Huskies lose game, another running back, at Elmira

Brett King

For The New Era

After a big win at their league opener last week, the Sweet Home football team hit a bump at its first away game of the season, falling 28-6 to Elmira.

Things got off to a rocky start for the Huskies, who lost running back and defender JT Weld to a broken collar bone in the first quarter. Weld will be out the rest of the season due to his injury.

“Once Weld was out we had to make some drastic changes,” Head Coach Dustin Nichol said, “We’ve lost both Weld and (Spencer) Knight now. Once you’ve lost two people who play the same position, it gets to be a bit of a major problem.”

“We have a lot of good players, but no depth,” He said, “When you lose a player due to injury it’s not easy to just fill his spot when you only have a few kids to choose from.”

Knight is sitting out for four to six weeks after suffering a strained tendon in his leg.

“I’m feeling pretty upset since it’s my senior year and had some high expectations for myself as well as the team,” said Knight, who watched from the sidelines. “But I know that the team will continue to work hard and try to win as many games as possible.

“For me, I just have to ignore my injury and prepare myself for upcoming sports.”

Sweet Home was down 7-0 coming out of the first quarter after Weld’s injury after Bo Highburger, who rushed for 79 yards, scored for the Falcons.

Igniting a spark for the Huskies, Eric Flierl grabbed a 75-yard pass from Cole Horner to put Sweet Home on Elmira’s 20-yard line.

With four minutes left in the first half, Horner set up Sweet Home for the Huskies’ first touchdown , hitting Flierl behind the Elmira defense with a 20-yard pass. Sweet Home trailed 7-6 after Hunter Jutte missed the kick.

Back from being out for two weeks due to injury, Horner struggled to get back up to speed completing only six of his 26 pass attempts.

It wasn’t long before the attention quickly turned back over to Elmira before the first half was over.

Elmira’s Arashi Wahl scrambled to find an open slot to pass to receiver Garret Bryant who finished play with a 27-yard reception in the end zone.

During Sweet Home’s first play after Austin Rice brought the ball up to their 20 yard line on the kickoff return, Horner, struggling to find an open receiver, threw a ball intercepted by Elmira’s Buddy Finder, who charged the ball down the field for a third touchdown. Elmira held a 20-6 lead going into the second half.

“We didn’t play defense, we didn’t play offense, we failed to make big plays, we had trouble passing,” Nichol said, “We didn’t play our best game out there.”

The Falcons sealed their win with 4:30 left in the final quarter, when Taj Wilson fought his way through the middle of Sweet Home’s defense for a two-yard touchdown. They then completed a two-point conversion to make up for their earlier failed PAT, for a 28-6 victory.

The loss leaves the Huskies tied with Elmira at 1-1 in league and 3-3 overall.

Sweet Home will head to La Pine Thursday, Oct. 10, for a 7 p.m. game.

LaPine comes into the game with a 0-5 record after a 76-6 loss to Cottage Grove Friday, thanks to quarterback Scotty Hitner, who threw 276 yards and four touchdowns en route to a 64-0 halftime lead.

“I’m really hoping for win,” Nichol said about the game with LaPine, “We will just have to go over there and take care of some business. Whoever suits up for a win will get the win”

Game Summary

E – 7 13 0 8 – 28

SH – 0 6 0 0 – 8

First Quarter

E – Bo Highburger run. Kick good.

Second Quarter

SH – Eric Flierl 20-yard pass from Cole Horner. Kick failed.

E – Garret Bryant 27 pass from Arashi Wahl. Kick good.

E – Buddy Finder 20 interception return. Kick good.

Fourth Quarter

E – Taj Wilson 2-yard run. Run good.

Individual Statistics

Rushing – Brandon Keenon 13-60, Hunter Jutte 1-12

Passing – Cole Horner 6-26-1-134.

Receiving – Eric Flierl 4-124, Brycen Mitten 2-12, Brandon Keenon 1-(-2)