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Amateur football: Huskerz beat defending champs

TRUMAN — The Southwest Huskerz are aiming straight for the top in 2014, and on Saturday they took a giant step toward getting there.

The Huskerz, in an early regular season showdown with the two-time defending national champ South Central Hawgs, earned a 21-9 victory that put them front-and-center on the amateur national radar.

“It really put us on the map,” said head coach Ken McCuen. “There’s a national poll out for 9-man football. And last week Monday we were ranked fourth in the nation and the Hawgs were ranked first.”

Both teams entered Saturday’s game at Truman High School with 2-0 marks. After a scoreless first quarter, Southwest got on the board with a 37-yard scoring run by running back Darieon Smith after a drive that started around the Huskerz 25-yard line.

South Central answered with a 28-yard field goal to trail 7-3 at halftime. After a 40-minute lightning delay at the half, Southwest scored another touchdown after a fumble recovery in South Central territory. Khalid Waters got the score on an eight-yard run.

The Hawgs answered again after a fumbled punt set them up around the Huskerz 10-yard line. Southwest got the final score on a 70-yard pass from quarterback Jordan Larson to Tre Johnson.

Javier Jimenez booted three extra points.

McCuen said that before the game, he tried to downplay what was at stake, but the Huskerz knew all about it.

“They knew the importance of this game. To play against a two-time national champion, they knew how important it was for us to come out with a win and seal the No. 1 seed. And now we don’t look back,” McCuen said.

Mark Riley, Jordan Bouw and Bryant Schroeder all had three sacks for the Huskerz defense. Demetrius Washington had seven tackles and five for losses. Levi Ossenfort had seven tackles and three for losses. And defensive back Tyler Decker had a big interception inside the Huskerz 15-yard line early in the fourth quarter.

Smith rushed 13 times for 102 yards and Waters four times for 56. Larson completed five of 13 passes for 170 yards and no interceptions.

The Huskerz will be back in Worthington Saturday for a 4 p.m. game against the North Iowa Bucks at Trojan Field.

Huskerz 0 7 7 7 — 21

Hawgs 0 3 6 0 — 9