The Edmond Sun

September 14, 2013

North has no problem with Yellowjackets

Brandon Rahbar
Special to The Sun

CHOCTAW — After getting blanked 13-0 to crosstown rival Edmond Memorial last Friday night, the Huskies traveled to Choctaw and dominated 48 minutes of football in a 42-3 blowout.

“I was proud of the way the kids fought back offensively. I think they had something to prove tonight with not holding onto the ball and busting some assignments last week,” said Scott Burger of his first victory as head coach of the Huskies. “You have to give all the credit to the kids and our great assistant coaches. They’re gonna keep getting better and better and that’s all we can ask of them.”

The Huskies defense set the tone for the night on the Yellowjackets’ opening drive when junior defensive back David Wright picked off a pass from Choctaw quarterback Jonah Llanusa to set up an Edmond North scoring drive.

Quarterback Stephen McClernon and starting running back Richard McCauley, both juniors, took turns picking up chunks of yardage as they led the Huskies to a touchdown on the opening drive. The seven-play series alternated between McCauley rushes and McClernon runs and passes every other play.

McClernon found wide receiver Luke Rossi for a 30-yard strike down the left sideline. The senior pass catcher made a leaping grad and fell just a yard short of the goal line. McCauley punched it in from there and North possessed 7-0 lead with 9:01 left in the first quarter.

The Huskies’ defense provided a short field for their offensive counterparts’ second drive when they forced a quick three-and-out that led to a bad Yellowjackets punt. Starting just inside the Choctaw 40-yard line, McClernon looked repeatedly to McCauley and junior wide receiver Carson Taber en route to another touchdown. A balanced mix of short runs and dink-and-dunk pass plays set up McCauley’s second touchdown of the night, a 12-yard burst right up the middle of the Choctaw defensive front. With 5:19 remaining in the opening period, the Huskies held a 14-0 advantage.

With junior running back Zach Jenkins subbing in for McCauley, the Huskies didn’t miss a beat as they once again pounded the Yellowjackets both on the ground and through the air. With the opening period winding down, the Huskies drove down to the home team’s 2-yard line. And on the second play of the second quarter, McClernon fell forward into his blockers on a successful quarterback sneak to put his team ahead 21-0 with 11:25 left in the half.

A loud traveling student body had plenty to cheer for all night, as the offensive onslaught continued and the stingy defense never allowed the Yellowjackets into the end zone. The Choctaw offense needed until the seven-minute mark of the second quarter before even crossing the midfield stripe, as the defense came away with three interceptions and four sacks on the night. A 21-3 halftime lead swelled to 28-3 on a 10-yard scamper by senior running back Ezel McIntee, who impressed with hard running in the third quarter.

Two fourth-quarter North TDs put the finishing touches on a 42-3 bounce-back win.

 “There were a lot of expectations coming in. I’m glad to get the first win done, that’s a big relief,” said Burger, whose team will have a big test against Edmond Santa Fe next week. “It was a good win. I’ll sleep good tonight.”