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The New Era Paper
Sweet Home, Oregon
September 26, 2012     The New Era Paper
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September 26, 2012

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Page 20 pk-ltS lt  ra - September 26, 2012 Huskies go to both ground and air in 47-29 win By Kyle Holland For The New Era After opening up the season with three straight road games, the Sweet Home Huskies got their first game back home on the friendly confines of Husky Field against the Sutherlin Bulldogs and they made it count. The Huskies did not disap- point their home crowd. Sweet Home scored touchdowns on seven of its l0 drives, with senior Wade Paulus accounting for six of the seven en route to a comfortable 47-29 victory over the Bulldogs, evening its record at 2-2 going into Sky-Era League action next week at Sisters. The Huskies opened Friday's game strong on the offensive side of the ball and really never looked back. After the previous week's ground-and-pound attack against Central, the Huskies came out the gates immediately looking to mix it up more and get other players in- volved. It worked as the Huskies rolled up 543 total yards, 401 of them on the ground. The first drive of the game was set up on a huge third-down pass from Cole Homer to Mitch Keenon for 40 yards, Later in the drive Pau- lus added a big run on third down for 27 yards before capping the drive with a four-yard touchdown run to put the Huskies up 7-0. "This week we really added other aspects and dynamics to our team that other teams will now have to account for defensively, Head Coach Dustin Nichol said. "The offense came to the party this week. We had the ball seven times and we scored six. The only time we didn't score was on a fumble. We didn't even punt." After that first Sweet Home score, the Bulldogs answered right back to tie the game, thanks to some sloppy defense, Nichol and players said. "We played pretty flat-footed at the beginning," Keenon said. "Usually our defense is our strong point,"said Colton Schil- ling. "But I think the offense put up points so early we didn't put up our best effort till they scored." The Huskies were not about to let down. On their next drive Sweet Home pounded the ball on the ground steadily, moving up the field when again Homer hit Keenon for an amazing 28-yard over-the- shoulder catch at the Bulldog one- yard line. Paulus punched it in from there to put the Huskies back up 13-7 after a missed extra point. Paulus didn't just abuse the Bulldog defense on the ground, though. He, too, caught a Homer pass for a 40-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Paulus was able to follow up his 336-yard rushing performance last week with 229 yards on 20 car- ries against the Bulldogs. "I'm so proud of the whole team today we all showed up and played hard,"he said after the game. Sutherlin tried to keep the game close in the first half, scoring Wade Paulus scores one of his six touchdowns. Players swarm toward the ball after the Bulldogs fumbled. Sweet Home recovered this one. Colton Schilling evades a tackler as he returns a punt. on its first two drives as well, even taking the lead 14-13 at one point. Both Bulldog touchdown drives in the first half however, were kept alive by huge fourth- down penalties by the Huskies that extended their drives. "The defense had the penalties this week," Nichol said. "The of- fense didn't. They'd go for it and we'd give it away." Schilling said the mistakes and Sutherlin's scores woke the Huskies up. "They scored some cheap ones. It kind of lights you up a little bit when you're behind." While the offense was mixing it up through the air and ground at- tack two key plays in the first half that really turned the momentum towards Sweet Home came from the defense. With the score still close the Bulldogs were driving when Keenon used his good hands to in- tercept Bulldog quarterback Noah Navickas-Avery near midfield. The Huskies would-later score on an- other Paulus touchdown run, this one for 23 yards. The second turnover - and the real crugher for the Bulldogs - came with just 14 seconds left in the half and Sutherlin lined up with a first and goal when the Huskies again forced a huge turnover with a fumble recovery to keep the game 27-14 at half. The Husky defense carried their momentum into the second half holding .the Bulldogs to just seven points until a late meaning- less touchdown late in the game. The offense's balance was much improved over the first few games of the season. Homer was an efficient 6-10 for 139 yards and seemed to always come up with a big play when the team needed it. "Cole did a good job," Nichol said. "He was six for 10 but three of those passes were drops by re- ceivers, right in their hands. And the other one was one of those where he kind of overthrew it on purpose. He should have been nine for 10." Homer, who started much of last season as a sophomore but struggled a bit in this season's openers, said Friday night "felt awesome." "It was probably the best game I've played as a quarterback," he said, adding that he and receivers had been working on their timing all week. "It was awesome to get that timing down." The passing attack puts de- fenses on notice that they can't just count on stopping the run any more, he said. "It'll build our confidence to know that when we gt into the po- sition where we need to pass, we know we can pass. We can call a pass play and not just go to the run." In addition to the quarterback, junior running back Spencer Knight was able to have a big break-out game, rushing for 107 yards on 11 carries to really keep the Bulldog defense on their heels. "It was good to see Spencer come to the party tonight,"Nichol said. The Huskies now gear up for league play which opens Friday, the 28th in Sisters against an Out- law team that is also 2-2. Sisters is coming off a 26-8 loss to No. 2-ranked Cascade (4-0) in a game played at Summit High in Bend, due to smoke in the Sis- ters area from forest fires. Photos by Sean C. Morgan The Outlaws are ranked nearly equal to Sweet Home, 17th and 18th respectively. "Sisters is young but they've returned a lot of people," Nichol said. "They pose problems. There's a good rivalry between us. They have a pretty good running back (Ethan Lul0ff) and quarterback (Tristen Lewis) this year. It's al- ways a crapshoot. It's a tough place to play at." But there's nothing like a good win to get the confideffce sharp- ened up, "We have momentum now go- ing into league and we are going to do really well in league, I can just feel it," Paulus said. Scoring Summary Sutherlin --7 7 7 8--29 Sweet Home--7 20 14 6--47 First quarter SH: Wade Paulus 4 run (Hunter Jute kick); 8:49 Suth: Ryan Eakin 23 pass from Noah Navickas-Avery (Eakin kick); 3:32 Second quarter SH: Paulus 1 run (kick failed); 11:30 Suth: Beau Grauf 11 run (Eakin kick); 7:50 SH Colton Holly 4 pass from Cole Homer (Paulus run); 5:07 SH: Paulus 22 run (pass failed); 1:24 Third quarter Suth: Raymon Henderson 34 run (Eakin kick); 10:15 SH: Paulus 5 run (Paulus run); 8:55 SH: Paulus 40 pass from Horner (run failed); 5:55 Fourth quarter SH: Paulus 75 run (pass failed); 5:42 Suth: Jace Martineau 4 run (Hender- son run); 0:49 Statistics Total Yards-SH 543; Suth 403 Rushing - SH: Wade Paulus 20-229; Spencer Knight 11-107; Jacob Smith 1-4; Cole Horner 2-2; Colton Holly 1-0; JT Weld 1-0. Sweet Home Total Rushing: 36-342. Suth: Beau Grauf 13-51; Cameron Mock 9-41 ; Raymon Henderson 5-27; Jona Delacruz 4-28; Noah Navickas-Avery 6-(-7). Sutherlin Total Rushing: 37-140. Passing - SH: Cole Horner 6-10- 139. Suth: Noah Navickas-Avery 18-24-224. Receiving -SH: Mitch Keenon 3-85; Colton Holly 2-17. Suth: Ryan Eakin 8-127; Austin Kennedy 4-28; Jace Martineau 4-24; AJ Andersen 1-35; Jona Delacruz 1-10. -Scott Swanson contributed to this report.