Mammoth High School Football has come alive in the second half of the season.
The Huskies started the season 0-4, but are now on a three game winning streak that could carry them to the playoffs.
“We are putting it all together,” Coach Tyson Kaylor said. “We’ve had the athletic ability and now the boys are figuring out what they are good at.”
Mammoth routed Trona last Friday 46-8 to avenge an early season loss. When Trona and MHS met in September the Tornados beat the Huskies 32-24. Coach Kaylor partially accredits this turnaround to getting players back from injury.
“Our starting QB [Andrew Gray] was out for the beginning of the season with a broken foot,” Coach Kaylor said. Now that we have him back full-time we put our backup QB [Ricky Apodaca] back at receiver and it has opened up the field.”
Mammoth’s star player, senior Seth Gacho, has been playing all season with a broken hand. “He works hard. He never takes a play off, never leaves the field,” said Coach Kaylor.
The Huskies road to the playoffs is still uncertain. They have two games left in the regular season, at Lancaster Baptist on October 19, and at Mojave on October 26.
“If we win out then we’re in the playoffs no matter what,” said Coach Kaylor. “If we win against Lancaster and lose to Mojave then we have an outside chance. It’s up to the people who choose the at-large teams.”
Lancaster Baptist is 2-5 this season. Their two wins were against Desert and Trona, teams that beat Mammoth in the early season.
Mojave will be a challenge. The Mustangs are 5-0 this season with an average margin-of-victory of 56 points.
Another reason for Mammoth’s learning curve is last year’s transition from 11 man to 8 man football.
“It’s an entirely different strategy,” said Kaylor. “You don’t need a big offense, you don’t need a lot of blockers. You just need a few plays that you do very well.”
“We are figuring it out more and more.”
Coach Kaylor is hopeful about the rest of the season. “Hopefully we stay on this streak and pull it off. If we make the playoffs that’ll be really cool.”