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Amateur football: Huskerz defense dominates


FOREST CITY, Iowa — It’s only an expansion team, but the Southwest Huskerz amateur football team believes it can make big waves this year in the Southern Plains Football League (SPFL).

The Huskerz put a marker down on Saturday, dominating on defense to thwart the Albert Lea Grizzlies 40-2 at Forest City, Iowa, in a preseason game.

Albert Lea had just 34 total yards of offense, and the Huskerz recorded 18 quarterback sacks.

“This was a good test for us. They were the No. 2 seed last year in the playoffs and they had the No. 2 record in the league last year,” said Southwest head coach Ken McCuen.

Southwest’s middle linebacker Demetrius Washington returned a fumble recovery 91 yards for the first score of the game. Washington finished with four tackles and two sacks.

Another linebacker, Mark Riley, had eight sacks. And linebacker Jordan Bouw had five sacks.

McCuen says he takes one game at a time. But he could not help but be impressed with Saturday’s defensive effort.

“On offense we have work to do. On defense we’re really, really good. We have about a thousand pounds on the front four of the offensive line. We’re really fast and big.”

If that Huskerz offense remains a work in progress, it nevertheless got off to a decent start on Saturday, accounting for 242 yards rushing and 233 yards passing.

Southwest got a second first quarter score on a 30-yard pass play from Jordan Larson to Trae Johnson. Then in the second quarter running back Darieon Smith ran one in from eight yards away.

Albert Lea got a safety in the second quarter but trailed 20-2 at the half.

In the third quarter, Southwest’s Khalid Waters scored on a six-yard run. In the fourth frame, Brett Doeden caught a 12-yard scoring pass from Blake Schroeder. And still in the fourth quarter, Schroeder tossed another touchdown pass to Waters from 27 yards away.

Schroeder completed six of 13 passes for 192 yards.

The SPFL consists of nine teams. The Huskerz have 33 players on the roster including some with Division I college football experience. Several others played football at Minnesota West Community and Technical College in Worthington and one, Johnson, was in camp with the Cleveland Browns of the NFL.

The Huskerz begin their regular season schedule April 26 at Hills against the Tri-State Buffalos.

Huskerz 14 6 7 13 — 40

Albert Lea 0 2 0 0 — 2