Huskies win first game in two years, defeat Wildcats, 34-28

A 34-28 win over Harrisonville High School Friday night, improved the Huskies record to 1-1 for the 2019 season. Senior wide receiver Evan Ranallo led the Husky receivers with 9 receptions for 162 yards and 2 touchdowns.

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Huskies win first game in two years, defeat Wildcats, 34-28

Senior Evan Ranallo catches the game-winning touchdown against Harrisonville High School, Sept. 13.

Senior Evan Ranallo catches the game-winning touchdown against Harrisonville High School, Sept. 13.

Lauren Kline

Senior Evan Ranallo catches the game-winning touchdown against Harrisonville High School, Sept. 13.

Lauren Kline

Lauren Kline

Senior Evan Ranallo catches the game-winning touchdown against Harrisonville High School, Sept. 13.

Jonny Isaacson, Sports editor

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Down two scores, 28-14, with under four minutes left to play in regulation, the Huskies were looking for any type of late push that would put them back in the game. Following an unsuccessful fourth and 1 on the goal-line with 4:33 left to play, the Huskies were able to force a 3-and-out from the Wildcats, getting the ball back near the 35-yard line. It would only take a couple of plays to score, as sophomore quarterback Mikey Pauley would throw a five yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Evan Ranallo with 2:14 remaining in the fourth quarter.

After failing to convert the extra point, the Huskies found themselves needing the ball back down, 28-20. Taking any chance available to get the ball back, the Huskies successfully converted an onside kick to give them the ball back with just under two minutes remaining. Set up by a pair of 15-yard receptions, the Huskies made their way into the red-zone with 1:37 remaining in the fourth quarter. Following a 10-yard reception from sophomore receiver Steven Whiter, senior running back Edward Thomas was able to bring the Huskies within tying distance with a 5-yard touchdown run. Thomas said being able to help the team felt great.

“It feels good,” Thomas said. “I didn’t start off the first week good but going back to running back and just getting points for my team felt great.”

Needing a two-point conversion to tie the game, the Huskies decided to put the ball into the hands of Pauley. After being forced out of the pocket, Pauley was able to hit Whiter on the run to tie the game at 28.

Heading into overtime, Blue Valley Northwest was looking to keep their momentum from regulation going. After the coin-toss gave the ball to Harrisonville to start overtime, the Husky defense was able to make a stand, forcing the Wildcats to have a turnover on downs.

Having stopped the Wildcat offense, the Huskies only needed to score once to win the game, due to  overtime rules. With the ball being placed at the 25-yard line, the Huskies made their way into the red-zone with an 11-yard reception from senior Markell Hood. Only needing one more play to win the game, Pauley found Ranallo for a 14-yard touchdown catch. 

“I saw the call and guessed it was coming to me,” Ranallo said. “ I saw the ball flying through the air and said ‘I gotta go up, I gotta grab it’ and came down with it.”

After struggling in the season-opener, Pauley improved on his performance by throwing for 276 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions, while also spurring the comeback. Pauley said his mindset was to get it to his playmakers.

“My game plan was to get it to my playmakers, let them do all the work,” Pauley said. “We came in here and we were wanting to win. We needed a win and that’s what we focused on.”

To begin the game, the Huskies came out firing, jumping out to a 14-6 lead by the end of the first half. The momentum would not carry as Harrisonville would lead the Huskies, 28-14 with 7:23 remaining in the fourth quarter. Head coach Clint Rider said the Husky offense stalled coming out of the half, not throwing or running the ball well.

“We knew we had some size advantages on the outside, but as the game went on we hit a lull where we weren’t hitting the deep routes or running the ball well,” Rider said.

After winning his first game in two years, Thomas is confident the team is ready to play anybody.

“This right here shows that we can play with any team in the EKL,” Thomas said. “We are not scared of anyone, we just gotta trust each other, work on our mistakes, and just know that we have each others’ backs.”

Following the win, the Huskies will take on St. Thomas Aquinas Friday Sept. 20 at 7:00 p.m. at St. Thomas Aquinas.