Determined Banks hands Huskies 34-13 defeat

Brett King

For The New Era

Sweet Home’s young football team lost the momentum it had coming off its 34-24 season-opening victory over Redmond as the Huskies ran into a buzz-saw of intensity Friday night against Banks.

The 34-13 score tells the story.

Banks played tough on both sides of the ball and the visitors’ intensity overwhelmed Sweet Home’s attempts to generate some momentum, especially in the first half, when the Huskies gained only 22 yards, losing yardage on five of their 11 rushing attempts. Sweet Home finished the game with 178 yards, after racking up 327 against Redmond.

“The power their defense was working at was making it very difficult for us to get through,” said head coach Dustin Nichol. “Their defense was playing much more aggressive than our offense.”

The game got off to a slow start for both teams as they spent the scoreless first quarter exchanging punts.

But the Braves got rolling in the second quarter as 6-2, 190-pound senior quarterback Garrett Markham, who accounted for three-quarters of Banks’ 296 total yards, scored the visitors’ first touchdown with 5:41 left to play. He then hit wide receiver Andrew Santa Maria with a 6-yard pass on their next possession to give the Braves a 14-0 lead going into the half.

Sweet Home’s Spencer Knight tried to change that with a long run for an apparent touchdown after Banks’ first score, but it was called back on a holding penalty and the Huskies never really got close for the rest of the half.

“Our offense was nearly non-existent,” Nichol said, “We did have some guys out there who played some real offense, but, as a team, we really could have done better.”

Knight gave Sweet Home some spark early in the third quarter, juking through the

defensive and sprinting down the left side for 72 yards and a first touchdown for the Huskies.

But Banks’ defense tightened and the Braves scored 20 unanswered points in the remainder of the period. The last two TD’s came in a little over a minute, courtesy of Markham, who ran for six yards, then picked off a pass from Sweet Home quarterback Cole Horner, and found Nolan Hill with a six-yard scoring pass to make it 34-7 going into the fourth quarter.

“We were having a lot of trouble focusing, especially by the second half,” said JT Weld. “I don’t think our heads were on straight.”

Down 34-7, the Huskies went to the air in the fourth quarter and quarterback Cole Horner found Hunter Jutte with an six-yard pass for a touchdown to make it 34-13 with 8:47 left.

The Huskies pulled off a slick fake punt on their next series as Jutte hit Brandon Keenon on fourth down with a 14-yard pass that got them a first down, but Banks’ defense stiffened and Sweet Home couldn’t score as Horner’s two passes into the end zone fell incomplete.

Sweet Home’s defense also dug in and kept Banks off the scoreboard in the final period.

“Although looking at the score and it being what it was, I can still say our defense did a good job,” Nichol said, “I could say the same for our special teams. They played that fake punt really well.”

Horner said the Huskies were simply out of synch.

“We had a lot of miscommunication up front,” he said. “We didn’t show up to play. I do have to give props to Banks’ defense, though. They were a good team.”

Tight end Ashton Stutzman, who was vocally challenging his team to hang tough when things started to go south early in the game, said the Huskies need to correct their problems and move on.

“We all have to be playing the same game,” he said. “It’s time for us to refocus

this week and prepare ourselves for next game against Central.”

Sweet Home will host the Panthers Friday at 7 p.m. Central beat La Salle 29-3 in their opener, then was blanked by 5A Dallas, 27-0.

Nichol said he expects a different game.

“Central tends to run up the middle a lot,” he said. “Their playing style is a lot different than Banks’. From what I remember from last year and have seen on tape, Central’s quarterback is quick at handing off the ball.

“If we’re able to put a lot of pressure on him, that’s where our tough spot will be. He threw three touchdown interceptions their last game.

“We’ll take advantage of that as well.”

Scoring Summary

Banks 34, Sweet Home 13

Banks 0 14 20 0 – 34

Sweet Home 0 0 7 6 – 13

Second Quarter

B – Garrett Markham 5 yard run. Aaron Streblow kick.

B – Andrew Santa Maria 7 yard pass from Markham. Streblow kick.

Third Quarter

SH – Spencer Knight 72 yard run. Hunter Jutte kick.

B – Joey Bonin 16 yard run. Streblow kick.

B – Markham 6 yard run. Streblow kick.

B – Nolan Hill 6 yard pass from Markham. Kick failed.

Fourth Quarter

SH – Jutte 9 yard pass from Horner. Run failed.

Individual Statistics

Rushing – Sweet Home total 115 yards. Spencer Knight 12-63; Brandon Keenon 7-39; Cole Horner 5-12; JT Weld 1-4; Hunter Jutte 1- (-3). Banks total 93 yards.

Passing – Sweet Home: Horner 4-19-3-49; Jutte 1-1-0-14. Banks: Garrett Markham 18-23-0 -174.

Receiving – Sweet Home: Keenon 4-58; Hunter Jutte 1-5.