Lexington - While the state was about to witness a huge defeat of the beloved Huskers on Saturday, Lexington area football fans still has reason to be proud of their home teams as Lexington, Cozad, Elwood and Overton all came away with wins last week. Elwood began the string of wins on Thursday, Sept. 26 with a 52-28 win over Anselmo-Merna. Friday night followed with a big homecoming win over Holdrege for the Haymakers, 46-7, a comfortable win for Overton over the Pleasanton Bulldogs, 44-32, and a knife’s edge win for the Lexington Minutemen over the McCook Bison, the first in 20 years, 24-21.
Lexington hosted the McCook Bison on Friday night and took the upper hand in the first half. The game went scoreless in the first quarter and the Minutemen were able to skate one by the Bison, to take a 7-0 lead before half time.
The Bison were full of energy on the sideline and celebrated with war cries as they scored their first touchdown in the second half. The Minutemen were stone cold and focused for their return in the second half, bellowing from deep within for their successes, putting away a touchdown of their own. The Minutemen enjoyed a 14-7 lead as the game went into the fourth quarter.
The Bison were able to stay alive and zeroed the game before the end of regulation time. The Minutemen and the Bison were going into overtime tied, 14-14.
An eye for an eye made first overtime exciting for fans, but drew the game into overtime two where, with short time, the Minutemen were able to put up a field goal and take a three point lead. The Minutemen were successful in taking the advantage before the clock ran dry and claimed a 24-21 win over the McCook Bison for the first time since 1999.
The Bison seemed to have the advantage, on paper, when reviewing the game. McCook held possession of the ball for 64 plays over Lexington’s 55, earned 21 first downs over 13 for the Minutemen, and lost just 55 yards on penalties to Lexington’s 68. Lexington and McCook ran flush with penalties, each with seven.
Helming the win for the Minutemen, senior Dylan Richman completed eight passes on 15 attempts for a total of 132 yards and two touchdowns. Catching his bullets for touchdowns were senior Dau Mach for nine yards and senior Rafael Sandoval for 11 yards. Leading the Minutemen in receiving yards was senior Ean Bailey for 62 yards on three receptions.
Richman also led the Minutemen in rushing yards with 92 on 15 carries for one touchdown. Lexington junior Alex Ramos followed his with 54 yards on 19 carries.
Minuteman senior Eliazar Ochoa led Lexington in tackles with 17 total, 12 assisted and five solo, and supporting him was senior Dakota Haines with 12 total tackles, seven assisted and five solo. Senior Brady Fago led the Minutemen in Sacks with one for a nine yard loss.
Fago loosed two fumbles while on defense, both were recovered by senior Aaron Salcido for the Minutemen.
Jason Tovar, junior kicker for the Minutemen, gained 119 yards on three kickoffs. Lexington senior punter Rafael Sandoval punted for a total of 132 yards on five punts. Tovar garnered 6 points for the Minutemen with three successful PATs and a field goal.
The Lexington win over the Bison prevented a losing streak for the Minutemen and brought their season to 2-3.
The Cozad Haymakers made the homecoming win look easy against the Holdrege Dusters on Friday, putting up two unanswered touchdowns in the first quarter and matching the Dusters, 7-7, in the second quarter for a 21-7 Haymaker lead as they went into halftime.
After the half, the Cozad boys held the Dusters on all drives and punched in 25 points total in the second half for a 46-7 win over the Dusters.
As with the Lexington game, Holdrege looked to have the advantage on paper, holding the ball for 67 plays over Cozad’s 52. Holdrege played a cleaner game with just four penalties to Cozad’s six and netted 20 penalty yards to the Haymakers’ 53. Cozad, however, held the most first downs in Friday’s game with 19 over the Dusters’ 15.
Commanding the win for the Haymakers, sophomore Nolan Wetovick, took a running approach to the win over Holdrege. He completed two of three passing attempts for a total of 24 yards against the Dusters. The 24 yards in passes were split evenly between junior Jacob Engel and senior Jacob Gengenbach, each with 12 yards.
The definitive leader for the Haymakers in rushing yards was senior Conner Wescoat. On 27 carries, Wescoat accounted for 225 of Cozad’s 463 yards in the game as well as four touchdowns. Sophomore Camren Maaske gained 90 yards on 5 carries for one touchdown and sophomore Nathan Engel gained 34 yards on two carries for one touchdown.
Gengenbach and senior Nathan Breon led the Haymakers in tackles, each with 10. Gengenbach recorded 8 assisted tackles and two solo while Breon recorded nine assisted tackles and one solo. Junior Aidyn Garretson led in sacks with one for a five yard loss.
Cozad’s senior kicker, Saw Htoo scored four PATs on six attempts against Holdrege and gained 375 yards on 8 kickoffs.
