Molalla survives Husky comeback to win 31-28

The Molalla Indians narrowly defeated the Husky football team Friday night sending the Huskies to Burns Saturday to open state playoffs.

Playing off of Husky turnovers, Molalla took a strong early lead; but the Huskies rose to the challenge and caught up by the end, with Molalla scoring three points with 16 seconds to snatch the win.

Molalla scored the first touchdown on a 10-yard run from Joe Stafford. Marie kicked to take a 7-0 lead.

Denny Kirk ran three yards to score a touchdown at the beginning of the second quarter, and Marie’s kick for the extra point gave Molalla a 14-0 advantage.

Adam Knight scored on a six-yard run, with Randy Wunker kicking the extra point for the Huskies; but Molalla scored again when Chad Williams ran two yards, Marie scoring the extra point, to lead 21-7 at halftime.

Ricky Stock turned a 53-yard run into a touchdown. With a kick from Wunker, the Huskies trailed 21-14 at halftime.

Troy Scott carried the ball 31-yards to the end zone to get within one. The Huskies failed the kick.

In the fourth, Brian Seward ran two yards to score. The Huskies scored two more points on a pass from Seward to Wunker, to take a 28-21 lead.

Molalla’s Williams passed 12 yards to Roberts, Marie scoring the kick, to tie the game at 28-28.

Following a Husky turnover, Marie kicked a 20-yard field goal to lock up the win 31-28 with 16 seconds left in the game.

Sweet Home carried the ball 43 times for 340 yards and passed 4-7 for 52 yards and 392 total.

Levi McCubbins carried the ball eight times for 102 yards. Knight carried 17 times for 88 yards. Stock carried 6 times for 75 yards, and Scott carried six times for 49 yards.

“It was an awfully tough loss,” Coach Rob Younger said. “I was proud of the kids, the way they held their composure and came back from 14-0.”

Early turnovers let Molalla get ahead early in the game, Coach Younger said, and the Huskies missed some “golden scoring opportunities.”

From there, the Huskies fought an uphill battle, Coach Younger said, and they never got into their defensive game. Molalla’s misdirection gave the Huskies quite a bit of trouble.

“I was very, very pleased with the effort and how hard the kids played,” Coach Younger said.

The Huskies travel to Burns where they will play in the first round of state playoffs at 1 p.m.

“Not only are we going to have to play tough,” Coach Younger said. “The kids are going to themselves mentally prepared for a long drive and staying overnight in a hotel.”

The playoffs are sudden death, meaning that the losing team is out. The winning team will play at Pleasant Hill.

The Huskies finish in third place behind Sisters, first, and Molalla, second.