With 260 rushing yards and 107 in the air, the Husky offense proved itself on the road at Beresford Sept. 17, bringing home a 34-7 win.
EPJ started off the game with a 25-yard Noah McDermott to Jakob Scarmon reception, moving the ball to the Watchdog 31. They pounded the ball down to the 18 before the drive stalled. A field goal attempt by Carson Timmins just missed wide left and Beresford took over on their own 20.
Relentless pressure from the Husky defense, especially Scarmon and Lucas Hueser led to a Watchdog punt. They wisely kicked away from Merkley, but the kick was short, only to the EPJ 40.
The Huskies used a series of short runs and passes to move that ball downfield, converting a 4th down in the process. Devon Schmitz nearly scored from the 4 and Ben Swatek punched it in on the next play from the 2. Timmins kick was good for a 7-0 lead.
“We did a great job on offense spreading the ball around,” head coach Jake Terry said. “Line played well up front and opened some nice rush lanes. Noah [McDermott] did a great job getting the ball out on our quick game and allowing our receivers to run in space. Love the physicality of our run game and the balance we are starting to develop.”
EPJ held Beresford on downs and got the ball back at their own 12. The next series was the McDermott to Garrett Merkley show, as they connect on pass plays of 25, 8 and 13 yards. Merkley slipped after the last reception or he would have added even more.
Runs from Swatek and Hueser led to another touchdown with another PAT.
Defensive pressure and Watchdog penalties stalled their next drive. Beresford had a great pass play called back for an illegal lineman downfield. Alex Scarmon broke up another pass, Noah Larson stuffed a runner up the middle and Swatek flushed the quarterback out of the pocket to force a punt.
EPJ got the ball deep in their own territory and a block in the back penalty moved them back to the 4. The Huskies couldn’t get out of the hole and were forced to punt themselves. Beresford blocked the punt and recovered it on the 2.
That’s when EPJ’s defense really stepped it up. Hunter Geary and Chace Fornia stopped 2 runs up the middle and the Watchdogs fumbled the ball on the next play. Fornia recovered on the 5.
A holding penalty stopped the Huskies and they punted, just to see the Beresford return it to the EPJ 26. A Husky personal foul moved the ball to the 13, but a TD pass was called back for holding on the Watchdogs. Jacob Lichtenberg and Alex Scarmon broke up a couple more passes and that ended the 1st half.
“Kids played a great game for 4 quarters,” Terry said. “We challenged them to respond this week and they really stepped up. Our defense played amazing this week. Goal line stand, constant pressure on the QB. They really did a nice job of shutting down everything Beresford wanted to do offensively.”
Beresford took the kickoff to start the 3rd quarter and went nowhere. EPJ moved down to the 34 before another field goal attempt fell short.
On the Watchdog’s next series, Lichtenberg practically lived in their backfield, getting a sack and near-sack. Beresford’s line drive punt was fielded by Timmins who returned it to the 6. Swatek ran it in for EPJ’s 3rd score, with another successful PAT.
Beresford had its best drive of the night on the next series, using the pass to work the ball down for a touchdown. They tried an onside kick, but Ashton Fairbanks proved sure-handed and EPJ had the ball on their own 49. Two personal fouls on the Watchdogs helped the Huskies move steadily downfield. Schmitz capped off the drive with an 11-yard run on 4th down at the end of the quarter.
The Husky defense kept pushing the 4th quarter, keeping Beresford pinned back deep in their own territory. A Swatek touchdown ended the scoring, giving EPJ the 34-7 win.
Next up for the Huskies is their homecoming game against Baltic Friday, Sept. 24. Gametime is 7 p.m.
“Looking ahead to homecoming; we have a good Baltic team coming to town,” Terry said. “They have a dynamic player at QB as well as a number of weapons. We need to have another great game.”