Huskies spread it out for win over Sisters

Ken Roberts

For The New Era

After a first half with mixed results, the Sweet Home Huskies dominated Sisters to win their opening game 28-12.

The Huskies, who had lost to Sisters in each of the previous three OSAA Endowment games, changed their fortune with their new spread offense that produced a number of big plays through the air and a solid running game as well.

“We can spread people out and get one on one situations,” said head coach Rob Younger. “With good speed with our outside receivers, we can go deep pretty easily.”

It didn’t start out smoothly when the Huskies fumbled on the opening play. But the defensive unit after giving up a 19 yard pass responded by moving the Outlaws backwards once they entered the red zone at the 14 yard line.

The first big play for the Huskies came on a 57 yard pass from Keenan Martin to tight end Levi Marchbanks. But that success was short-lived when Sisters intercepted a pass three plays later.

After another defensive stop and solid punt return by Taylor Tagle, the Huskies under the guidance of Tyler Holly at quarterback started the series in Sisters territory. It took just three plays for Holly to find Sean Potter for a 37 yard scoring strike. Alex Santana converted the first of his four consecutive extra points to give the Huskies the initial 7-0 lead.

Sisters reacted with a beautifully balanced scoring drive mixed with the running of Jared Nelson, who ran for 101 yards in the first half, and the passing of Eric Carlson to his main target, Chase Kleint. That combination connected for a 10 yard touchdown on the first play of the second quarter, but the kick attempt failed.

The Huskies opened up the offense again with big strikes, including a 17 yard pass to Tagle, a 23 yard pass to Tim McDowell, and a 22 yard run by Brock Cota that placed them at the Sisters five yard line. Unfortunately, the Huskies lost the ball on the ground again, giving Sisters renewed momentum.

Sisters went on a 14 play drive that culminated in a Kleint 4 yard run to give the Outlaws their only lead of the night at 12-7.

“We had so many kids who were playing in their first varsity game or playing a new position,” explained Younger. “It took us a little bit to get out the jitters.”

But they showed signs of getting over those jitters by ending the second quarter positively. Martin outthrew the coverage and once again Potter was the recipient of a 53 yard scoring pass. Following a Husky interception by McDowell, Sweet Home was able to head into the lockerrom with a 14-12 lead.

In the second half, the Huskies pulled away. Younger gave credit to assistant coach Matt Matuszak for calling some crucial offensive plays and to the defensive coordinator David Younger and freshman head coach Dustin Nichol for adjustments made by the defense.

The defense closed down the Sisters running game, leaving them one dimensional and holding the Outlaws to just two first downs. Meanwhile, the offense continued its assault in the third quarter. Only this time they did it with a mixture of inside and outside running. Potter led the charge with two big runs on sweeps, while Cota and Brent Moyer countered on the inside with misdirection, leading to a 1 yard touchdown by Martin.

The defense got the ball back in the hands of the defense quickly, stopping the Outlaws on consecutive third and one and fourth and one plays at Sisters’ 29 yard line. With more running mixed in with a 20 yard pass to McDowell, Potter again found the end zone on a six yard sweep.

“Everyone worked hard in practice,” stated Potter. “But give all the credit to the line. They gave Martin and Holly great protection.”

Sisters made one belated attempt when they connected on a 40 yard pass, but once again the defense stood up to prevent any more scoring.

Sweet Home was able to grind out most of the fourth quarter on two series, primarily using the ground game, first with Cota carrying the load and then a late drive behind the running of Kyle Sorenson to end the game.

For the game, the Huskies ended up with a balanced offense, running for 175 yards and throwing for 248 more, with a per reception average of 31 yards. Potter caught three passes for 124 yards and ran for 39 more in 5 carries. The Huskies never had to punt the entire game.

After racking up over 200 yards in the first half, Sisters was limited to just 63 yards in the second half, most of that on the one 40 yard pass play that was underthrown. The Huskies had to use their secondary, specifically Taylor Tagle and Tim McDowell in the first half, but with adjustments, linebackers Levi Marchbanks and Brent Moyer did much of the work.

“The win helped our confidence,” said Marchbanks. “They are kind of rival and we haven’t beat them since I’ve been here. I thought everyone came out to win.”

Younger was mostly pleased with the mental approach taken on by the Huskies. They maintained their composure on the line of scrimmage and were able to run the entire offensive package.

“Each year a team takes on a personality,” noted Younger. “I was really pleased with how they executed mentally. We didn’t have a lot of zeroes where they didn’t do their assignments.”

Next in the Husky run of four consecutive home games is the Molalla Indians, who under a new coaching staff, stumbled against a solid Scappoose team at home 44-7.

1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final

SH 7 7 14 0 28

Sisters 0 12 0 0 12

1st Quarter

SH: Sean Potter 37 yd. pass from Tyler Holly (Alex Santana kick)

2nd Quarter

Sist: Chase Kleindt 10 yd. pass from Eric Carlson (snap/run failed)

Sist: Kleindt 4 yd. run (kick failed)

SH: Potter 53 yd. pass from Keenan Martin (Santana kick)

3rd Quarter

SH: Martin 1 yd. run (Santana kick)

SH: Potter 6 yd. run (Santana kick)

Team Stats

Rushing: Sweet Home 38-175; Sist 30-133

Passing: Sweet Home 8-19-1, 248; Sist 10-20, 165

Sacked: SH 0 ; Sist 1-5

Total Offense: Sweet Home 423; Sist 293

First Downs: Sweet Home 16; Sist 12

Tackles for Losses: Sweet Home 5; Sist 5

3rd/4th Down Conversions: Sweet Home 5-11; Sist 3-13

Penalties: SH 4-45; Sist 10-86

Turnovers: SH 3; Sist 2

Individual Stats

Rushing: SH: Cota 12-56; Potter 5-39; Sorenson 4-35; Moyer 10-35; Tagle 1-11; Walters 2-3; Santana 2-2; Martin 1-1; McDowell 1-(-7)

Sisters: Nelson 15-120; Carlson 8-14

Passing: SH: Martin 4-11-1, 151; Holly 4-8, 97

Sist: Carlson 10-20-1, 165

Receiving: SH: Potter 3-124; McDowell 2-43; Marchbanks 1-57; Tagle 1-17; Moyer 1-7

Sist: Kleindt 8-143

Kickoffs: SH: Santana 47.4, 42.8 net; Avg start line: 26

Sist: Johnston 39.7, 21.7 net; Avg start line: 40

Kick Returns: SH: Santana 2-54; Sist 3-43

Punts: SH: None; Sist 28.3, 24 net

Punt Returns: SH: Tagle 2-13; Sist: None

Interceptions: SH: 1 (McDowell); Sist 1

Fumble Recoveries: SH: 1 (P.Long); Sist 2

Sacks: SH 1 (Miller); Sist: 0

Tackles: SH: Marchbanks and Tagle 9; McDowell and Moyer, 8