The Huskies knew Friday night’s match-up against the Grizzlies wouldn’t be a walk in the park, but after some halftime adjustments Sutter turned on the afterburners en route to a 25-7 win over Lassen.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our kids tonight, they came out and executed against a fantastic football team in Lassen,” Sutter head coach Ryan Reynolds said. “I’m super pumped after this one, it was a big night for a lot of our players,” he added.
Down three scores late in the third quarter, Lassen knew it was running out of time. Grizzlies quarterback Brock Wolf attempted to find an open receiver in Sutter territory, but Huskies cornerback Alec Bell had other plans.
“I was just looking for a hole, I saw him throw over the middle and I was able to jump on it so it was good,” Bell said.
In the game’s opening drive it appeared that the Huskies were going to make a statement score right away until running back Cory McIntyre fumbled on the 2-yard line turning over possession to Lassen.
McIntyre was quick to bounce back. After his defense forced a punt, the Huskies senior scored the game’s first points on a 14-yard rushing touchdown. Sutter would miss the point after attempt to take a 6-0 lead over Lassen with 4:38 left in the first quarter.
“My coach came over and told me there’s four quarters left and plenty of football so that really helped us bounced back on the next drive,” McIntyre said.
The Grizzlies were ready to respond as Wolf was able to hit his check down receivers numerous times in a drive that would come down to a fourth and short on the Sutter 15-yard line.
The Huskies defense wouldn’t budge as Wolf couldn’t complete a pass over the middle.
“They (Sutter’s defense) made so many big stops all night long for us, they truly did what they’ve been doing all season and that’s coming up clutch in the big moments,” Reynolds said.
After taking over on downs, Sutter started to use its ground attack that’s been so dominant all season. First with a 22-yard run by Colton Dillabo, then another 30-plus yard run by McIntyre. Finally, Sutter would end the drive with a cutback run by Daniel Cummings.
The Huskies would try to go for a 2-point conversion but fell just short – taking a 12-0 lead over Lassen heading into halftime.
After the break it appeared that the Grizzlies offense was ready to ignite a comeback. Wolf found his receivers to the outside for multiple short gains.
But yet again Lassen found itself with a fourth and short staring them in the face. Wolf was denied as cornerback Roman Resendez was there to knock down a possible reception.
“He played great tonight, but I think he’s played that well all season and people are just now starting to realize it, he’s a complete player,” Reynolds said.
Hungry to put more points on the board, Sutter struck big time when McIntyre broke through some tackles to the outside and took off for a 66-yard touchdown run.
“Yeah it was fun to see a lot of getting touched and being able to make big time plays, you have to give credit to the offensive line and how hard they worked tonight,” McIntyre said.
The Huskies would score their fourth and final touchdown when quarterback Landon Cooper found his receiver Brandon Taddy for a 31-yard passing score.
With the clock starting to roll down to the last few minutes, the Grizzlies broke the goose egg when running back Nick Valdez took off for a 76-yard rushing touchdown. The Huskies would then milk the clock to make the final score 25-7 in favor of the home team.
Leading the Huskies in the rushing category were McIntyre with 212 yards, Cummings with 93 yards and Dillabo with 87 yards. Cooper completed two passes for 43 yards and one touchdown.
With some help from Paradise defeating West Valley 28-13, Sutter will now welcome in the Bobcats for the Northern Section Div. III championship game on Saturday Nov. 30 at Wayne Gadberry Field.
“We have a system and a routine and we’re not going to change anything up, but we’ll prepare our players for the frenzy ahead. At the end of the day it’s a high school football game,” Reynolds said.