Huskies dominate in 2021 Homecoming game, defeating Blue Valley Southwest, 55-8

Backed by a disciplined defense and strong running game, Northwest was victorious against Southwest, improving the team’s overall record to 5-0.

Megan Yates and Tessa Regan

Closing out a week filled with Homecoming skits, philanthropy and spirit, the Huskies defeated the Blue Valley Southwest Timberwolves, 55-8. 

Before the game, seniors Yousif Radhi and Megan Yates were crowned Homecoming King and Queen. 

Going into the game, Head coach Clint Rider said it was important for his team to not let the aspects of Homecoming distract them.

“Just not letting all of the events of the week [distract us], ” Rider said. “We had a good week of practice, and they needed to carry it over into the game.” 

The Huskies came out strong in the first quarter, with junior running back Grant Stubblefield running in a touchdown within the first two minutes of the game. Northwest failed to score the extra point, making the score 6-0. 

Senior defensive back Zach Yates fed off the early touchdown, getting an interception during the Timberwolves’ next offensive play. 

Building on this momentum, senior quarterback Mikey Pauley scored a rushing touchdown with 10:06 left to go in the first quarter. Senior Nick Cusick made the extra point, making the score, 13-0. 

Stubblefield scored two additional rushing touchdowns before the end of the quarter, with senior Carter Worthington completing the two-point conversion on one of them. 

At the end of the first quarter, the Huskies led the Timberwolves, 27-0. 

Rider said the team had a strong first quarter, but fell off a little in the second quarter. 

“We kind of stuttered there for a little bit,” Rider said. “We just have to eliminate the turnovers and we will be good.” 

Pauley threw an interception at the start of the second quarter, but the team’s defense prevented the Timberwolves from capitalizing off of this opportunity. 

The majority of the second quarter was stagnant, with both teams unable to put points on the board. 

Then, with 28 seconds left in the first half, Pauley completed a touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Max Muehlberger to put the Huskies up 34-0 going into halftime. Pauley said this was one of the highlights of the game. 

During halftime, the Howlin’ Husky marching band performed “The Circle of Life.” Toward the end of their performance, the band was joined by members of the Harmony and Oxford middle school bands to play the Northwest fight song. 

Yates said Rider’s talk at halftime was about keeping the intensity high. 

“Honestly we were just [told] to keep up the intensity,” Yates said. “We shut them out the whole first half, we wanted to keep producing turnovers.” 

Pauley fumbled the ball a minute into the third quarter, but Northwest defense’s shut down Southwest’s attempt to score. 

The Huskies scored two more touchdowns this quarter, including junior Will Godderz scoring off Southwest’s punt, which was deflected by sophomore Colin Matile. Yates completed the two-point conversion for this touchdown, making the third quarter score, 49-0. 

With two starters out on defense, Rider said the new starters showed up to help the defense prevent Southwest from scoring for the first three quarters. 

“I thought Bennett [Ratcliff] and [Godderz] stepped up really well, Will got a touchdown off of the blocked punt and Bennett filled gaps all night, so Coach Ahern did a really good job preparing them,” Rider said. 

In the fourth quarter, Southwest scored with 9:55 remaining and completed a two-point conversion. 

The Huskies took the last major play of the game, with junior quarterback Connor White completing a touchdown pass to sophomore receiver Gavin Hoffman.

At the conclusion of the game, the Huskies defeated the Timberwolves, 55-8. 

Northwest will take on Blue Valley North next Friday night, which Yates said will be a revenge game. 

“We lost to North last year, so it is a revenge game for us,” Yates said. “It is rivalry week and everyone has got to be focused because it is going to be a big game.”