’s 42-0 shelling of Bad Axe and the Pirates have outscored their first two opponents, 90-0.
Ah, but the schedule gets a tad bit tougher starting next week when 2-0 Reese pays a visit to the northeastern part of the Thumb.
“We have a lot of respect for Reese and how good they are,” said Harbor Beach coach Troy Schelke. “We have to be ready for a dogfight next week.”
In fact, Harbor Beach’s next four games are against teams which haven’t lost yet.
“It’s going to get tougher, no doubt,” Schelke said.
There weren’t many things that were tough for the Pirates against the Warriors, who played hard from start to finish, but never mustered much offense, and really couldn’t stop the Pirates on defense.
Aaron Ginther scored three times — once on the ground and twice via the pass — while four others scored once for the Pirates, who led 20-0 after one quarter and 34-0 at the half.
Travis Essenmacher, Derek Pfaff, Tyler Krueger and Sloan Klaski scored the other TDs for Harbor Beach, which picked up 375 yards rushing overall and 82 yards passing from quarterback Eli Kraft.
Ginther and Pfaff each had 78 yards on the ground while Krueger added 70, Klaski 55, Essenmacher 44 and Kraft 32. Kraft also threw for 82 yards, including scoring strikes of 36 and 46 yards to Ginther in the first quarter which set the tone.
“I thought our passing game looked pretty good,” Schelke said. “That’s a plus for us to have a threat there.”
For North Huron, it was limited to 102 total yards. Brandon Moore had 82 all-purpose yards while Kyle Case completed four passes for 42 yards, with Eric LesPerance hauling in two passes for 27 yards.
Schelke likes what he sees from his defense so far this season.
“We have guys on that side that like to hit and are good athletes,” “he said. “Our defense is young, so I hope we get better and better as the year goes on.”
Defensively for Harbor Beach, Kurt Messing had a fumble recovery and Averey Wehner had an interception.
Defensively for North Huron, Moore, Tom Fischer and Nick Strozeski had nine tackles each. Evan Dhyse and Jake Schramski had eight stops apiece while LesPerance notched six stops. Fischer and Dale Johnson had fumble recoveries while Strozeski added a forced fumble.
The Warriors resume their non-league trek next Friday when they host another Greater Thumb East team, Brown City.
Meanwhile, Schelke knows his team has to clean up some things if it’s going to compete with a very potent Reese squad next week. The Pirates put the ball on the ground several times and had numerous penalties.
“Obviously, we have to hang on to the ball better and do a better job with the penalties,” he said. “Next week, if we make a turnover here or there we’re going to have to overcome it, but we just can’t put the ball on the ground against a team like Reese.”
Here are a couple of photos from the game...