Atlanta avenges early loss to Charlton Heston
ATLANTA — Sophomore quarterback Aaron Cuzzort put the Atlanta football team on his back Friday, leading the Huskies to their first win of the 2018 season as they were able to outlast Charlton Heston Academy, winning 39-22 at Atlanta High School.
Cuzzort did it all for the Huskies and accounted for 490 of Atlanta’s 577 total yards on the night, including five of the six Atlanta touchdowns.
The sophomore was 20-of-31 passing, throwing for 274 yards, tossing three touchdowns and a pair of interceptions. Cuzzort also ran the ball 18 times for 216 yards and reached the end zone twice on the ground.
The Huskies were able to get some quick revenge against its Midwest Central Michigan 8-Man Conference foe as Charlton Heston defeated Atlanta 38-20 just two weeks ago.
The Huskies put that and a 60 point point loss last week behind them and came out and got their first win of the year in front of a home crowd.
Atlanta recovered an onside kick to start the game, but couldn’t take advantage of the good field position and turned the ball over on downs after Cuzzort was sacked.
The Huskies’ defense was strong early and quickly got the ball back after forcing the Patriots to turn it over on downs.
Atlanta responded and opened the scoring with just over five minutes remaining in the opening quarter when Cuzzort connected with Zack Roux for a 12 yard score.
The Huskies found pay dirt again with 35 seconds left in the quarter as Trace Juergens powered his way into the end zone from seven yards out.
Charlton Heston refused to let the game get out of hand and let the home team build any more momentum. Instead, the Patriots gained some momentum by breaking off a huge play when quarterback Brandon Austin dropped a dime into the hands of receiver Marshal Damsen who raced down the sideline for a 42 yard pitch and catch to cut the lead to 14-6.
Cuzzort and the Huskies didn’t panic and wasted little time regaining a two score lead when Cuzzort decided to use his legs to get into the end zone as he scampered in from 12 yards out.
Not to be outdone, Charlton Heston continued the scoring flurry early in the second quarter as once again the Patriots hit a big play when Austin found Lucas Richardson for a 30 yard touchdown through the air to cut the lead to 21-14 with just under nine minutes to play before the half.
The defense finally picked up and the only points the rest of the half belonged to Charlton Heston as it pinned Atlanta at its own one yard line after a perfect coffin corner punt.
The Patriots took advantage and put the pressure on and were able to get to Cuzzort, sacking him in the end zone for a safety with 3:15 to play, but Atlanta held a 21-16 halftime lead.
The Huskies took the opening possession of the second half 40 yards in six plays and Cuzzort tossed a perfect pass to Kody Reeves in the corner of the end zone of a fourth down to put Atlanta up 27-16.
Charlton Heston’s final score came midway through the third quarter when Damsen plowed his way up the middle for a four yard touchdown to cut the lead to 27-22, but it was as close as the Patriots got the rest of the night as the Huskies made adjustments defensively and intercepted five passes in the fourth quarter.
Cuzzort finished the night with two fourth quarter touchdowns, one of which was a 32 yard dart to Juergens for a score and the other Cuzzort displayed his speed and weaved through Patriot defenders for a 41 yard touchdown.
Cuzzort also had two of the Huskies six interceptions on the night. Ethan Byrne picked off three passes and caught seven of his own for 68 yards. Trenton Whitt intercepted a pass and added two catches for 29 yards and a touchdown. Roux hauled in six passes for 87 yards and a score and Juergens reeled in four catches and a touchdown.
Atlanta held the Patriots to 35 yards rushing in the contest. Austin went 16 of 35 for 277 yards and two touchdowns through the air, but threw four costly interceptions. Damsen was Austin’s go to target all game long as Damsen caught eight passes for 200 yards and a touchdown.
Atlanta was able to hold on and finish the game strong and earn its first victory of the season and improves to 1-2 on the year and 1-1 in conference play.
The Huskies will host Posen on Thursday.