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Huskies take it to Marshfield in first half before losing play-in, 62-26

 

November 1, 2016

KEANU AIONA drags Marshfield tacklers with him as he battles for yards.

After trailing by a point at halftime, Sweet Home’s young football team got steamrolled in the second half by host Marshfield, losing a play-in game 62-26.

“The first half of football, I can’t ask any more of my guys,” said Head Coach Dustin Nichol. “We ran a four-three defense this week, and it was the difference in the first half. They made some adjustments and we made some adjustments, moving some people around, trying to stop the run and we couldn’t do it.

On paper, with 19 sophomores on its 34-man roster, Sweet Home was up against a juggernaut, as 18 of Marshfield’s 52 players were listed at 200 pounds or more, compared to five for the Huskies.

But senior quarterback Daniel Virtue and junior receiver Keegan Holly got things going for the Huskies and kept them in the game early on.

“Well, they’re cousins (Virtue and Holley) so they have a pretty good connection,” observed senior running back Keanu Aiona. “Keegan is a great receiver, he’s shifty, and Daniel makes those reads. They really connect in practice. It was just one of those nights.”

The problem was that their connection was in the first half, and in the second half Marshfield running back Chance Jacobs went to work, scoring two touchdowns and running for 174 of his 178 yards in the last half of the game.

Tristan Lemmons got the scoring started for the Pirates with an eight-yard run in the first quarter. Lemmons, who functioned as the Pirates’ battering ram in the first half, finished the game with his own impressive stat line, gaining 127 yards and scoring three touchdowns.

“Defensively we just missed a whole lot of tackles. They had white jerseys at their feet, in their chest, at the line of scrimmage, and we just missed a lot of tackles. I think we got tired,” said Nichol.

Sweet Home’s first touchdown was a 74-yard scramble by Virtue, who rolled right, didn’t see any receivers open, and took off down the right sideline and outraced everyone on the field.

Lemmons answered for the Pirates with a five-yard touchdown run that put Marshfield up 13-6.

But Virtue, Holley, and Co. wouldn’t go away. Holly caught a perfectly placed ball from Virtue and ran into the end zone for a 65-yard touchdown. Virtue finished the game with 241 yards through the air, 75 rushing and three touchdowns. Holle finished with 126 yards and a touchdown.

The teams traded scores one more time. Lemmons scored his final touchdown of the game for the Pirates. Then Virtue hooked up with Aiona on an eight-yard fade with 1:03 to go in the quarter to bring the halftime score to 21-20.

““They made an adjustment at half where they put three people over the top of our double receivers and left five guys inside the box and we were not able to run the ball. When they do that, they are basically taking away the pass and daring us to run,” said Nichol.

“We just weren’t able to run the ball. When we would try to do our passing, it took more time for the routes to develop in that type of coverage and we didn’t have the time to develop those. That was kind of the difference from the first half and the second half.”

Aiona said the Huskies didn’t play as well on the defensive side either during the final quarters.

“The first half, we wrapped up and made our tackles when we needed to towards the line of scrimmage. In the second half, we didn’t wrap up and didn’t have as many people on those big running backs that they have. They just broke free from those arm tackles,” he said.

Jacobs, a 5-8, 205-pound senior, went to work in the second half, scoring two touchdowns on successive drives after two Sweet Home punts.

“He [Jacobs] was a big kid. It was hit him in the legs or get trucked. It’s hard when I’ve got to step up out of a different position this week. I just did my hardest, and five yards every time will get scores,” said Aiona, who moved from outside linebacker to safety.

Virtue connected with Colton Smith for a 57-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter narrow the score to 42-26. However, the game was already decided and Marshfield added two more scores to finish the Sweet Home season off, 62-26. The Huskies finished 3-6 overall and 2-3 in league.

“I love my players,” Nichol said. “We have got a lot of good players, good people. We just didn’t have a lot of depth with seniority. It takes a lot of experience. That showed tonight.

“They’re a good football team, for us to win that game, we needed to have a total four quarters of football. No eight minutes off, like at Sisters, or six minutes off, like at Elmira. We have to have complete concentration and intensity for all four quarters.

“They scored the points, obviously. That score does not depict the battles that were going on for 2½ to three quarters. There was about 10 minutes there that things got way out of hand. In eight or ten minutes they scored four touchdowns.”

Scoring Summary

1st Quarter

M—Tristan Lemmons 8-yard run (PAT Good) 6:47

SH—Daniel Virtue 74-yard run (PAT Blocked) 6:30

M—Lemmons 5-yard run (PAT no good- High Snap) 3:29

2nd Quarter

SH—Virtue 65-yard pass to Keegan Holly (2-pt Good) 8:30

M—Lemmons 5-yard run (2-pt good) 5:38

SH—Virtue 8-yard pass to Keanu Aiona (2-pt no Good) 1:03

3rd Quarter

M—Chance Jacobs 35-yard run (PAT Good) 10:13

M—Jacobs 17-yard run (PAT Good) 7:09

4th Quarter

M—Nick Minton 15-yard pass to Cory Stover (PAT Good) 11:54

SH—Virtue 57-yard Pass to Colton Smith (2-pt no Good) 10:28

M—Minton 15-yard pass to Zach Kellar (PAT Good) 7:49

M—Brady Pickett 2-yard run (PAT no Good) 5:41

M—Devin Benson 55-yard run (PAT Good) 1:31

Individual Statistics

DANIEL VIRTUE beats defenders as he breaks away on a 74-yard touchdown scramble in the first quarter.

Rushing – SH: Dan Virtue 5-75; Keanu Aiona 3-18; Eric Blanchard 5-4; Hayden McDonald 8-(-6). M:

Chance Jacobs 17-178; Tristan Lemmons 18-127; Devin Benson3-65; Nick Minton 9-59; Zach Kellar 5-37; Brady Pickett 1-2.

Passing – SH: Virtue 16-27-3-241; M: Nick Minton 7-15-0-52.

Receiving – SH: Keegan Holly 8-126; Colton Smith 4-68; Austin James 1-21; Jake Swanson 1-20; Keanu Aiona 1-9; Eric Blanchard 1-5. M: Zach Kellar 3-12; Jacob Dean 2-16; Cory Stover 2-28.

 
 

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