Under the bright lights at Wayne Gadberry Field on Friday night, the Sutter Huskies kicked off their 2019 season against Cardinal Newman. Unfortunately for the home crowd, the Huskies lost in a dog fight, 21-7.
“That’s a really great team, they do a lot of things well,” said Sutter head coach Ryan Reynolds. “I’m proud of the way we played tonight, we didn’t quit. Any time you play a team of this caliber it shows you what you’re made of so that’s a plus moving forward,” he added.
Down two scores late in the fourth quarter Sutter attempted to convert on 4th and 10 in the redzone. Unfortunately for the Huskies, all purpose player Cory McIntyre came up just shy of the first down and the clock would bleed out.
“Our defense kept us in this game tonight, they played extremely well against one of the best offenses in the region,” McIntyre said. “We (offense) definitely have some things to work on, but I’m happy with how we battled against the adversity.”
In the first quarter Cardinal Newman proved why they’re a team that no one should over look. After forcing the Huskies to a three and out on the opening drive, the Cardinals struck first when quarterback Rhett Pavitt hit his receiver Tsion Nunnally for a 74-yard touchdown.
The Huskies would try to respond, but would have no such luck just yet as the Cardinal Newman defense wasn’t allowing any ground attack through the middle or at the edge.
“Our offensive line has some things it needs to work on, they were a little overwhelmed at times it seems. So working more with them in practice will help us down the road,” Reynolds said.
After another forced punt, Cardinal Newman looked to be back to its regular offense when Pavitt hit Nunnally again. This time for a 62-yard pass. However, the Huskies weren’t going to let it come easy as Nic Moroni made a touchdown-saving tackle.
That’s when the Sutter defense started to get the motor running as they forced Cardinal Newman to a fourth and 7 in the red zone. Sutter’s Roman Resendez would break up the pass 4th down pass attempt and giving his team the ball back.
Quarterback Landon Cooper and his offense knew it was time to put some points on the board. After a 16-yard run by McIntyre the Huskies pulled some trickery. McIntyre ran the ball to the outside, but then dropped back and found right tight end Cole Fear for a 33-yard pass to set up the Huskies in the red zone.
“I have to be honest I didn’t see him till the very last second and then I got hit pretty hard so I was just glad he caught it,” McIntyre said.
On the next play Cooper kept it and ran a draw up the middle for the Huskies lone score of the game to make it 7-7.
The Cardinal Newman sideline wouldn’t be phased however as their special teams took care of things on the preceding kickoff and returned it 73 yards to regain the lead, 14-7.
From there on out both teams’ defenses started to buckle down. Neither offense could find rhythm and the score would remain 14-7 at the break.
Heading into the third quarter the Cardinals would score the final points of the game on the opening drive as it was Pavitt yet again finding his open receiver in the end zone.
“We owe everything we had tonight to our defense, they inspired all of us with their toughness and never-giving-up mentality,” Reynolds said. “We’ll recover, work one some minor things and be ready to go next week.”
Sutter (0-1) will make the trip up to Red Bluff on Friday.