Field goal lifts Junction City past S.H. 10-9

Junction City and Sweet Home battled each other in a fierce ground game Friday, but it was a 33-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter that gave the Tigers a 10-9 edge over the hard-playing Huskies.

“This game had a state playoff atmosphere,” Coach Rob Younger said. “In this type of game, you have to take advantage of every opportunity. They did and we didn’t.”

Coach Younger said the Sweet Home-Junction City game is always a good one.

“Junction City had the ball inside our 30 yard line twice and scored both times,” Coach Younger said. “We had the ball inside their 20 yard line three times and scored only once.”

Sweet Home ran the ball 39 times for 131 yards. Quarterback Matt Matuszak completed three of 13 passes for 40.

Junction City carried the ball 32 times for 187 yards and completed nine of 23 passing attempts for 193 yards.

Andy Ellis led Husky rushers carrying 11 times for 50 yards. Adam Knight, who scored the lone Husky TD, carried 15 times for 41 yards. Ricky Stock had seven carries for 15 yards and Matuszak carried four times for 17 yards.

Both teams ground out the game in the first quarter and well into the second.

With three minutes left in the first period, Junction City fumbled and the ball was recovered by Jared Huenergardt at the 32.

Sweet Home managed to move the ball to a first down and two yard drive for the opening of the second quarter, when Adam Knight scored the lone Sweet Home TD.

The PAT kick was no good, but the Huskies held on to a hard-earned six point lead.

Huenegardt had another good play at the 7:54 mark when he intercepted a JC pass and carried it to the 36.

Sweet Home pushed the ball to the four yard line but could not get it into the end zone. At the 6:01 mark, B.J. Emmert attempted a field goal, but missed.

A minute later, Matt Miner, who had a strong game at defensive end, sacked the JC quarter, one of seven Husky sacks for the night.

Junction City put together an offensive drive in the third quarter, scoring on a pass play at the 8:09 mark. Sweet Home was called twice for offsides and Junction City hit the PAT kick for their first lead of the night, 7-6.

Sweet Home bounced back and with less than one minute left in the quarter, B.J. Emmert booted a Husky field goal for a 9-7 lead.

The Huskies swarmed Junction City in the opening round of the fourth quarter and Andy Ellis recovered a fumble at the 28.

Sweet Home’s efforts were dashed however at the 6:29 mark when Junction City’s Josh Martin kicked the game-winning field goal for the 10-9.

“During the first half of the game, our defense and specialty teams gave us excellent field position,” Coach Younger said. “Defensively, we took away their inside running game for the most part. I was also pleased with our pass rushing the first half. We had seven quarterback sacks, which was one of our game goals.”

Coach Younger said Randy Wunker made several big plays for the specialty teams.

“I thought Jason Rassbach did a very good job. He strained his Achilles in practice, yet played a good game.”

Coach Younger added that Matt Kragness had a sound game covering Junction City’s star receiver. Matt Miner had an extremely good game at defensive end and fellow DE Daniel Brewer “kept getting better as the game went on.”

Brian Seward played well at safety and Matt Vassar was tough at linebacker.

Sweet Home loses the talents of senior end Josh Marvin, who broke his wrist.

This week’s game…

The Huskies host North Marion Thursday. North Marion comes into the contest with a 1-4 and 0-3 overall record.

The losses have been close, including a 13-8 loss to Sisters and an 8-6 loss to Cascade.

“They have a prolific passer named Jeremy Miller. They have a very balanced passing attack. From game films it looks like they like to throw to anybody, anytime.”