L.A. Baptist 3,
in season opener
The Mammoth Huskies haven’t had this kind of momentum since Head Coach Tom Gault can remember.
In winning a stirring, 6-3 come-from-behind victory over the L.A. Baptist Knights last Saturday at Gault-McClure Stadium, the Huskies pulled off one of the biggest victories that the 64-year old coach could remember.
“I don’t know,” he said, “you coach for a lot of years (28) and you get some good wins and some very painful losses. But for those boys and for myself, the rest of the coaches and the whole school, that game might rank right at the top.”
The young Huskies were coming out of a year in which there was no football program at all.
“The reason I say that is because of the events that led up to the game, and the struggle the kids have been through – not getting to play very much last year and not being so sure of themselves, and the inexperience.
“They’re running uphill, and they just kept running and running, and by Golly, that’s to their credit.”
Running uphill the fastest was sophomore quarterback Tyler Wormhoudt, who scored the Huskies’ only touchdown with 3:55 to go in the game. Wormhoudt ran a naked bootleg to the left side, then out-sprinted the Knights’ secondary to the pylon.
Wormhoudt then erased an L.A. Baptist threat with an interception with 1:23 to go.
“What can I say about Tyler?” Gault said. “He’s a 10th grader and did a great job. He stepped up huge.”
A few first-game sloppies
It wasn’t all rosy for the Huskies, however.
In spite their comeback victory, the Huskies were nearly done in by madcap plays, mental errors and at least one significant injury.
“We had the first-game sloppies,” Gault said, “and there was a lot of that, on both sides of the ball. But that’s to be expected. You watch any game on TV in first games, you’ll see the same kind of stuff, although at a different level, of course.”
The injury, to center Bryson Blake’s snapping hand, wasn’t big enough to pull him out of the game, but it caused a number of center-to-quarterback exchange miscues. It also was the reason why the Huskies did not kick the PAT after Wormhoudt’s touchdown. (Mammoth missed the two-point conversion attempt.)
For offensive coordinator Marty Thompson, those are the kinds of things that the Huskies will work on this week as they prepare for the Royals of San Luis Obispo’s Mission College Prep. (L.A. Baptist went through the same thing, by the way, the most damaging mistake a fourth-quarter penalty against the LAB coaches for leaving the coaching box. That play erased a first down and led to Wormhoudt’s decisive interception.)
But the first-game sloppies are now a thing of the past as they recede in the team’s rear-view mirror. The main thing was the victory.
“It’s just a huge thing to start the year like this,” Thompson said. “But all of us know that when we give away the ball on snaps and stuff like that, it’ll kill us.”
Gault and Thompson said the Huskies will see the same kind of spread offense from the Royals at tonight’s 7 p.m. game. (The junior varsity, which won its game last Saturday against L.A. Baptist, 14-0, begins at 4 p.m.)