Huskies fall 41-24 to North Bend ground game, defense

Six turnovers cost Sweet Home its perfect pre-season record at the hands of North Bend, 41-24 on the Bulldogs turf field.

“This was by far the best athleticism we’ve seen,” said coach Rob Younger about the Bulldogs. “This was a state playoff environment that will prepare us for down the road.”

The speed of North Bend allowed them to amass 354 yards on the ground without much need for a passing game. Their combination of an inside game with Jake Lucero, who scored four touchdowns while posting 125 yards, and their multitude of running choices to the outside, led by their quarterback Dalton Iveans and his 115 yards, kept the Huskies guessing on defense much of the night.

“The sweep didn’t hurt us, but the option did,” said Younger, who noted that the Bulldogs had not run the option much in previous games.

The flu bug also caused problems, in that many of the players who got sick during the last week of practice were outside linebackers who have responsibility for the containing of the outside running lanes. At one point, five of the six outside linebackers were down for practice and two were unable to play.

But the six turnovers plus a recovered onside kick for North Bend put the Huskies in holes the entire game.

Uncharacteristically, the Huskies were unable to move the ball either through the air or establish a running game to achieve offensive balance.

“Our defense was put in so many difficult situations due to the turnovers,” stated Younger.

And the Bulldogs took advantage, scoring four touchdowns after the Sweet Home miscues.

North Bend opened the scoring on the first play of the second quarter with Lucero romping to a 16 yard touchdown following an extended drive. Then the Bulldogs scored after recovering a muffed Husky punt return with Iveans escaping and breaking tackles on his way to a 37-yard scoring run.

Sweet Home established some balance in their offensive game, grinding out a 14-play drive with Brock Cota providing the finishing touches with a one-yard run. Cota contributed more to the Husky cause by recovering an onside kick on the very next play.

That led to a 35 yard field goal by Alex Santana to cut the score to 14-9 at halftime.

North Bend regained momentum in the third quarter by recovering an errant quarterback pitch at the Husky 16 yard line. Lucero scored his second touchdown of the night from 3 yards out.

Sweet Home responded with a quick scoring drive led by the running of Cota and a 28 yard pass from Tyler Holly to Taylor Tagle. Keenan Martin punched the ball from the one to keep the score close.

Both teams exchanged additional touchdown drives in the third quarter. Cameron Seiger raced 16 yards for a Bulldog score while Holly connected on a six yard pass to Sean Potter for the Huskies.

Then the bulk of the Husky turnovers dictated the rest of the game in North Bend’s favor. After a second Bulldog interception, the Husky defense held. However, the punter, Lucero, took a poorly snapped ball and weaved through the Sweet Home defenders for a 50-yard touchdown.

The Bulldogs then proceeded to match the Huskies by recovering their own onside kickoff. Despite fumbling at the Husky 2-yard line, which was recovered by Tagle, North Bend came right back and intercepted another pass that put them right back on the Husky two yard line. From there, Lucero struck paydirt again.

A final interception put to rest any chance of a Husky comeback.

“You learn a lot more from a loss if you handle it right,” Younger emphasized. “We’re a good team that can get better.”

Sweet Home starts league play with this week’s home game against Philomath on Thursday. The Warriors sport a 1-4 record with all their losses by fairly close margins.

Tagle felt the Huskies would recover from the North Bend loss and focus on the more important league contest.

“We just need to pick our heads up and come back for this league game,” stated Tagle, who expects the team will prepare better for the upcoming game. “When we play our best game, there aren’t a lot teams that can play with us.”

1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final

Sweet Home 0 9 15 0 24

North Bend 0 13 1 14 41

2nd Quarter

NB: Jake Lucero 16 yd. run (Ryan Johnson kick)

NB: Dalton Iveans 37 yd. run (kick failed)

SH: Brock Cota 1 yd. run (kick failed)

SH: Alex Santana 35 yd. field goal

3rd Quarter

NB: Lucero 3 yd. run (Johnson kick)

SH: Keenan Martin 1 yd. run (Santana run)

NB: Cameron Seiger 16 yd. run (Johnson kick)

SH: Sean Potter 6 yd. pass from Tyler Holly (Santana kick)

4th Quarter

NB: Lucero 50 yd. run (Johnson kick)

NB: Lucero 2 yd. run (Johnson kick)

Team Stats

Rushing: Sweet Home 32-118; NB 51-354

Passing: Sweet Home 9-24-4, 110; NB 3-6, 14

Sacked: None

Total Offense: Sweet Home 228; NB 368

First Downs: Sweet Home 15; NB 13

Tackles for Losses: Sweet Home 1; NB 0

3rd/4th Down Conversions: Sweet Home 7-14; NB 6-16

Penalties: SH 3-25; NB 3-36

Turnovers: SH 6; NB 2

Individual Stats

Rushing: SH: Cota 19-81 McDowell 2-16; Martin 7-10; Potter 1-7; Moyer 3-4

NB: Lucero 17-125; Iveans 16-115

Passing: SH: Holly 5-9-2, 110; Martin 0-10-2 NB: Iveans 3-6, 14

Receiving: SH: Potter 3-21; Tagle 2-50; Bidwell 1-16; Cota 1-14; Marchbanks 1-6; McDowell 1-3

Kickoffs: SH: Santana 5-171, 30.2 net; Avg start line: 29.8

NB: Johnson 7-239; 22.9 net; Avg start line: 41.3

Kick Returns: SH: Moyer 1-53; Tagle 2-16; Long 1-10; NB 2-20

Punts: SH: Santana 2-67 net 29.0; NB: Lucero 1-29 net 29.0

Punt Returns: SH: Tagle 1-0; NB: 1-9

Interceptions: SH: None; NB 4

Fumble Recoveries: SH: 2 (Cota, Tagle); NB 2

Sacks: None

Recovered Onside: SH 1 (Cota); NB 1

Tackles: SH: McDowell 13, Jackson 10, Marchbanks 9

* * * * *

The frosh soph team lost to North Bend 48-14 Thursday at home to even their season record at 2-2.

Wade Paulus and Hunter Bidwell ran for two touchdown’s while Coton Holly ran for a two- point conversion.

North Bend fielded a team of over 40 players, ranging form freshmen to juniors.

“We had moments of greatness and then it seemed like one or two guys would take breaks or miss a blocking assignment,”

Coach Dustin Nichol said. “This was a game that the other team took full advantage of any mistakes that we made.”

The Huskies travel to Philomath Wednesday, Oct. 7, to start league.