Offensive woes, missed opportunities lead Huskies to 17-14 loss to St. James

The Blue Valley Northwest football team dropped their record to 1-3 on the campaign with a 17-14 loss to St. James Academy Friday Sept. 22 at the DAC. Senior quarterback Payton Hartman was 24/45, with 235 yards passing, 1 touchdown and 0 interceptions in the loss.

Mahmood Khatib
St. James sophomore wide receiver JJ Tylicki catches a pass over the outstretched arms of senior cornerback Easton Hunt (10) and in front of junior cornerback Luke Vega (26) early in the third quarter of BVNW's 17-14 loss Sept. 22 at the DAC.

Ben Brown, Sports Editor

Late in the first half of Friday night’s game between Blue Valley Northwest and St. James Academy, the Huskies offense had the ball on the Thunder eight yard line with a 7-3 lead. After a dropped pass in the end zone on second down by senior tight end Jackson Heath and a sack by SJA on third down led to time expiring, the Huskies went into the locker room unable to put points on the board on the last drive of the half.

“We had zero timeouts, and I should’ve made sure our quarterback knew that we couldn’t take a sack,” head coach Clint Rider said.

BVNW’s blown opportunity in the red zone proved to be the difference in a defensive EKL battle.

These are the types of games that we have to win.”

— Clint Rider

The highlight of the night for the offense was a 42 yard catch-and-run touchdown on the first offensive drive for freshman wide receiver J. Michael Sturdivant, his second consecutive game with a touchdown. Sturdivant said it was important to gain momentum early in the game and give the Huskies the lead.

“It felt pretty good to be able to score and give our team the lead early in the game so we could have some confidence going into the rest of the game,” Sturdivant said.

Sturdivant finished the night with five receptions for 76 yards. In addition to the touchdown, Sturdivant made an acrobatic catch in the second quarter in which he jumped up and secured the football for a 24 yard gain. Rider said he was impressed with Sturdivant’s performance and his playmaking ability.

“That grab he had [late in the second quarter] was maybe one of the best catches I’ve ever seen in person,” Rider said.

Throughout the night, BVNW’s running game was non-existent, totaling 34 yards on 23 carries. After a two-touchdown performance a week ago against Blue Valley West, sophomore running back Edward Thomas was held in check by the Thunder defense, rushing for 39 yards on 17 carries.

Despite countless missed opportunities throughout the night, the Huskies’ offense had no turnovers for the first time this season.

Defensively the Huskies were able to hold the Thunder to a mere 3 points in the first half. Rider said the defense did their part by limiting SJA to 17 points for the entirety of the game.

“[The defense] played a great game,” Rider said. “I thought our coaching staff had a great game plan and those guys came out and executed well, and offensively we’ve got to hold our end of the deal.”

Rider said the loss for the Huskies would sting knowing that it could have been a much different outcome.

“I am proud of the effort that our guys put out tonight and they fought to the end, but these are the types of games that we have to win,” Rider said.

The Huskies go on the road to play Blue Valley Southwest next Thursday Sept. 28 at 6:30 p.m. at the DAC. BVNW will enter with a 1-3 record, while BVSW comes into the matchup with a 2-2 record.