LEXINGTON – The Lexington Minutemen earned a win in their first ever meeting with the South Sioux City Cardinals on Friday, Sept. 11. An explosive first quarter ushered Lexington to a 45-25 win.
The Minutemen took the field with zeal in the first quarter of the game, punched through four touchdowns for 28 points and brick-walled the Cardinals’ offense, holding them scoreless. South Sioux City took the edge in the second quarter, however, scoring two touchdowns with unsuccessful PATs while the Minutemen crossed into the end zone once for seven more points. The Minutemen still held a commanding lead when the teams broke for halftime, 35-12.
Lexington extended their lead in the third quarter with a touchdown and a field goal while the Cardinals added just six points to their total. The Minutemen held the lead, 45-18, when the teams began the fourth quarter.
The Minutemen went scoreless in the final quarter while South Sioux City scored a touchdown for a final seven points. Despite the Cardinals outscoring the Minutemen in the fourth and final quarter, the Lexington’s early game lead was too much for South Sioux City to overcome and the Minutemen took the win, 45- 25.
Lexington’s success was carried on the backs of the rushers in Friday’s game, rather than their passing game. Sophomore quarterback Kaden West had four completions on nine attempts for a total of 64 yards while sophomore Daven Naylor had three completions on six attempts for 26 yards. West threw two touchdown passes, one to senior Steven Ruano-Alvarez and one to senior Anthony Rodriguez.
Lexington’s leading rusher was unquestionable as senior Alex Ramos gained 191 yards on 21 carries for three touchdowns. Behind Ramos, junior Hunter Stewart gained 31 yards on eight carries for one touchdown.
Anthony Rodriguez led the Minutemen in receiving yards with 43 yards on two receptions and one touchdown while senior Julio Rodriguez followed him with 17 yards on one carry. Steven Ruano-Alvarez gained 4 yards on one carry for one touchdown.
Lexington junior Fredy Vargas led the Minutemen in tackles with six solo tackles and one assisted. Senior Harold Pineda recorded four solo tackles and two assisted and sophomore Levi Kopf recorded three solo tackles and four assisted. Senior Caden Neben recorded one sack in the game with South Sioux City.
The Minutemen also boast four interceptions in Friday’s game as well as two fumble recoveries. Julio, Rodriguez, senior Shane Callahan, Harold Pineda and Hunter Stewart all recorded an interception while Caden Neben and senior Cristian Loarca each recovered a fumble.
Senior Jason Tovar, in eight kickoffs, kicked for 429 yards for four touchbacks. Tovar also went six for six on PATs and one for one on field goals for nine points total.
The Minutemen will meet with another breed of Cardinals on Friday, Sept. 18 when they welcome Crete for another home game. The 1-2 Minutemen will kickoff with the 1-1 Cardinals at Ray Ehlers Stadium at 7 p.m.
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