Huskies drop first game to Thunder, 41-20

In the season-opener, the varsity football team fell to St. James on Friday Aug. 31, 41-20, at Bishop Miege. The loss drops the Huskies record to 0-1 to start the season.

Sophomore J. Michael Sturdivant (4) stiff-arms a defender in the game against St. James on Aug. 31 at Bishop Miege. The Huskies lost the game, 41-20.

Ethan Knauth, Online Copy Editor

Digging themselves a 41-point hole, the Huskies entered the second half searching for some answers on both sides of the ball. They found some with 9:36 remaining in the third quarter, as senior Sam Sliefert floated a ball over the middle and connected with sophomore J. Michael Sturdivant for a 9 yard touchdown, capping the first drive of the second half. The defense followed suit 15 seconds later with a fumble recovery, helping the Huskies wash away their first half effort.

Following the touchdown, BVNW went on to add two more in the second half, through a 9 yard run and a 12 yard run from Sliefert and sophomore Avion Tucker. Senior quarterback Sam Sliefert struggled in his first game under-center, throwing for 172 yards and a touchdown and rushing for 82 more, while commiting five turnovers.

In his second season as the head coach for the Huskies, Clint Rider focused on the positives saying that he believes we will see more of the offense that lit up St. James for 20 points in the second half, rather than the one held scoreless in the first.  

“I would have hoped we could have done that in the first half. We obviously had way too many turnovers, way too many missed assignments, [and] we didn’t play physical enough,” Rider said. “When you combine all those things you give them a short field and put some more stress on our defense. We certainly didn’t put them in a good spot in the first half.”

Despite a rough first half for the defense, senior linebacker Jack Hungerford was happy with how they were able to bounce back and get some stops in the second half.

“Start of the second half, we had three stops against their one’s. Then they took them out because they new we were starting something good,” Hungerford said. “Down 41-0 and we come out and get three stops, I love that. That is what our defense is.”

Totalling 59 yards on 14 rushes and a fumble, junior running back Edward Thomas said he felt like the offense did a good job at using the run to open up throwing options. Twice during the first half, Sliefert and Thomas didn’t get off clean hand-offs leading to a turnover in the second quarter. Thomas said the miscues were caused by miscommunication.

“I didn’t know what was going on. We just had misconnection of what was going on,” Thomas said, “We’ve got to learn from our mistakes.”

Looking ahead to next friday’s home-opener, Rider said the team will make the necessary tweaks this week in order to come out competitive for the next game.

“We’ll watch the film. We’ll see what the adjustments need to be,” Rider said. “A lot of it’s just getting better at what we do.”

The varsity football team will take on Harrisonville in their home-opener Friday Sept. 6 at 7:00 p.m.