Huskies come out strong in season-opener

The varisty football team defeated Saint James High School in their first game of the season, 35-21, on Sept. 2.

Senior+Grant+Stubblefield+%28%232%29+scored+three+touchdowns+and+gained+281+yards+in+the+varsity+football+game+against+Saint+James%2C+Sept.+2.+%28Photo+by+Bailey+Thompson%29

Senior Grant Stubblefield (#2) scored three touchdowns and gained 281 yards in the varsity football game against Saint James, Sept. 2. (Photo by Bailey Thompson)

Alyssa Gagnon, Sports Editor

Coming into the game after winning the 6A state championship last year, the Huskies wanted to prove that although they only have seven returning starters, they are still the same team as they were last year, according to senior running back, Grant Stubblefield. 

“[Our goal] was to come in and win the game and to establish our run and our offense and I feel like we did that very well. Also for our defense to prove that they’re still dominant and I feel like they did a great job of that too, getting a lot of key stops,” Stubblefield said. “It was just to prove that we’re still the same team. We got a lot of young guys [and] a lot of stuff to build off of.” 

BVNW came out strong, with Stubblefield scoring the first touchdown of the night, only three minutes into the first quarter. Not long after, junior wide receiver Gavin Hoffman scored another touchdown for the Huskies, making the score 14-0, which would not change throughout the remainder of the first quarter.

“We’re trying to figure out the identity of the team, you know, what our strengths are, what our guys feel comfortable with. Obviously, we came out of the gate, kind of relying on what we know, with Grant and with the offensive line. But I thought as the game went along, our receivers stepped up and made some huge plays for us,” headcoach Clint Rider said. 

Despite the 14-0 headstart, in the last 3 minutes of the second quarter, Saint James scored two touchdowns. They also caught two interceptions, forcing the Huskies to play defence most of the quarter. The score stayed tied 14-14 for the rest of the first half.

“Ball security is probably the biggest thing [we need to work on] right now and I feel like if we control ball security, we’ll be able to control the game for the whole entire four quarters,” Stubblefield said.

Going into the second half, Rider said the team focused on what they knew, but also decided to switch up their formation to throw of the other team. 

“We just got back to the basics, we kind of went to a stack formation that gave [Saint James] some trouble. Once they adjusted back to that, we just went back to what was working and rode Grant and took our shots when we needed to,” Rider said.

Along with switching up the formation until Saint James changed how they were playing, senior quarterback Connor White said the team also needed to play together in order to walk away with a win. 

“We knew what we had to do. We were beating ourselves and we just went out there and played as a team, and we came out with a win,” White said.

With 1:28 remaining in the third quarter, Stubblefield scored another touchdown, making the score 20-14 at the end of the third quarter.

The Huskies did not stop there. With 9:47 left in the fourth quarter, Stubblefield scored his third touchdown of the night, along with senior Peyton Atchley scoring the 2-point conversion. 

“[I am] really proud of the way our guys responded. You always want to be able to see a team, especially an inexperienced team in a lot of ways, to be able to deal with adversity, and that was good to see,” Rider said.

With 7:29 left in the fourth quarter, BVNW would score their final touchdowdn of the night, with White throwing a 38-yard pass to Hoffman. Saint James would go on to score another touchdown later in the fourth quarter, but it was not enough as the Huskies won by a final score of 35-21.

Next week, the team will play St. Thomas Aquinas, the one team that BVNW lost to last year. According to Stubblefield, the Huskies will be preparing for the game starting the very next day.

“We got a long season ahead and we got a lot of hard tough games. We’re gonna come back tomorrow watching film and get ready for next week,” Stubblefield said.