Husky Special

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The BigRich Sports Report

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  • Richard Rhoden
    Richard Rhoden
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The play began to develop and you could see it from a mile away -- or specifically -- just behind the north end zone. 
They ran it earlier on a two-point play -- surely it won’t work twice -- this time with the game in the balance, right? 
I suppose that’s why Aurora coach Kyle Peterson calls the shots and I just describe them in print. 
Aurora totaled more than 500 yards of offense Friday, including 311 on the ground as the Huskies upended previously unbeaten and No. 1 Hastings 55-34 on the Hastings College campus. 
Coach had a big smile on his face when asked about it after the game. I don’t know what it’s listed as on the play sheet, but I’m calling it Husky Special. 
You never know what these coaches have up their sleeves. The Jameson Herzberg passing touchdown against Omaha Gross was eye-popping, but this was something different entirely. 
The play almost developed in slow motion. As Cayden Phillips came back across the line of scrimmage to the right, he held off on a passing motion for the longest time. 
Once he pulled up, I knew who he was looking for. I just wasn’t sure where he was. 
Sure enough, Ethan Shaw was standing all alone. At that point, it’s up to Phillips to get it there. 
We got a good look at Phillips over the summer playing Aurora Legion baseball and he’s got a cannon. 
For those who know the Philly Special from the Philadelphia Eagles’ win over New England in Super Bowl LII, it drew up a bit like that. 
For diehard Husker fans, there was also a bit of Black 41 Flash Reverse in there, too. 
I’m calling it the Husky Special. 
Aurora, always keen on being aggressive and taking a chance, was ready to pull this trick out of the bag. 
“That’s been in since week one,” Peterson admitted. “The right situation hadn’t arose. We had them in man coverage and the quarterback is always the one unaccounted for in man.”
The team celebrated in the end zone after Shaw’s touchdown reception, which put the Huskies up 14 in the fourth quarter and nearly put the game out of reach at that point. 
What’s intriguing about it was the touchdown play in the fourth was the second time Aurora ran the Husky Special in the game. 
Aurora used the play early on in the first quarter on a two-point conversion, taking a 14-7 lead. 
Not only did Aurora show its hand with that play, but in the game’s biggest moment, they executed it to perfection. 
“The first time we called it, we thought it would be a good play and the second time, we were just looking for something our kids believed in,” Peterson said. “We thought they would execute that at a high level and they did.”
What a roll this Husky team is on. 
After starting the year 0-2, the season could have gotten off the rails in a hurry. 
Instead, Aurora has rattled off five wins in a row and has looked much improved each time on the field. 
It feels like it dates back to the afternoon Omaha Gross game. 
The Huskies looked a bit lackluster in the first half of that game, making plenty of mistakes but having a one-point lead. 
The second half of that game was solid execution and even though they had won the week before against Scottsbluff, halftime of that Gross game seems to have been a turning point. 
From there, the Huskies handled the Dukes convincingly at home before back-to-back wins on the road against top 10 talent. 
If the Huskies continue to play like they did against Hastings, Class B should be afraid. 
A huge chunk of that fear should be trying to figure out how to contain Mack Owens, who runs like a dump truck and hits like a freight train. 
Hastings couldn’t block him late in the game and honestly, there hasn’t been very many teams that have figured that out. 
The broken tackle counter lost track through the game as he accounted for 158 yards on 21 carries and finding the end zone four times. 
Aurora has also had to make some adjustments on both sides of the ball after a few unfortunate injuries. 
While those are tough blows to the team, the Huskies have shifted personnel and look as tough as ever. 
Friday was Aurora’s first 50-plus points game since Aurora’s 2018 state championship season when they beat Gothenburg 54-20 and scored more than 50 six times. 
All the more ironic was a familiar face standing with his siblings over in the north end zone taking it all in -- the quarterback for that 2018 season and current South Dakota State basketball player, Baylor Scheierman. 
He and his former coach chatted quickly after the game amidst the celebration. It will be interesting to see how the next few months unfold for both of them. 
As for Aurora, they’ve averaged 37 points over a five-game win streak as well as 435 yards of offense heading into another huge test against GINW Friday. 
Judging by the team’s response in the huddle after the game, it won’t take much to get excited. 
It was a bit more media availability for Peterson after knocking off Class B’s No. 1 team, but he didn’t seem to mind. 
“That was fun, wasn’t it?” Peterson asked right after the game. 
Sure was, coach. Let’s try again Friday. It’s Northwest week, after all. 
RICHARD RHODEN can be reached at sports@hamilton.net.

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