Huskies spoil Mustangs’ homecoming and senior night, winning, 35-21

The varsity football team defeated the Blue Valley North Mustangs, 35-21, Oct. 8. The win improved the Huskies’ record to 6-0.

Thomas Rose, Writer

Going into halftime, the Huskies held a commanding 14-0 lead. Head coach Clint Rider said he was proud of the team’s intensity and the defense’s performance in the first half. 

“To see our kids come out and play the way they did, especially our defense, that was incredible to see. The way they shut them out in the first half, that’s just something that nobody in state expected them to do,” Rider said.

Senior wide receiver Max Muehlberger agreed with Rider, saying the Huskies defense played great and provided the offense with many great opportunities.

“Our defense was crazy, they had a heck of a night,” Muehlberger said. 

The Huskies led the Mustangs unopposed until North scored a touchdown with 6:44 remaining in the third quarter in the 3rd quarter. However, the Huskies followed up with two touchdowns on passes from senior Mikey Pauley to senior Nick Cusick and Muehlberger. Pauley said the offense was hard fought and executed the game plan well.

“With Grant [Stubblefield] and I, we just ran the ball right up the middle, got what we could take, and once they got relaxed and looking for a run, we hit them with a quick rout right behind them that led to some scores,” Pauley said.

Coach Rider said that the team took time to prepare against North’s offensive threats, like their quarterback, Henry Martin.

“It was a big focus about not letting their quick guys get over the top because we knew [Martin] is able to make some big plays,” Rider said.

The Mustangs scored a touchdown with 3:59 remaining in the game, shortening the Huskies lead to 28-14. The Huskies would respond with a touchdown of their own with just over a minute remaining in the game. North would go on to score a touchdown with nine seconds left, but it wasn’t enough as the Huskies won by a final score of 35-21.

Senior cornerback Josh Cusick said winning the rivalry game felt great as the Huskies didn’t have much success against North in the past. 

“[North] used to beat us when we were younger, so it feels great coming out with a win tonight,” Cusick said

After the game, members of the Great American Rivalry Series gave awards to two players on the Huskies. Pauley won an award for being the game’s MVP and senior cornerback Sebastian Meriano received an award and scholarship for his academic efforts. Rider said Meriano’s award was a testament to his hard work on and off the field. 

“The award is a credit to [Sebastian] and how he handles football and school and does it all so well, it’s no surprise that he takes care of everything. He makes sure he has all his ducks in a row.” 

The Huskies will look to extend their winning streak next week against St. Thomas Aquinas. Rider said the Huskies will have to prepare for a very strong run game and defensive line.

“They usually have a successful running game and a strong defensive line so we better be able to protect up front and stop the run,” Rider said.