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home : sports : huskie sports June 24, 2016

11/6/2013 3:33:00 PM
Huskies get quick start in homecoming win
Special teams plays, like this punt return by senior Justin Krebs, set up the Huskies with great field position in the first quarter to build a big lead early. Photo by Erik Pague.
Special teams plays, like this punt return by senior Justin Krebs, set up the Huskies with great field position in the first quarter to build a big lead early. Photo by Erik Pague.
Erik Pague

The road warrior Huskies came back to Othello for homecoming week and wrapped up the celebrations with a dominating 52-16 win over the Toppenish Wildcats Friday, Oct. 25. For the second week in a row, the vast majority of the points Othello scored came in the first half thanks to some solid defense and special teams play that left Othello with great field possession to jump out to a 49-6 lead at halftime.
On the opening kickoff, senior Randy Gomez bobbled the catch but scooped it up and took advantage of some spotty Wildcats coverage downfield to set the Huskies up in the redzone for their first play from scrimmage. Othello head coach Roger Hoell said his guys showed some experience by not giving up when they noticed Gomez struggling to secure the ball and worked to set up some blocks.
"Sometimes when you do fumble a kickoff, that's your greatest weapon because now that throws all the timing off," he said. "When a kickoff team sees that ball on the ground, they start going to the ball and that creates natural running lanes as you saw there."
The return set up a one-yard rushing touchdown from senior running back Tanner Wagner. It only took two plays and about a minute for Othello to establish who was in control of this game. The Huskies defense matched the offense's lethality and forced multiple Toppenish three-and-outs. Othello dominated the field position battle in the first quarter and went on to score three more touchdowns, including another TD run from Wagner, a 35-yard sprint to the edge by quarterback Adrian Garza and a 30-yard passing touchdown to P-Nut Pruneda for a 28-0 first quarter lead.
"We pretty much had good field position the whole night," Hoell said. "For the first seven minutes, we ran five offensive plays and scored four times."
The defense continued making stops and Toppenish had negative yards for the first quarter. For a while there, the only way the Wildcats could move the ball was when the officials threw a flag on Huskie defenders and penalties contributed to setting up a 12-yard passing touchdown from Wildcats quarterback Emilio Zamarripa to Isaac Hayes in the second quarter.
"It's a concentration thing," Hoell said about the penalties. "If you let your emotions run you, you're going to lose. You have to keep it in check and maintain poise and composure."
Hoell said he likes the way the kids played with intensity but wants them to be a little more careful to avoid drawing flags, especially with the playoffs quickly approaching. The penalties ended up being wiped out by another big special teams play by Othello as Gomez took the next kickoff 65 yards to the endzone and Hoell said this was yet another play showing the way the team is playing well in all phases and really starting to find its rhythm.
"This was a good team game for us because everything is pretty much right there and all phases were working for us," he said. "We just did exactly what we had to do to win that game and it feels like the last couple games the kids have been trying to pick up speed a little bit. Things are starting to come together now and the thing is to just keep it going."
One more rushing touchdown from Garza paved the way for the second team to get on the field and find some success, as well. Pruneda caught another touchdown pass late in the second quarter from sophomore quarterback Alix Garcia, while junior running back Joe De Leon pounded in another rushing score from one yard out in the fourth quarter.
Up next for the Huskies is a trip to Grandview to take on the 1-6 Greyhounds this Friday at 7 p.m. With the top three teams in the CWAC advancing to district playoffs, the Huskies are in a four-way tie for second with Ephrata, Prosser and West Valley. While there's some uncertainty in the playoff picture, Hoell said he expects the team to continue focusing on making sure their game is solid as they head into the final two weeks of the regular season.
"We'll see how everything else plays itself out as we take care of our business," he said. "When you start thinking about everybody else then you get ear holed and we don't want to get ear holed."

Toppenish 0 6 0 6 12
Othello 28 21 0 7 56

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