The much-talked-about Othello Huskies ground game came through exactly as expected as the two seniors in the running back position combined for four touchdowns on the way to a 28-10 win over the Connell Eagles Friday, Sept. 6. On the other side of the ball, Othello's defense limited the Eagles to only 91 yards and almost completely wiped out the passing game as Connell quarterback Austin Forsyth went 2-for-14 for 25 yards. Othello head coach Roger Hoell said his team did a great job in their season opener, but also said there were some trouble spots he'd like to see cleaned up a bit before the start of regular season games this Friday. The main issue for the Huskies was ball control, as Connell forced and recovered three Othello fumbles and forced another one that was recovered. "A big key is taking care of the ball a little bit better," he said. Othello got on the board in the first quarter when running back Josiah Peterson scored the first of three touchdowns from the three-yard line after a 97-yard drive. "That's tremendous for a high school team," Hoell said. "To drive the length of the field, with all running plays, to put it in the endzone ... The kids executed it great." In the second quarter, Connell took advantage of a recovered fumble near the 50-yard line to set up Raul Gomez for an eight-yard rushing touchdown to tie it up. From here on out, Othello's defense went to work and limited Connell to only a field goal in the third quarter. Peterson answered back by scoring another touchdown from the red zone with help of his offensive line, which Hoell said carried a lot of the load in earning the team's first win. "Our offensive and defensive lines controlled the game," he said. "It may be a cliché (saying) you win in the trenches, well, this game was done that way. I felt we controlled the line of scrimmage both sides." In the secondary, junior defensive back Miguel Gonzalez did a good job of covering 6-foot-8 Connell receiver Gage Taylor. Combined with some good pressure from the line, Othello was able to quickly regain possession and set the tempo all night. Senior defensive back Randy Gomez sacked Forsyth twice, as well. Sophomore quarterback Alix Garcia put in a decent performance in his first start at the varsity level and picked up 97 yards while completing five passes on six attempts. Going into the fourth quarter, Othello held a 14-10 lead, but Peterson's third score pushed their lead to 11. The Huskies were ready to score another and put the game out of reach, but another fumble threatened that plan. Fortunately for the Huskies, it was recovered at the five-yard line and set up Tanner Wagner for his lone rushing touchdown. Hoell said it was a physical game and the kids had a good time hitting somebody other than their teammates. Getting a win over a rival doesn't hurt, either. "The kids have to feel pretty good about themselves opening up with a 'W' against their rivals, against a quality opponent like Connell," Hoell said, reiterating that taking care of the football will be key to keeping this early momentum going. Tomorrow night, the Huskies will play in their home opener against the Wapato Wolves, who the Huskies beat handily last year, 60-0. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Othello 7 0 7 14 - 28 Connell 0 7 3 0 - 10
Oth-Josiah Peterson 3-yard run (Miguel Gonzalez kick) Con-Raul Gomez 8-yard run (Garrett Salisbury kick) Oth-Peterson 6-yard run (Gonzalez kick) Con-35-yard FG Salisbury Oth-Josiah Peterson 5-yard run (Gonzalez kick) Oth-Tanner Wagner 5-yard run (Gonzalez kick)