By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
Ninety minutes before game time Friday night, Mother Nature gave no indication whatsoever of what was to follow.
When the Longhorns kicked off to start the game against district foe Bridgeport, falling rain turned to snow as temperatures plummeted.
But the weather conditions didn’t seem to bother Chase County’s Longhorns as they rolled to a 40-0 homecoming win over 1-4 Bridgeport.
The win improves the Longhorns’ record to 4-2 as they get ready to play host to another 1-5 team, Bayard, here this Friday.
Dan Lenner’s Longhorns bounced back from a loss to Sutherland the week before and showed the type of intensity that was lacking in the Sutherland loss.
“The intensity and effort was much better than against Sutherland,” Lenners noted. “We played with some emotion. It was good to see that.”
He added the team’s execution on both sides of the ball showed a marked improvement. That came on a night when weather conditions were far from what one might expect in early October.
While the conditions drove many fans from the stands, Lenners said he remembers playing in far worse conditions in the past.
Hopefully conditions will be better Friday night when Bayard comes to town.
Lenners said Bayard runs out of the shotgun formation without a huddle.
As a result, he said the Longhorns will see lots of receivers spread out all over the field.
Fortunately, they don’t have the speed of Sutherland but can still make the plays, he said.
In addition, they have three starting linemen back this year, including 190-lb. and 245-lb. tackles.
Lenners said this is a must-win game if the Longhorns want to keep playoff hopes alive.
Seven drives, six scores
Bridgeport’s defense couldn’t stand up to the Longhorns’ offensive attack Friday.
The Longhorns scored on six of seven possessions, including three in the first half and three in the second half.
The Longhorns executed scoring drives of 25, 60, 45, 44, 15 and 85 yards.
Bridgeport’s only stop came just before half but the Longhorns still took a 20-0 lead in at half.
Lenners said he was most pleased with the balance in the Longhorns’ rushing game.
Five different backs carried the ball en route to 300 yards of rushing.
Freshman Michael May led the team with 79 yards on 17 carries.
Misael Garcia gained 73 yards on 14 carries and added a touchdown.
Daniel Regier had 56 yards on 13 carries and one touchdown.
Paul Gaschler collected two touchdowns and 43 yards on 10 carries.
Steven Fish, who returned last week after being injured, had 32 yards on nine carries, including a 21-yard touchdown run.
That’s the kind of running balance Lenners said he’s looking for from his offense.
Quarterback Alex Strand had 17 yards on eight carries and a touchdown and went 1-4 in the air for 10 yards.
Defensively, Tanner Stromberger led the team with five solos and five assists.
Daniel Hogsett finished with four solos and three assists.
The Longhorns limited Bridgeport to just 72 yards of offense, all of it on the ground.
Kickoff for Friday’s game here with Bayard is set for 7 p.m. MT.
Stats at a glance
Tackles (solos-assists)—Tanner Stromberer 5-5, Daniel Hogsett 4-3, Tyler Roenfeldt 4-2, Alex Strand 3-3, Daniel Regier 2-4, Nathan Hinojosa 3-2, Lucas Bauerle 3-1, Steven Fish 2-1, Misael Garcia 1-2, Jakob Burke 2-0, Hunter Spady 2-0, Jonathan Hess 2-0, Michael May 1-1, Paul Gaschler 1-0, Justin German 1-0, Ethan Haarberg 0-1, Brian Bell 0-1.
Rushing (attempts-yards-TD)—Michael May 17-79-0, Misael Garcia 14-73-1, Daniel Regier 13-56-1, Steven Fish 9-32-1, Alex Strand 8-17-1, Paul Gaschler 10-43-2.
Receiving (completions-yards-TD-2 pt. conv.)—Michael May 1-10-0-0.
Passing (attempts-completions-yards-interceptions-TD-2 pt. conv.)—Alex Strand 4-1-10-0-0-0.
CCS: 14 yd. run by Paul Gaschler, kick by Misael Garcia good.
CCS: 21 yd. run by Steven Fish, kick by Garcia good.
CCS: 1 yd. run by Alex Strand, kick by Garcia failed.
CCS: 5 yd. run by Gaschler, kick by Grant Lenners good.
CCS: 1 yd. run by Misael Garcia, kick by Lenners good.
CCS: 1 yd. run by Daniel Regier, kick by Lenners failed.
CCS 14 6 14 6—40
Bridgeport 0 0 0 0— 0