HUGHSON — A post-Thanksgiving dinner was prepared for the Hughson High football program on Friday, one day before the Huskies travel to Sacramento to take on Bradshaw Christian for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 6 championship.
More than 200 friends and family members, along with coaches and players, were treated to a steak dinner on the HHS football field after the team’s final practice for its 3 p.m. showdown at Sacramento City College’s Hughes Stadium.
“This is my dream,” said Hughson head coach Shaun King. “This is something I’ve always wanted to do. Look at this. This is a community coming together.”
To be able to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner as a team requires one thing — playing late into the season and earning a trip to the championship game.
Hughson has done that for a second consecutive season. Last year, they won the D-6 title and went on to capture the CIF Division 5-AA state championship.
The Huskies will roll out of the Hughson High parking lot at 8:30 a.m. and travel to the Fruit Yard, where they’ll be treated to breakfast. From there, they’ll receive a law-enforcement escort to Highway 99.
The Huskies (9-3) are the No. 4 seed in the D-6 bracket and went on the road last week to knock off top-seeded Sutter 21-14 in a steady downpour. The No. 3 Pride (10-2), meanwhile, scored a mild upset of No. 2 Sonora, winning 22-21 on a two-point conversion on the game’s final play.
The title game, contested at a neutral site, is something of a home game for Bradshaw Christian, located just 15 miles southeast of Hughes Stadium. The Huskies, meanwhile, will travel nearly 90 miles for the game.
While Hughson was able to beat Sutter in last week’s semifinal round (only two turnovers on downs inside the 5 prevented the Huskies from a more comfortable margin), the Pride fell to Sutter 14-7 on Sept. 8.
In that game, BC’s backfield of Mateo Mojica, Nathan Zeppieri, and Brandon Burden, who have combined for 2,801 rushing yards this season, were held to 134 yards on 34 carries.
Last week, Hughson halfback Alex Villarreal rushed for 160 on 26 carries, leading an offense that amassed 357 yards of total offense.
A win today would earn the Huskies a berth in a Northern California bowl game. A win there would earn the team a pair with a SoCal bowl champion.