Dons Rout Huskies in Season Finale

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Every season builds towards moments. Some are as simple as a rebuilding program working towards the end of the season to fully gauge their progress, and for others those moments are more complex goals being realized. The Verdugo Hills Dons football team has had playoff aspirations since the roster was set for the season, and after their thorough defeat of the North Hollywood Huskies 52-8, the only thing left to realize is their playoff seeding. “I love this time of year,” said Dons Coach Sean Jackson, “this is when football season really starts.”

The Dons were facing a North Hollywood team accustomed to controlling the clock with their running game, but they did not seem worried at all. After allowing the Huskies to control the ball for over 5 minutes on the first possession of the game, Verdugo showed off their quick-strike ability, and opened the scoring with their second play from scrimmage. Quarterback Dane Iversen found Wide Receiver Ben Emery deep, and Emery finished off the run for a 67-yard score. The Dons defense held strong on the very next possession, forcing another Huskies punt. Emery was back to receive the kick, and after picking it up off the bounce, he ran it back for a 65-yard touchdown. The Dons ended the half with a field goal with under a minute left, and took a 24-0 into the locker room.

Verdugo received the second-half kick, but a misread by Iversen led to an interception by North Hollywood. The Huskies were able to break through on that next possession as freshman sensation Jaylin Burt broke free for a 43-yard touchdown run. Burt also converted the 2-point play to cut the deficit to 24-8. That was as close as they were going to get. Iversen and Emery hooked up on another deep connection, a 77-yard score that saw Emery beat two Husky defenders for the ball and run uncontested from 40 yards out. On the ensuing kickoff, one of the Huskies up front return men couldn’t recover the squib kick and Senior Matthew Marz recovered for the Dons. On the very next play, Senior Running Back Nicholas Cisneros ran up the middle and through the North Hollywood safeties for a 37-yard touchdown. The Dons defense held tight, and the offense added two more scores, a 4-yard touchdown pass from Iversen to Senior Luke Waters and a 1-yard rush from Senior Jacob Hernandez to complete the rout.

“We exploded tonight,” stated Jackson, “ We were due tonight, and there was no better time than now (on the eve of the playoffs).” There’s something to be said about hitting your stride at the right time, and the Dons seem to be doing just that, one week after moving the ball, but not being able to capitalize against a Chavez Eagles team that played a similar style of football to the Huskies. Jackson ended his thoughts with an eye towards the CIF City Section playoff seeding announcement coming on Saturday afternoon, “We’re going to be a problem for whoever we face.”

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