Huskies come up short in 22-21 loss to Orestimba

Huskies come up just short in 22-21 loss to Orestimba
Posted on 09/06/2019
Hughson High Football TeamThis is what the preseason is for – to learn, grow and identify areas to improve. That’s the message Hughson Coach Shaun King delivered to his team after Friday’s 22-21 loss to Orestimba.

For the first three quarters, Hughson’s defense did a good job of holding Orestimba in check. The Huskies limited the Warriors to a couple of touchdowns – one on a long pass play – and just one conversion on third down. Hughson’s offense, meanwhile, controlled the ball and the clock.

So when Zander De la Cruz scored his second TD on a 6-yard run to give Hughson a 21-14 lead early in the fourth quarter, the partisan crowd at Husky Stadium had a reason to be optimistic. A couple more stops on defense and this game would be in hand.

Trouble was, many of Hughson’s top players play both ways. That extra effort on offense and defense caught up with the Huskies in the final period when they allowed Orestimba to score after a long drive, then take the lead with 5:43 to play on a successful two-point conversion.

“We just left our defense on the field too long,” King said. “Offensively, we couldn’t control the clock and our defense just ran out of gas.”

Even after Orestimba took the lead, Hughson wasn’t done. Quarterback Aiden Meyer and De la Cruz sparked a drive that reached Orestimba’s 12-yard line. The Huskies were knocking on the door again. But a personal foul penalty pushed Hughson pushed the ball back to the 27-yard line and, a few plays later, a potential game-winning field goal came up short.

“We’re all right,” King said after Monday morning’s practice. “I told the kids it’s a long season. We were the better team, but we’ve got to finish it off.”

Hughson (1-1) leaned on Meyer and De la Cruz most of the night. Together, they accounted for all three scores – Meyer on a 1-yard quarterback sneak in the first quarter and then a 27-yard pass to De la Cruz in the third period, plus De la Cruz’s short run in the fourth quarter.

Orestimba made the Huskies work hard for every yard on offense. Hughson generated just 173 yards total on offense – less than half of what it had in the 28-14 victory over Stagg in Week 1.

“We just need to focus on being able to run the ball and keep our defense off the field. We need to win time of possession,” King said.

JV Game: Hughson 14, Orestimba 0. The Huskies are 2-0 and haven’t given up a point this season.
Freshman Game: Hughson 26, Enochs 19

This Week: Hughson travels to Jackson to face Argonaut (0-2), which lost 28-7 last week to Union Mine in El Dorado Hills. … King singled out two defensive backs – cornerback J.J. Rodriguez and safety Brian Hill – for their efforts against Orestimba. “Both of them played a great game,” King praised.
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