By Ray Hamill — The Fortuna Huskies left little doubt as to where the Milk Can belongs for the next 12 months after a dominating performance against their biggest rivals on Friday night.
Playing in front of a packed house at Husky Field, the hosts controlled the line of scrimmage all night and ran out to a comfortable 37-6 win over Ferndale.
The victory lifts Fortuna to 4-0 on the season and the team defense has played a huge role in that fast start, allowing just six points in the last three games and just 21 all season.
“That was a great team win,” head coach Mike Benbow said. “We’ve got some kids that are flying around and making plays. We had eight sophomores on varsity last year and they’re starting to come into their own.
“We’re very fortunate right now that everyone is doing their part and just doing their job.”
The Wildcats, who dropped to 2-2, appeared up for the challenge early on and held the Huskies scoreless in a back-and-forth opening quarter that was dominated by both defenses.
The Huskies, however, began to wear the Ferndale defense down in the second quarter, putting up 17 points to take control of the game before halftime.
Chad Mussey opened the scoring on a QB sneak three minutes into the quarter and tight end Chandler Crenshaw would add an 18-yard TD reception from Mussey on a catch up the middle with under two minutes remaining in the half.
The Huskies continued to roll in the third quarter, with Jake Houseworth adding to the lead on an 18-yard TD run to make it 23-0.
Crenshaw scored his second TD of the night later in the quarter on a 30-yard interception return, giving him a touchdown on both sides of the ball.
E’Angelo Payne closed out the scoring for the home team on a fourth-quarter 21-yard TD run.
Check out Chandler Crenshaw’s TD reception from Chad Mussey above …
With four wins in four games, the Huskies have outscored their opponents by a combined 140-21 and they’re dominating in all aspects of the game.
Two players who stood out on Friday were Houseworth and Caden Wilkinson, each of whom has been making big plays on both sides of the ball.
“They re amazing on defense,” their head coach said. “They were flying around making plays everywhere.
“Our offensive line stepped up. Our defensive line stepped up. It was an absolute team win.”
It was also extra special because it came against their biggest rivals in what is annually one of the program’s biggest games of the year.
“Hats off to all my coaches,” Benbow said. “Everyone really wanted this one and the kids went out and won the game.”
Senior receiver Isaak Kasso scored Ferndale’s only touchdown of the night on a 71-yard reception moments after Houseworth’s score to make it 23-6.
The Huskies had 305 yards total offense, including 232 on the ground on 42 carries.
The impressive Houseworth led the ground game with 76 yards on 13 carries, while Mussey added 73 yards rushing on 17 carries, as well as completing 5 of 9 passes for 73 yards.
Wilkinson also had 23 yards on four carries, while Tegan Rumley finished with 32 yards rushing on three carries and also had two receptions for 17 yards.
In addition to his impressive kicking, Barrote also had two catches for 38 yards.
Next weekend the Huskies travel to Foothill, while the Wildcats will have a bye before opening league play at home to McKinleyvile in two weeks.