Perhaps the Emmett Huskies have found an odd way of jump starting their season. For the second season in a row, Emmett lost a non-conference game to a 3A school and then bounced back to announce its entry into the 4A Southern Idaho Conference title chase.
That jump start came Friday night when the Huskies not only beat Bishop Kelly for a second year in a row — perhaps the first time ever — they did so in dominating fashion. The Huskies also posted perhaps their first-ever shutout of the Knights, 21-0.
The Knights stepped onto Huskie Field Friday as the number-one ranked 4A team in the State. Emmett didn’t seem to notice.
Receiving the opening kick, the Huskies crisply executed six plays to go 70 yards and score on a 16-yard pass hookup between Caden Young and Caseyn Pearson.
The defense took its turn executing a stop-the-run game plan, forcing Kelly into a three-and-out. After a short punt and two rushes by tailback Jeff Lockett, Young then scampered around the right end for a 52-yard score.
The Knights mounted an offensive threat on their second possession but Tanner Wilkerson picked off a pass at the Emmett 23 and set the offense back into motion. Nine plays and 66 yards later it was Young again outracing Knight defenders for a 33-yard score.
The first half was total Emmett dominance on the line. The Huskies could easily have been up 35-0 at halftime, reaching inside the BK ten-yard line twice more before halftime but coming up short of additional points.
The second half was all about running — running the clock and running the ball. Emmett attempted only one pass play in the second half keeping the ball away from BK’s normally dominating rushing attack. The defense held the Knights to less than 200 yards offense for the game and recorded two-more interceptions in the second half.
Young ended the evening with 211 yards rushing on 27 carries, Lockett added another 78 yards on 21 carries.
Perhaps the biggest first for the Huskies was leaving coach Rich Hargitt speechless for his end-of-game on-the-field talk. After several moments of silence he final was able to tell his team of the pride he had in them for the way they took the challenges of the week to heart.
“We beat a great team, and a great program tonight because you committed to doing what you had to to get better all week,” Hargitt said. “You deserved to win tonight and we can celebrate but in the morning the work begins again.”
On Saturday, reflecting on the win, Hargitt credited his team and his coaches for embracing a challenge. “We knew we had to restore our level of physical play after the performance at Weiser,” Hargitt said. “Don’t take this wrong, Weiser is a great team and are going to do great things this season but it showed we were not playing the physical game that brought us success last year. Now we have to sustain it.”
That begins with a road trip to Ridgevue High on Friday — the first of three road games in four weeks.
“Now we have to take that mind set and toughness on the road and show we can reproduce that physical brand of football — every day in practice and every night on the field.”