Saints power past Huskies, 49-14

Falling to 0-3 on the season, the varsity football team was defeated by St. Thomas Aquinas, 49-14, on Thursday Sept. 13 at the DAC. Junior Edward Thomas and sophomore Avion Tucker combined for 118 yards rushing on 10 touches with a touchdown.

Ryan Blank, Riley Beach

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After going down 7-0 one minute into the game, the Huskies looked for a response on either side of the ball. Following unsuccessful drives by both teams on offense, the defense found one with 6:50 remaining in the first quarter, as senior defensive back Matt LaTendresse forced a fumble with senior linebacker Jack Hungerford returning it for a touchdown.

The defense managed to tack on two more points in the first half, by forcing a safety with 1:58 remaining in the second quarter, bringing their total for the half to eight points. Commenting on his defenses’ effort, Hungerford said the work they’ve put in so far this season helped fuel the defensive playmaking against the Saints.

“That’s the top team in 5A,” Hungerford said. “We played hard and that’s all we [had to] do.”

With starting senior quarterback Sam Sliefert out of the game with a concussion, senior Jack Weyforth started in his place, with freshman quarterback Mikey Pauley also seeing minutes against the Saints. In total, the pair went 8-25 for 40 yards passing and three interceptions.

With the game against the Saints being the first time either quarterback played at the varsity level, head coach Clint Rider said he was proud of his guys for accepting the challenge at hand.

“Weyforth came in and managed the game well,” Rider said. “We had some turnovers, but overall really proud of the effort. Our young guys really got better and grew up tonight.”

With a difficult night throwing the ball, junior running back Edward Thomas and sophomore running back Avion Tucker were productive on the ground, totalling 118 yards, as Tucker added the only offensive touchdown for the Huskies. With Thomas and Tucker bursting out for long runs of 62 and 49 yards, Thomas said it was the offensive line who orchestrated the big plays.

“I think our offensive line did a great job,” Thomas said. “I just had to do what I had to do [and] find my holes.”

For the first time this season, the Huskies finished plus one in the turnover margin, forcing 5 turnovers while turning the ball over themselves 4 times. Rider said that was one of the positives the Huskies would like to take into next week’s game against Blue Valley Southwest, as they look to rebound from a 52-27 defeat last year.

“Next weeks a big week for us,” Rider said. “We’re going over to Southwest and we didn’t play well there last year, so we have a chip on our shoulder.”

With the loss to St. Thomas Aquinas, the varsity football team will take on Blue Valley Southwest on Thursday Sept. 21 at 7:00 p.m at the DAC-Lamar complex.