Big third quarter lifts Mustangs past the Huskies in NCS semifinal

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The Fortuna Huskies saw their North Coast Section playoff run end on Saturday afternoon after falling 45-21 at St. Vincent de Paul in the Division-6 semifinals.

There was little to separate the two schools in the first half, but the Mustangs broke open a tight game with 24 points in the third quarter and never looked back.

Injuries didn’t help matters for the Huskies.

Senior quarterback Chad Mussey and junior running back/linebacker Jake Houseworth were both sidelined before halftime and neither returned to the game.

With his team trailing by a touchdown after the opening quarter, Houseworth opened the scoring for Fortuna on a four-yard TD run early in the second quarter and a successful Kallen Barrote PAT tied the game at 7-7.

The No. 1 seeded Mustangs, however, scored 31 unanswered points before No. 4 Fortuna would add to its tally.

The Huskies scored a pair of fourth-quarter TDs, the first on a 70-yard Quinn Hall kickoff return and the second on a 53-yard run by Mako Limon.

Limon was just recently called up to the varsity roster for the postseason after rushing for 1,279 yards and 21 TDs for the Fortuna JVs this season.

Chandler Crenshaw, who replaced Mussey at quarterback, combined with Barotte on a two-point conversion to close out the scoring.

The win was the second for St. Vincent de Paul over Fortuna this year.

Despite the disappointment of seeing their playoff run end, it was a successful and memorable season for the Huskies.

Fortuna finished with a record of 8-4 and was 2-1 in the Big 4, sharing the championship with St. Bernard’s and Del Norte.

The Mustangs will play for a second section championship in three years when they host Salesian in next week’s championship game.

This will be the third straight championship games appearance for the Petaluma school.

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