Highland High School football coach John McFarland said both fans and players were on edge in the closing seconds of the Huskies’ game Friday.
They had reason to be.
Clinging to a one-point lead against visiting Monticello, Mike Malheiro got his hands up and blocked a would-be game-winning field goal for the Panthers. The Huskies went on to win, 13-12, at Highland Middle School.
“It was a nail-biting game,” McFarland said. “(The blocked field goal) won the game for us. The crowd went wild.”
Malheiro not only secured the win with his blocked field goal, but shined on the ground. He racked up 135 rushing yards. Teammate Isiah Daubon rushed for 43 yards and caught three passes. On defense, he came up with an interception.
Anthony Hegedus caught a 22-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter for the Huskies’ first score.
Defensively, Jason Chlus had a team-high 10 tackles, while Frank Alfonso had four. The Huskies were also able to overcome some defensive gaffes, as they turned the ball over five times.
Despite that, McFarland liked his team’s overall solid effort.
“We did good, we battled through,” the coach said. “Our special teams came through and our offensive and defensive lines played great.”
The Huskies improved to 2-1, which also pleased the coach. He’s happy with how his team has jelled throughout the first three games.
“We’re ecstatic. The kids are working hard right now,” he said. “We’re starting to learn to play as a team and we’re looking forward to keeping the team chemistry going.”
The Huskies will try to keep up the good vibes on Friday, when they host Section 1’s Lakeland at 7 p.m. Friday.
“Lakeland is always good,” McFarland added. “Section 1 has got tough football. We’re looking forward to a good crossover and looking forward to doing the things we do well.”
A.J. Martelli: firstname.lastname@example.org, 845-437-4836, Twitter: @AJM_PoJoSports