The Mammoth Huskies huge Homecoming win over the Excelsior Eagles Friday night vaulted them into 4th place in the Desert Mountain League.
Although Excelsior’s offensive line out weighed the Huskies Defense by many stones, the Huskies slashed and penetrated their way through their line, causing havoc in the Eagles backfield all night.
The Huskies line includes Logan DeAngeles, Jose Galvan, Casey Haveruk, Nick Damico, Pablo Apodaca, Ray Calixto, Liam Carrigan, Marcos Morales, Justin Wallach, and Brallen Martinez, and all deserve huge credit.
The Huskies and Eagles tested each other for most of the 1st quarter until the Huskies were able to move the ball inside the 5 yard line of the Eagles. Lucas Underkoffler took the snap and jumped straight up looking to pass. He didn’t see anyone open so he hauled the ball back down and lit out for the corner of the end-zone and scampered into paydirt for the first score of the evening (see front page photo).
The Huskies defense then pinned the Eagles deep in their own territory and eventually Steven Orrick was able to grab the Eagles ball carrier in the end-zone for a safety.
In the 2nd quarter the Eagles defense captialized on a Husky fumble and scored in a quick turn of momentum. Halftime score: Huskies 9-Eagles 7.
By midway through the final period, it was Huskies 16-13, a little too close for comfort for the Homecoming crowd. And then suddenly, everyone could breathe easy. Dennis Orrick took a handoff from his own 35 and headed toward the far sideline, somehow avoiding being tackled behind the line by getting light and using the stiff-arm. Orrick’s lane suddenly closed. He quickly darted right, running against the flow of pursuing tacklers. In a heartbeat D.O. broke out into the open field and galloped all the way to the end zone, sealing the Huskies victory. A few plays later Ricky Cuellar got another interception that finally allowed Matt Graef to score another TD before time expired.
The Huskies Oct. 25 game vs. Vasquez is the program’s biggest game since 2007, when the team last went to the playoffs. Just 3 teams from the DML earn a CIF playoff berth. Currently, Vasquez occupies the bubble spot while the Dawgs are in the 4th spot. Both teams look evenly matched on paper, with similar records against common opponents, however the Huskies are now finally at full strength at the line, allowing both Steven and Dennis Orrick to operate at peak efficency rushing the ball. The Huskies big playmakers, Austin VanWinkle, Matt Graef, the Underkoffler Boys Lucas and Cody, Nate Liuag, Alex Mueller, E.J. Banda, Pedro Garcia and Jose Villalobos are also in top form and ready to launch into another hard hitting battle against the Mustangs.
The Mustangs do run essentially the same offense as the Huskies had success defending against last week.
Coach Bubby Greene’s Husky Offense demonstrated its ability to win games pretty much just rushing the ball against big teams, but the Huskies also have the proven arm of Quarterback Lucas Underkoffler and a host of sticky fingered receivers to go to if the Huskies decide to move the ball through the air.
No other area of the Huskies game has improved more this season than special teams. The Huskies Ricky Cuellar’s kicking game could be what makes the difference in the outcome of the Oct. 25 game.
The Huskies have several DML stat leaders. Lucas Underkoffler is currently 3rd in passing. Alex Mueller is ranked #2 in pass receiving, #5 in interceptions and is #3 in tackling. Matt Graef leads the DML in tackling with 106 stops to his credit so far this season. Ricky Cuellar leads the DML with 6 interceptions so far this season.
If the Huskies can continue to hold onto the ball this week against the Mustangs they should prevail on the road and come home in control of a CIF playoff spot for the first time since 2007.
The Huskies JV squad will try to rebound from last Friday’s loss as they start things off Oct. 25 at 4 p.m. with the Varsity game to follow with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m. in Acton.