September 20, 2022 at 3:27 p.m.

Royals’ passing game punishes Huskies

Royals’ passing game punishes Huskies
Royals’ passing game punishes Huskies

By Evan Michealson- | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

Football drops home opener 

Not many home openers can start much better than the Albany Huskies football team’s.

Looking to set the tone for the rest of the game, the Huskies scored the first touchdown of the game on a 66-yard touchdown run from Adam Dennis. Suddenly, the highly-touted Watertown-Mayer Royals needed to respond, and fast, in front of an energetic Herges Stadium crowd. 

Unfortunately for Albany, despite a gritty performance in its home opener, it could not stop the Royals from leaving with a 28-7 victory Sept. 16 in Albany.

“Last week showed us a lot of who we are as a football team,” said Mike Ellingson, head coach. “Our toughness was on display and now, we have to get to the part where we’re truly executing and dominating on both sides of the ball.” 

Dennis’s electric run included a hurdle step to clear the final defender and blazing speed. The junior speedster has been a handy addition to a backfield seeking more production.

“Most people aren’t going to catch Adam Dennis,” Ellingson said. “He’s got a different gear, and it was nice to see him spring one loose.”

On the defensive side, Albany made a concerted effort to stop Watertown-Mayer’s rushing attack, and it did so, forcing the Royals into passing situations. Isaac Evenson led the way with nine total tackles, followed by Andrew Olson, Izaac Hutchinson and Mason Bierbaum with seven each.

Watertown-Mayer quarterback Albert Rundell was up to the Huskies’ challenge, connecting with a variety of targets for 230 passing yards and three touchdowns, all in the first half. 

“We just need to be very intentional with our coaching, making sure kids know where to line up and make sure they know where they need to be and then practice the living daylights out of that,” Ellingson said. 

Another point of emphasis for the Albany coaching staff is the offense, which saw immense struggles in moving the ball against the Royals. The Huskies mustered only 201 yards altogether, with Dennis leading the way with 79 rushing yards. Evenson found 44 yards on 14 carries, while signal-caller Carter Voss went 7-for-14 for 74 yards and a pick.

“Little mistakes turn into execution flaws, which turns into us not moving the ball,” Ellingson said. “That just gets frustrating, because we want to be successful and we want to win.”

Despite the team’s second loss in a row, the Huskies know it is a few adjustments away from finding its form. Albany has a chance to get back in the win column against Little Falls at 7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 23, at Herges Stadium in Albany. 

WM       14   7   0   7-28

Albany   7   0   0   0-7


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