King switched to freshman quarterback Jermaine Whitfield in the second half against Hubbard on Thursday at Gately Stadium.
He made an instant impact, throwing two 65-yard touchdown passes to Dennis Conda to trim the Greyhounds’ lead to six points.
Whitfield and the Jaguars had a chance to win on the final drive, but they couldn’t find the magic a third time. Hubbard junior Jhulian Aldrete-Gonzalez broke through for a sack on a crucial third down.
“You can read when a quarterback is going to throw,” Aldrete-Gonzalez said. “Once that clicks in your brain you have to hit that gap and get the sack. Our weakness was against the pass so I gave it my all and got him.”
Hubbard’s defensive stop sealed a 26-20 victory. It’s the fifth win of the season for the Greyhounds, which is as many games as they’ve won in the last four seasons combined.
“I got a little emotional there at the end,” Aldrete-Gonzalez said. “It’s a brotherhood this season. We all came together as one. That’s all you need.”
Hubbard quarterback Ares Boelter was dominant. The senior had 20 carries for 118 yards and two touchdowns. On defense, he added two interceptions, one of which he returned 25 yards for a TD.
“This may be been the best game of my life,” Boelter said. “I bought out and did what I had to do. I wanted to show out for my team and help get us the win.”
Senior Varon’ja Smith’s 13-yard TD run with 3:27 left in the fourth quarter provided the winning margin for the Greyhounds (5-1, 5-0 White South West).
“This is the same group that played up in the Red the last two years,” Hubbard coach Aaron Boelter said. “With 20 kids or less we couldn’t survive. It’s a little bit different in this conference.”
Ares Boelter started high school at Ag. Science, but has played for his dad at Hubbard the last three seasons.
“It’s been crazy actually,” Ares Boelter said. “A lot of different moments, some bad but a lot that are really good. I’m just happy we have been able to do it together.”
Hubbard, likely a Class 6A team, clinched a state playoff spot with the win.
“We made it hard for ourselves at the end,” Aaron Boelter said. “We should have taken control of the game. But King is a good team.”
Like most Public League football teams, the Greyhounds have struggled to find assistant coaches.
“There was a two-week stint this summer where it was just me and the kids,” Boelter said. “I’m so glad I have the group I have now helping us out.”
King is taking steps in the right direction under second-year coach Abdullah Asad. The Jaguars have more than 80 kids in the program.
“We’re a super young team, starting some freshmen and sophomores,” Asad said. “The future is good. [Whitfield] has a spark. You saw it with those two touchdowns.”