Pauley’s big game lifts Huskies over rival Mustangs, 33-28

A 33-28 victory over Blue Valley North Friday night, improved the Huskies record to 2-5 for the season. Sophomore quarterback Mikey Pauley led the charge for the Huskies with 307 total yards and 5 total touchdowns.

Jonny Isaacson, Sports Editor

Clinging on to a five point lead with under two minutes left, the Huskies looked to wind the clock down and end the game. With 1:37 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Huskies were presented with a 4th-and-2. Not wanting to give the ball back to the Mustangs with a chance to score, sophomore quarterback Mikey Pauley delivered a strike to senior Evan Ranallo for the first down. With the first down, the Huskies were able to wind the clock down and win the game.

The throw was one of many for Pauley as he would end the game having thrown for 261 yards and two touchdowns without any turnovers. He would add 46 rushing yards and 3 rushing touchdowns to cap off his performance. Pauley said he just was working off his playmakers.

“I relaxed a lot more,” Pauley said. “I let my guys make plays and let them do their work.”

One of the playmakers in particular was Ranallo who found the endzone with less than a minute left in the first half to tie the game. Inspired by a pep talk given by receivers coach David Faggett, Ranallo was able to make a play to end the half.

“We receivers struggled in the first quarter, and our wide receivers coach told us to “pick it up” and that this team couldn’t win without us,” Ranallo said. “So we all picked it up, as a collective unit. The line blocked well, Mikey got me the ball and I just went up for it and got it.”

After a score from both sides, the Mustangs found themselves up a point looking to extend their lead. Marching down the field into Northwest territory, the Huskies were looking for a stop to prevent the Mustangs from scoring. That would be exactly what they got when junior Blane Deppe would intercept the ball with 1:53 left in the third quarter. Deppe said it was a case of being in the right spot at the right time.

“With coach we were talking about just making sure we were in the right spots,” Deppe said. “Everyone has to do their job, you play for your brother, so then I saw my opportunity and I just put myself in that spot. You gotta do it for the team and that is what I had to do.”

After getting the ball only needing to go 60 yards for a touchdown due to the interception, Pauley would cap off a drive that would put the Huskies up, 33-28 with a 5-yard touchdown run. Head coach Clint Rider said Pauley used his intelligent play throughout the game to help the Huskies win the game.

“He does a lot of things after the play breaks down, and I think the biggest thing was just taking care of the football, I think this was his first game without throwing a pick this year.” Rider said. “He understands the game and how to attack defenses and I am just really proud of his progression throughout the year.”

After having his best performance of his season, Pauley said he was fueled by the rivalry to play well.

“Just this rivalry that I have been a part of,” Pauley said. “I don’t like them, they don’t like us and it kinda just drove the whole team.”

Another key part of the game was the Huskies ability to pressure the quarterback and shut down the Mustang’s run game. Rider said the play of the defensive line sparked the entire defense to play well.

“I think our defensive line has been getting better and they have been putting some pressure on guys,” Rider said. “That pressure helps out the secondary a lot because a lot of times we are in a lot of man coverages which allows us to blitz more when we have more guys available to go pressure.”

After defeating Blue Valley North for the first time in his coaching career, Rider said it feels good to get this win for the team’s seniors.

“It feels great, it feels good for our kids and for our school,” Rider said. “I know how much this game means to our Northwest community and to our players and so it was just good to send out seniors out with a win.”

Following the victory against Blue Valley North, the varsity football team will take on Bishop Miege, Thursday Oct. 24, at 6:30 p.m. at the DAC.