Huskies open league with big win over Philomath

A stellar defense and big offensive plays guided Sweet Home past Philomath, 35-7, in their opening league game.

“It was a workmanlike effort, nothing fancy,” said coach Rob Younger. “We took what they gave us, had some big plays, and all of a sudden it’s a 35-7 victory.”

Keenan Martin, who had to play quarterback the entire game due to a back injury incurred by Tyler Holly, thinks the Huskies are a lot more mentally prepared for games this year.

“It felt good to go out and execute the way we can, especially after the North Bend game,” stated Martin. “It shows our character and integrity.”

“I think we were overconfident when we played North Bend,” said Tim McDowell, who has been a force all year from the safety position. “Against Philomath, we were a little more down to earth.”

The defense performed solidly throughout the game, containing the Warriors’ inside and counter rushing attack. When Philomath was forced into passing situations, the secondary blanketed their receivers.

The Huskies’ first touchdown in the first quarter was the only one that came on an extended drive, an eight-play, 49-yard series that culminated with a Brock Cota three-yard run. That was set up by a fake punt and a Martin run for 28 yards.

From that point on, Sweet Home exploded. In the second quarter, Keenan Martin tossed a 34 yard pass to Alex Coakley on fourth down for their second score. That touchdown also was set up by a Martin 32 yard run, again on a fake punt.

Later, in the same quarter, Cota raced 44 yards immediately after they had stopped the Warriors on downs.

With a 21-0 halftime lead, Brent Moyer sealed the fate of the Warriors on the first play of the third quarter, romping for a 51-yard touchdown run.

Finally, late in the third and early fourth quarter, Philomath put together a scoring drive of 64 yards with Joseph Harman carrying the ball in from 11 yards out. The Warriors raised some eyebrows when they recovered an onside kick. However, that temporary euphoria was smothered by a Christian Whitfield sack and a harmless fourth-down incompletion.

Kyle Sorenson ran effectively for the Huskies in the fourth quarter and put the finishing touches on the night with another long run of 29 yards.

Despite the fact that the Huskies ran nearly 30 plays less than Philomath, they compiled 300 yards of total offense to the Warriors’ 213. Martin led all running backs with 64 yards, but Moyer, Cota, and Sorenson all had over 50 yards as well.

The defense was led by first-time starting defensive end Patrick Long, who had three of the four Husky sacks and a game-tying 12 tackles, matched by Levi Marchbanks, who led an active linebacking crew of Jackson, Moyer, and Cota.

Next on the Val-Co agenda for the Huskies is Newport, which was ranked seventh in last week’s state 4A polls, which the Huskies trailed by three or four spots, depending on what poll is used. The Cubs return Tristan Metcalf and sophomore Osha Dunmore, both with blazing speed. Dunmore, who was a JV quarterback last year, can also execute the passing game out of the outside pitch.

To Martin, the game has a significant bearing on whether the Huskies can make a run in the state playoffs.

“They’re going to be tough,” said Martin. “But they aren’t going to want to be running if we hit the way we did against Stayton.”

McDowell believes it’s going to take a disciplined defensive effort.

“We’re going to have to come up strong and use the basics when we attack,” he said. “It’s a matter of consistency and fundamentals.”

The Newport game will be the final home game of the season with the switch of the Central game to Corvallis. That means Senior Night and Homecoming will be combined. It will undoubtedly be a night with huge implications.

Game Summary

1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final

Sweet Home 7 14 7 7 35

Philomath 0 0 0 7 7

1st Quarter

SH: Brock Cota 3 yard run (Alex Santana kick)

2nd Quarter

SH: Alex Coakley 34 yd. pass from Keenan Martin (Santana kick)

SH: Brock Cota 44 yd. run (Santana kick

3rd Quarter

SH: Brent Moyer 51 yd. run (Santana kick)

4th Quarter

Phil: Joe Harman 11 yd. run (Daz Bennett kick)

SH: Kyle Sorenson 29 yd. run (Santana kick)

Team Stats

Rushing: Sweet Home 22-234; Phil 51-209

Passing: Sweet Home 5-16-1, 73; Phil 5-13, 36

Sacked: SH 1-7; Phil 4-32

Total Offense: Sweet Home 300; Phil 213

First Downs: Sweet Home 6; Phil 12

Tackles for Losses: Sweet Home 13; Phil 5

3rd/4th Down Conversions: Sweet Home 5-12; Phil 7-22

Penalties: SH 3-20; Phil 5-35

Turnovers: SH 1; Phil 0

Individual Stats

Rushing: SH: Martin 4-64; Cota 7-60; Moyer 5-60; Sorenson 4-52; Bidwell 1-0; McDowell 1-(-2)

Phil: Roach 13-75; Harman 11-55

Passing: SH: Martin 5-16-1, 73

Phil: Fakoury 1-4, 9; Benson 2-2, 17; Nash 2-7, 10

Receiving: SH: Potter 3-31; Coakley 1-34; McDowell 1-8

Phil: Bennett 3-20

Kickoffs: SH: Santana 6-256, 32.5 net; Avg start line: 25.8

Phil: Bennett 2-35; 12 net; Avg start line: 49

Kick Returns: SH: Tagle 1-11; Phil 5-61

Punts: SH: Coakley 2-57 net 28.5; Phil: Bennett 5-138, net 15.8

Punt Returns: SH: Bidwell 2-45, Tagle 2-14; Phil: None

Interceptions: SH: None; Phil 1

Fumble Recoveries: None

Sacks: SH: 4 (P.Long 3, Whitfield 1); Phil 1

Recovered Onside: Phil 1

Tackles: SH: Marchbanks 12, P.Long 12, Jackson 9, Moyer 9

* * * * *

Despite three ugly quarters, the frosh/soph team lost bu a touchdown at Philomath, 34-28, on Wednesday.

The Huskies had a difficult time getting going in the first three quarters.

“We didn’t complete a pass until halfway through the third,” Coach Dustin Nichols said. “Our defense was on the field for most of the game.”

Defensive end Alex Armstrong stripped the ball for a touchdown and Wade Paulus had three running scores from over 30 yards out and added another run for a two-point conversion.

Colton Holly finished up the Huskies’ scoring with a diving two-point conversion.

Sweet Home had more than 60 yards in penalties in the first three quarters, Nichols said.

Even with a chance to tie the score at the end, the Huskies were still misfiring, he said.

“We had the ball with two minutes remaining and two time outs,” Nichols said. “We needed to complete some passes and we had people open but we were unable to convert. We turned the ball over on downs and that was it.”