Varsity football win on Senior Night

Securing their second win of the season, Blue Valley Northwest put up 40 points against Blue Valley West for the Huskies’ senior night game. 

Megan Yates and Tessa Regan

Throwing for three touchdowns and putting up two of his own, junior quarterback Mikey Pauley said his focus going into the game was to get the ball to his teammates. 

“For our offense, we wanted to get the ball to our athletes and let them work,” Pauley said. 

Head Coach Clint Rider agreed with Pauley and said the offense talked and made it a priority to get the ball to open athletes. 

As for the game itself, junior linebacker Drew Kaufman’s fumble recovery with 10:26 left in the first quarter led to the first successful offensive drive of the night. With 7:41 remaining in the first quarter, Pauley completed a pass to junior wide receiver Steven Whitter, resulting in a 6-0 lead for the Huskies. 

Kaufman said his fumble recovery served as a big play for the Huskies, as it came shortly after the Jaguars got a pick themselves. 

“That was a big momentum shifter,” Kaufman said. “I feel like right after the pick we had, they were all momentum, [but] we got that fumble recovery and the momentum just shifted right there.” 

Responding to the touchdown, BVW scored a field goal with 4:53 left in the first quarter. The Huskies would come back shortly before the end of the first quarter, with a pass thrown by Pauley to Kaufman, resulting in another touchdown for the Huskies. At the end of the first quarter, BVNW led BVW, 12-3. 

The second quarter started with yet another defensive play resulting in a touchdown. Junior cornerback Sebastian Meriano intercepted the ball less than a minute into the second quarter and ran it back for 55 yards. This led to Pauley throwing a touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Max Muehlberger. With junior Gavin Bianacalana adding the extra point, the Huskies led the Jaguars, 19-3, with 11 minutes left in the first half. 

Meriano said his responsibility for covering the routes of West’s receivers led to him intercepting the ball. Meriano credited his being able to go down the field to his teammates.

BVNWnews posted a game day graphic to promote Northwest’s first varsity home game, Sept. 25. (Graphic by Lola Shipman)

“I lined up, we were on our defensive run and I knew that I had anything coming out,” Meriano said. “So, the guy came out, I just jumped in front of him and took [the ball] and I had Isaiah Smith running behind me and he and my teammates led me down the field.” 

West would go on to score two touchdowns before Northwest answered back with two of their own. With 3:59 remaining, Whitter ran in a touchdown for the Huskies, and Bianacalana added the extra point, putting the score at 26-17. Then, Pauley ran in the ball for a touchdown with 1:10 left, making the final score of the half, 33-17. 

The halftime talk, Kaufman said, was one of encouragement for the players to keep their mindset, which helped the defense to have a successful second half. 

“The halftime was ‘it is zero to zero,’ we got to come out with the same intensity, same mentality and defense just took over the game right there,” Kaufman said. 

The BVNW defense would hold BVW to a scoreless second half. Meriano said a goal for the defense for the whole season was to keep the opposing team’s score under 21, which the Huskies did. 

Rider said that goal is one they have every week, as it is a good balance between the defensive only allowing 21 points and the offense putting up at least 21 points. 

The score would remain 33-17 for the entire third quarter. With 5 minutes left in the fourth quarter, Pauley ran in a touchdown. Bianacalana’s extra point would put the score at 40-17, the final score of the game. 

Ending his senior night with a win, captain and defensive lineman Leo Clennan said he was thankful to all who came out to support the Huskies. Clennan also said he recognized the excitement of winning at home.  

“I don’t know the last time we had a home win so it’s a pretty big deal and I just want to thank everyone for showing up today,” Clennan said. 

Rider said the offensive line contributed to the night’s win, saying how their ability to work together benefited the whole offense. 

“Offensive line is not a glory position, but we go as the offensive line goes,” Rider said. “They have come together and developed some cohesiveness, and they are communicating together well.” 

As for their plan for next week’s game against Blue Valley Southwest, Rider said due to the Timberwolf’s unique plays, the Huskies will need to prepare during practice for a tough match-up. 

“They have had great game plans against us, they have a really good coaching staff over there and their quarterback is pretty elusive,” Rider said. “On the offensive side, they are kind of unconventional, so there will be a lot of teaching in practice to make sure we are ready because they are going to attack us.” 

Adding to Rider, Clennan said they plan on beating Southwest by going after their quarterback in particular. 

“We are just going to stomp Southwest [and] we are going to go hit Tanner Curry in the mouth,” Clennan said.

BVNW will face BVSW next Friday, Oct. 2, at 7 p.m. at Blue Valley High School.