Thunder defeat Huskies in first game of season, 41-14

In the season-opener, the varsity football team was defeated by St. James on Friday Sep. 6, 41-14. With the loss the Huskies record falls to 0-1.

From+left+to+right%2C+Jacob+Troutner%2C+Evan+Ranallo%2C+Leo+Clennan+and+Nick+Schwarz+stand+for+the+anthem+ahead+of+the+varsity+football+game%2C+Sep.+6.
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Thunder defeat Huskies in first game of season, 41-14

From left to right, Jacob Troutner, Evan Ranallo, Leo Clennan and Nick Schwarz stand for the anthem ahead of the varsity football game, Sep. 6.

From left to right, Jacob Troutner, Evan Ranallo, Leo Clennan and Nick Schwarz stand for the anthem ahead of the varsity football game, Sep. 6.

Lola Shipman

From left to right, Jacob Troutner, Evan Ranallo, Leo Clennan and Nick Schwarz stand for the anthem ahead of the varsity football game, Sep. 6.

Lola Shipman

Lola Shipman

From left to right, Jacob Troutner, Evan Ranallo, Leo Clennan and Nick Schwarz stand for the anthem ahead of the varsity football game, Sep. 6.

Jonny Isaacson, Sports Editor

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Looking to open the season on a high note after a winless 2018 season, the varsity football team was focused on starting the game strong. After forcing a punt with 10:14 remaining in the first quarter, the Huskies seized the opportunity, scoring the first points of the game. It came as a result of a trick-play which saw senior wide-receiver Jake Dolesh throw a 62-yard touchdown pass to senior Markell Hood.

“I just looked downfield, saw Markell and he was wide open,” Dolesh said. “All I was thinking was ‘Throw a dime to him, let him do what he does’ and he got himself a touchdown.”

St. James was quick to respond, converting on a third and 40, and eventually tying the game with 3:56 left in the first quarter. The touchdown sparked a 27-0 run that closed out the first half with the Thunder on top, 27-7.

Head coach Clint Rider said after falling behind, the team didn’t recover quick enough.

“We gave up a third and forever and things went downhill from there,” Rider said. “St. James had a good game plan, they did some things to stop us early on, and we didn’t recover fast enough.”

BVNW’s second touchdown came with 3:53 remaining in the fourth quarter when senior Edward Thomas ran for a 16-yard touchdown to make it, 41-14. Sophomore quarterback Mikey Pauley struggled throwing the ball, finishing the game with 68 yards and four interceptions. Despite not having success throwing the ball, Pauley was the team’s leading rusher with 52 yards. Rider attributed the lack of success throwing the ball to the defense’s gameplan.

“When they drop eight guys in coverage, it’s hard to [throw]. When they only have five guys in the box you’d better be able to run the football,” Rider said. “Otherwise throwing the football isn’t going to be a very good option, and we weren’t running the football effectively and that’s why we were forcing some of that a bit.”

After allowing 41 points in the game, Rider said the team needs to be more physical.

“Obviously we need to do a better job of just being more physical because right now we’re not physical enough,” Rider said. “We gotta do a better job of getting off blocks and filling in gaps.”

Totaling 68 receiving yards and a touchdown, Hood said the team will come back unaffected and stronger next week.

“[The loss] really doesn’t define us, it’s just the first game. We just have to bounce back next week and come back stronger,” Hood said.

Following the loss to St. James, the varsity football team will take on Harrisonville, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. at Harrisonville High School.