The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

Cottage Grove downs Huskies with lethal passing attack, 42-0


September 27, 2016

COTTAGE GROVE’S Erick Giffen hauls in a touchdown pass half a step ahead of Sweet Home’s Jake Swanson.

Sweet Home ran into a motivated Cottage Grove football team Friday night and the Lions showed the Huskies where they hope to be with their new spread offense in a few seasons, exiting Husky Field with a 42-0 win.

“I asked (Cottage Grove Coach Gary Roberts) some questions about how we look, and he said ‘You look just like we looked back in 2009 in the first year he implemented it,’” said Head Coach Dustin Nichol when talking to Cottage Grove coach Roberts.

“He went from a double wing to the fourth year, they are in the championship. I’m not saying that should be us, but it is just one of those deals that it takes some time with the transition period. Our kids are doing a really good job. I just hope they don’t get frustrated.”

Quarterback Blake Sentman led the way for the Lions with 256 yards through the air and five touchdowns. Lions wide receiver Jacob Woods finished the game with two touchdowns and 116 yards receiving.

“In the first half they were running a lot of routes that were picking apart our coverage,” said Sweet Home Quarterback Daniel Virtue, who finished the game with five completions in 15 attempts for 52 yards and had three interceptions. “We missed assignments in the secondary.”

He said he also had pressure from the ends when he tried to roll out.

It was a tough night of football for the Huskies (0-1, 1-3). They shot themselves in the foot with penalties, turnovers, and ongoing trouble with the center-quarterback exchange. Each time they got a drive started there would be a penalty, bringing the ball back and halting any momentum they had.

“This is our third center we’re going through,” said Nichol. “It’s not like we are just going through the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result, that’s insanity. So we are going to be looking. I’ll talk to the coaches again during our meeting this week, and we’ll try to figure something out.”

He said a slippery ball didn’t seem to be the problem.

“I kept asking the center and quarterback, the ball boys were running a ball in every play, and they said, ‘No, it’s not wet. It’s just the pressure of a fast nose and trying to get the snap, getting your hands up to protect yourself.

“Whoever says the skill guys are behind the line of scrimmage are sorely mistaken because the biggest skill guy is the center in my opinion. If they can’t get the ball from the ground to the quarterback then you can’t ever get started.”

At the end of the first half, Sweet Home had its best chance to score. After a nice kickoff return by Keanu Aiona and a penalty on Cottage Grove, the Huskies were 40 yards from the end zone. With seven seconds on the clock and the ball on the 20-yard line, Virtue threw the ball up to Jake Swanson but it was overthrown and intercepted by Erick Griffen.

“We’ll correct our mistakes and try to make it right, and come out in the next game with more intensity,” said sophomore running back Hayden McDonald, who finished the game with 16 rushing yards.

Nichol said the young Huskies aren’t that far from success.

“When we go look at the film it’s a tweak here and a turn there with the timing, being a little sharper and it’d be a different ballgame,” said Nichol. “Offensive yards-wise, I’m not saying the outcome.

“It would have let our defense off the field some and positive strokes to the offense.”

“Forget about it, but also learn from it. They’re a tough team, but it’s just one game. We have to get ready for everyone else,” said Virtue.

Hayden Nichol led all Huskies in rushing with 50 yards. The Lions were physical all night long on both sides of the ball.

“They are getting in the right spot, but these seniors and juniors that they are going against have two more years of weight training, two more years of physical development,” Dustin Nichol said. “The perfect example was when No. 14 came up and clacked Hayden Nichol, my son. Hayden weights 185 pounds. That kid weighs 205 and he just put him on his butt, and it’s ‘Welcome to varsity football, Sophomore.’ That was the story of the evening.

“This has been a long time coming. We have had their number the last few years. I mean, Gary Roberts after he won the state championship, he was 0-8. The last couple of years we have been kind of the same, with the back and forth with the records – us in front one year, them in front the next.

“He has been building for a couple of years with this. This group of juniors is a group he has put a lot of time and effort in. You can see it here tonight. They are a very physical team. They’re motivated.”

The Huskies will regroup next week on the road against Junction City (1-2 0-1). The Tigers lost 14-9 Friday at undefeated Elmira.

Sweet Home’s players say they aren’t giving up.

“Don’t hang your heads, there is always next Friday. We have to do this,” McDonald said.

Virtue said the Huskies aren’t as far away as it may have appeared.

“They scored 28 points, but most of them were on big plays. We had blown coverage or missed assignments. We’re four plays away from it being a close game.”

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4

CG 7 21 14 0 – 42

SH 0 0 0 0 – 0

Scoring Summary

1 st Quarter

CG 5:30 -- Juice Claflin 5-yard rush (PAT Erick Griffen)

2 nd Quarter

CG 8:33 -- Pass from Blake Sentman to Jacob Woods for 13 yards (PAT Griffen)

CG 1:59 – Pass from Sentman to Kory Parent for 9 yards (PAT Griffen)

COLTON SMITH, bottom, and Hayden McDonald bring down Cottage Grove quarterback Blake Sentman after a run.

CG :39 – Pass from Sentman to Woods for 54 yards (PAT Griffen)

3 rd Quarter

CG 4:11 – Pass from Sentman to Zane Levings 4 yards (PAT Griffen)

CG 1:43 – Pass from Sentman to Claflin 27 yard pass (PAT Griffen)


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