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Huskies blank Bulldogs
Stout Sutter defense keeps Gridley at bay
By now it probably sounds like a broken record, but for those who haven't heard, Sutter High has a pretty good defensive unit.
Make that a really good defensive unit.
Through five games, the Huskies surrendered a mere 56 points and 40 of those came in pair of losses. On three occasions, Sutter held its foes to less than 200 yards offensively and, not surprisingly, the Huskies were 3-0 in those games.
Sutter's vaunted "Blue Shirts" were at it again on Friday night as the Huskies hounded Gridley for four full quarters of football and cruised to a 24-0 victory at The Bone Yard on homecoming night.
The win was Sutter's 14th consecutive Butte View League victory and marked the second time this season the Huskies bounced back strong following a tough loss.
"They all played so good, it's hard to single out any one player," Sutter coach Ryan Reynolds said of his defense. "The linebackers were phenomenal tonight and the secondary came up big."
The Huskies' offense got things rolling early with an impressive 91-yard touchdown drive on their second possession of the game. Fullback Ryan Cargill pounded the middle twice for 29 yards to start the march and Joe McMaster added 18 yards on two carries to lead Sutter across midfield quickly.
As Cargill and McMaster worked the interior and sucked in the defense, it opened things up for speedy Justin Gildermeister, who took hand-off on a misdirection play and bounced outside for a 25-yard touchdown run to give Sutter a 7-0 lead at the end of one period of play.
The touchdown was more than enough for Sutter, which limited Gridley to just 100 yards of offense and four first downs in the opening half — 46 of which came on an Anthony Paredes bomb to Jessep MacFarlane midway through the second period.
The Huskies (4-2, 1-0) had an opportunity to go up 14-0 before halftime, but MacFarlane and Connor Anderson each picked off passes near the goal line, keeping the game close despite Sutter amassing 210 yards of offense and 12 first downs.
"It's a tough one," Gridley coach John Cooprider said of the loss. "We were down 7-0, but we had opportunities and just didn't capitalize. That's the way it goes sometimes."
Things didn't get much better for the Bulldogs (1-5, 0-1) after halftime, when they were held to 51 yards and two first downs and didn't make it past midfield until there were two minutes left in the game.
The Huskies went up 14-0 on a 23-yard touchdown pass from Cameron Brown to Tyler Richardson on a halfback pass midway through the third period. Quarterback Grant Campbell, who played sparingly in the first half while nursing an injured elbow, came on strong in the second half and finished with 58 yards on seven ca ries, including a 30-yard touchdown run in the fourth. Cody Shoegren capped the scoring with a 25-yard field goal.
Although they didn't record a sack, the Huskies had pressure on Paredes all night long to limit him to 12-of-36 passing and three interceptions.
"Our game plan was to shut down the run and force them to pass," said Reynolds, who had his defense deploy two deep safeties to keep the Gridley air attack in check. "We knew they were going to throw the ball and our front seven has done such a good job, so I figured why not have an extra guy back there."
Despite the loss and their 1-5 record, the Bulldogs are improving, Reyonlds said.
"I have to give credit to Gridley. They're a totally different team than last year," he said.