Huskies snap Sisters’ 29 game winning streak

Quarterback Matt Matuszak ignited a spark in the Husky football squad Friday evening that turned into a bon fire.

The Huskies overcame early game miscues–allowing Sisters to score on the opening kickoff–to snap the Outlaws’ 29-game winning streak, 33-23.

Sisters, ranked fourth in the state going into the outing, are two-time defending state champions. In the first minute of action, it appeared the Huskies were in for a rough night.

Outlaw Ross Hayes scrambled 83 yards on the opening kickoff for a touched and then kicked a 26-yard field goal after the Huskies fumbled on their opening drive.

For six minutes the Outlaws held onto a 9-0 lead, but then Matuszak caught fire, surprising many with a hard-charging running style. With just 10 seconds left in the quarter, Matuszak slipped off the left side to score. B.J. Emmert booted the PAT and the Huskies were down just two, 9-7.

The game had numerous instances when players stepped up in their play. With just seconds on the clock, Richard Erevia intercepted a Sisters pass and took it to the 20.

Emmert’s field goal attempt missed and Sisters took over the ball.

The Husky offensive backfield pounded Sisters all night, especially in the second quarter. Overall the Huskies rushed 56 times for 387 yards while Sisters could muster only 21 rushes for 71 yards. In the air, Matuszak connected on five of 13 attempts for 55 yards. Overall, Sweet Home rolled up 443 yards offensively.

Sisters went 16 of 41 in the air for 203 yards and a 274 yard night.

Joining Matuszak in a top-notch ground game were Adam Knight 11 rushes for 140 yards (his best of the season), Ricky Stock, 20 rushes for 84 yards, and Andy Ellis, 19 rushes for 104 yards.

Stock, Knight and Ellis pounded the Sisters defense through the second quarter, until Ellis hammered in a touchdown at the 2:10 mark that put the Huskies up 12-9. Emmert booted the PAT and Sweet Home was ahead 13-9.

Sisters took to the air to escape ground punishment, but found that rough going as well.

Adam Knight shined in the third quarter. The Huskies moved the ball at the 7:09 mark to the 23 yard line but turned it back to Sisters. Less than a minute later, Erevia intercepted another Outlaw pass to set up a 43 yard touchdown by Knight. The PAT was good and Sweet Home held a strong 20-9 lead.

With three minutes to play in the third quarter, Knight put the Huskies into a comfortable lead with a 46 yard TD and a 27-9 lead.

Sisters didn’t give up, even though they were down 18 points with 3:12 left in the third quarter.

Hayes scored from the 2 1/2 yard line with 8:18 left in the fourth and the PAT pass was good. Sisters was down 27-17.

The Outlaws attempted to mount a scoring drive late in the game but found it tough going getting around Josh Bondesen, Troy Scott and Jared Huenergardt, among others.

Matt Kragness intercepted another Sisters pass at the 5:40 mark and Knight capped the quarter with a seven yard TD at the 2:00 mark. Sisters rounded out the game with a final TD.

Quarterback Matuszak called the game a “great win..I was happy to see the way we stepped up. We knew it was going to be a big game and it got us on the right track. We had looked forward to it for a long time.”

Matuszak said his running game has been a play the Huskies have worked on, but hadn’t really planned against Sisters.

“The coaches in the top box deserve credit for recognizing that Sisters secondary and ends collapsed when we ran off tackle,” Matuszak said. “Sisters just didn’t think of me as another option.”

Matuszak said he was a little surprised that Sisters threw the ball as much as they did.

He was disappointed that the Husky special teams, that have been solid all year, had a bad night.

“If it been a close game, it could have killed us,” Matuszak said. “We’ll work on that this week.”

Matuszak said he is looking forward to this week’s game against Junction City.

“It’s always an exciting game. We have a non-league rivalry that we always look forward to. It’s also good to play a team like Junction City because you need to see teams will be like in the playoffs.”

Coach Rob Younger said he probably could not have scripted a worse opening sequence for his Huskies.

“Our only downside for the night was our special teams play,” Coach Younger said. “I was very pleased though with how we kept our poise and composure after a bad start. We stuck with our game plan.”

Coach Younger said his Huskies have shown real grit all season in the second quarter. “We scored 28 points against Molalla in the second quarter,” he noted. “We need to work on getting off to a better start, though.”

Sweet Home averaged 6.9 yards per carry offensively, Coach Younger said, and much of that success can be attributed to a strong offensive line. Matt Miner anchors the center, Josh Bondesen, Trevor Buchard and Matt Vassar rotate at guard. Daniel Brewer, Sean Pierce and Jason Rassback rotate at tackle. B.J. Emmert and Richard Erevia are the tight ends and fullback Andy Ellis is considered the Huskies eighth offensive lineman because he blocks so well.

Coach Younger said he also was pleased with Huskies who made some big plays such as Erevia and Kragness who stripped Outlaw passes from the air.

This week’s game: Sweet Home (3-1) travels to Junction City to take on an always-tough Tiger squad.

“Junction City has a tremendous winning tradition,” Coach Younger said. “I don’t know of anyone winning more football games in the 1990s than Junction City.”

The Tigers won a big game Friday over Pleasant Hill, 35-28.

“This will be a great mid-season game. It will help us get better. We will have to play well because they will be a quality opponent. This is the type of team you will play in the state playoffs.”