Last week, head football coach Jake Terry talked about how his team needed to stop a really good quarterback in their game this week. Sioux Valley’s Parker Puetz proved difficult to stop, but the Husky offense nearly kept pace with him, falling just a touchdown short in a 28-34 loss on the road Oct. 1.
The Huskies took the opening kickoff, but couldn’t move the ball. The Cossacks countered with a 6-minute, 68-yard drive, ending in a 5-yard Puetz run. They missed the extra point.
The Huskies used steady, consistent running to move the ball to a 1st and goal from the 10. Ben Swatek slipped on a 2nd-down run, but on 3rd down, he busted up the middle to score. Carson Timmins’ PAT was good.
Sioux Valley took the kickoff and appeared to be marching in for another touchdown, but Hunter Geary intercepted a pass to get the ball back at the 49. EPJ had to convert a 4th down, but Swatek scored again on a 3-yard run, with another good kick from Timmins.
The Cossacks countered with a 63-yard drive, culminating in a 15-yard Puetz TD. The Huskies stopped him on the 2-point attempt, making the score 14-12 EPJ.
The Huskies got close on their next possession, moving the ball downfield, but they failed on a 4th and 1 at the 15. It took Sioux Valley only 3 plays to score, with 2 long passes and a 1-yard dive from Puetz. This time their 2-point conversion was good and the half ended with EPJ trailing 14-20.
Sioux Valley got the ball to start the 3rd quarter and took about 90 seconds to score, this time a 59-yard run from someone other than Puetz. The 2-point conversion made it 28-14, SV.
EPJ played steady offense on their next drive, making 3, 4, 5 yards a play. They had to convert 2 4th downs, including 4th and goal from the 3. On that play, Devon Schmitz was nearly stopped short of the goal line but twisted his way in for the TD. Timmins’ PAT made it a 1-possession game, with the Huskies down 21-28.
The Cossacks started the next drive on their own 15, but it didn’t take long for Puetz to get them into the red zone. That’s where the Husky defense stopped them cold. Facing a 4th and 12, Puetz tried to take it around the right side and ran into a Husky wall.
Taking over on their own 10, EPJ mounted its longest drive of the season, most of it in the air. Schmitz pulled down a 13-yard pass, but it was Jakob Scarmon’s 69-yard reception that tied the game. The offensive line did a great job of holding back the Cossack charge, giving quarterback Noah McDermott the time he needed to find Scarmon, who wove his way around SV defenders. With the PAT, EPJ pulled even at 28-all with 5:29 left in the game.
That left enough time for the SV offense, though, although they nearly ran out of time, using all but 6 seconds to get the ball to the 2. They scored there, but missed the 2-point conversion, to win 34-28.
“That was one of the best HS football games I have ever seen,” Terry said. “Back and forth game with lead changes, ending with a 4th and goal, 6 seconds left, with a tie game… it’s the things they make movies about. Tough to be so close but come up just short. The game came down to one or two plays here or there, but I’m really proud of how our kids went out and played Friday night. They really left it all on the field. We gave the #2 team in the state all they can handle and it came down to 1 play at the end of the game and they converted. Even though we didn’t win, it’s still very rewarding to see our kids go out and compete as well as we did against the best in the state. It gives us some things to work on and continue to improve every day as we get ready for another good team in BEE [Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan] this week.”
Swatek led the Huskies on the ground, with 13 rushes for 88 yards and 2 touchdowns. McDermott completed 6 of 10 passes for 99 yards, with 80 of them going to Scarmon.
“Offensively we did a great job of moving the ball,” Terry said. “They were only giving up 14 points per game and less than 170 yds of total offense per game coming into the game. McDermott did a great job managing the offense and made some great passes. Line stepped up huge again this week and our backs ran well. Anytime you don’t turn the ball over, you give yourself a chance to win the game.”
Swatek also led the team in tackles, with 7.5 total. Geary had an interception and Alex Scarmon knocked down a pass.
“Defensively again we played well,” Terry said. “Their QB is an amazing player who is headed to NDSU next year. We were in position, but they made some big plays and that was the difference in the game.
“We will continue to work hard in practice and get ready for a good BEE team to come to town Friday,” Terry concluded.
That game is at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8
It is also Military Appreciation night. All Veterans and active duty military will receive free admission and are invited to join one another either in the stands or on the track to be recognized prior to kickoff.