Anyone who’s watched six-man football knows that momentum is everything. The Elwood Pirates’ game with the Anselmo-Merna Coyotes showed momentum taking the Pirates from a tie game in the second quarter to a 52-28 win at the end or regulation time on Thursday last week.
Elwood and Anselmo-Merna traded touchdowns in the first quarter of their Thursday night game last week, taking the game to a tie, 14-14, before the start of the second quarter. The Pirates put six points on the scoreboard while guarding the endzone and the Coyotes were unable to answer before the half.
After halftime, the maroon platoon powered in 20 points, their largest effort of the game, in the third quarter, Anselmo-Merna was unable to respond and the Pirates led, 40-14, before the fourth and final quarter. The tide appeared to turn in favor of the Coyotes in the fourth quarter as they chalked up 14 points over the Pirates’ 12, but the turn wasn’t soon enough as the game ended with an Elwood Pirates victory over the Coyotes, 52-28.
Anselmo-Merna held possession of the ball for 75 plays vs Elwood 68 in the game and garnered 17 first downs over the Pirates’ 16. The Pirates played a clean game with just seven penalties for 72 yards compared to the Coyotes 11 for 110 yards.
Heading the Pirates’ win was junior quarterback Conner Schutz with 19 completions on 28 attempts for a total of 284 yards including five touchdowns. His receivers were Timmy Smith with one reception for one yard with one touchdown, Trevor Jorges with three receptions for 15 yards and one touchdown, and Zacob Evans with 14 receptions for 260 yards and three touchdowns.
Schutz was also responsible for 13 carries for 108 yards and two touchdowns. Hank Green also carried the ball in for a touchdown having five carries for a total of 22 yards.
Evans successfully ran in a two point conversion and Jorges scored two of three attempts on PATs.
The Eagles took the game to the Pleasanton Bulldogs on Friday. Overton wasted no time taking a lead in the 5th week matchup, tallying 16 unanswered points in the first quarter. The Bulldogs took the advantage in the second quarter, however, and put 20 points on the scoreboard over the Eagles’ 16. The effort wasn’t enough to take the lead, and Overton led, 32-20, as they went to half-time.
The start of the second half favored Pleasanton, slightly, as they scored a touchdown to add six more points to their total. Despite the Eagles going scoreless in the third quarter, the Overton boys held the lead as they took the Bulldogs, 32-26, into the last stretch of the game. The Eagles hung another mark i n the win column , outscoring Pleasanton, 12-6, before the end of regulation time for the 44-32 victory. The win levels out the Eagles’ season, 2-2.
Possession of the ball in Friday’s game between Overton and Pleasanton was shared evenly, Overton with 65 total plays vs Pleasanton’s 67. Pleasanton led slightly in first downs with 20 while Overton had 16. Each team had 5 penalties in the game, Overton’s resulting in 75 yards while Pleasanton lost 35 yards.
Leading the Eagles was senior quarterback Ryan Johnson who completed four passes on five attempts for 81 yards. Johnson also carried the ball for 112 yards on 16 carries for two touchdowns against the Bulldogs. Receiving for the Eagles included sophomore Wyatt Ryan with three receptions for 46 yards and junior Elijah Heusinkvelt with one reception for 35 yards.
Johnson’s long yards and two touchdowns weren’t the only big accomplishments for the eagles in their ground game. Heusinkvelt garnered 121 yards on 21 carries for two touchdowns and senior Ryan Lauby gained 106 yards on 20 carries for two touchdowns.
Eagle senior Addison Vance took the lead in tackles for Overton with 19 total tackles, eight assisted and 11 solo. Senior Kien Martin found the Bulldogs’ quarterback in his shadow twice with two sacks for 13 yards loss. Wyatt Ryan had one QB sack for 6 yards loss.
Martin kicked 281 yards in seven kickoffs.
The Eagles successfully scored on three conversion attempts for six points scored by senior Jacob Surridge, Heusinkvelt and Lauby.
Coming up for area football at the end of the week, Lexington (2-3) will host a conference opponent, the Gering Bulldogs (1-4) on Friday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. The Cozad Haymakers (3-2) will also meet a conference opponent, the Minden Whippets (3-2) in Minden on Friday, also at 7 p.m. The Elwood Pirates (3-1) will host conference foe, Pleasanton Bulldogs (3-1) with kickoff set for 3 p.m. Overton (2-2) will host Friday’s conference game with the Loomis Wolves (1-3) at 7 p.m. The S-E-M Mustangs will be back in action this week, this time on Thursday, Oct. 3 when they travel to Stapleton to face the Sandhills Valley Mavericks with kickoff set for 7 p.m.