By Ray Hamill — Never underestimate a Mike Benbow coached team in November.
Every year the long-time head coach and his exemplary staff have their team playing its best football at the business end of the season, and that appears to be the case once again this year.
Is there a better high school coaching staff on the North Coast in any sport?
The coaches and their players deserve a huge congratulations for pulling out a win when it mattered the most on Saturday, grinding their way to a 34-26 victory over a very good St. Bernard’s team just to become playoff eligible.
As Benbow likes to say, it’s not where you start out that matters, it’s where you finish up, and the Huskies have made a habit of finishing up in the right place.
Last year, they were 0-3 in the Big 4, but quickly put that behind them on the way to a second straight North Coast Section championship, a remarkable achievement for any program.
This year, with an almost completely new-look line-up, the Huskies went through a lot of growing pains early on and had to battle late just to make the postseason.
But league wins over Eureka and St. Bernard’s looks likely to have secured a postseason berth for the Huskies, even if they’ll have to wait until next Sunday to find out for sure.
And remember they did this without leading rusher Levi Nyberg, who was sidelined for the season with an injury at the outset of league play.
This is a program that is currently riding an H-DNL record 10-game winning streak in the playoffs, and one that will now almost certainly get the opportunity to try and stretch that mark.
Watch some of the highlights from Saturday’s win here, including a pair of touchdowns by sophomore running back Breck Bishop, who has suddenly emerged as a legitimate threat in the backfield, as well a Kobe Letter TD run, some impressive defense by Branson Gans and a big gain by Jordan Bennett to set up a late score.
In total, the Huskies rushed for 275 yards in the win, led by Bennett and Letter.
Bennett finished with 71 yards on 10 carries, while Letter had 70 yards on 16 carries.
Bishop finished with 62 yards on six carries, including the two TDs, while quarterback Daeden Taylor added 56 yards on 12 carries, including breaking free for a 42-yard touchdown.
Congratulations to the Huskies for coming together at the right time — once again.
Benbow said his players treated Saturday’s must-win showdown like a playoff game, and we all know what the Huskies do in the playoffs, don’t we?