By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
Chase County’s Longhorns left little doubt who was in control Friday night as they romped over Mitchell with a 50-7 homecoming win.
The Longhorns improved to 3-2 and now refocus their efforts on Gothenburg. The Swedes come into Longhorn territory with their own 3-2 record after falling to Cozad Friday 42-7.
Coach Dan Lenners said Gothenburg will bring a good team to town Friday night. They smacked down Mitchell 41-0 in the second week of the season. Their only other loss came to Broken Bow in a 15-14 battle.
Lenners said his team will have to put together a quality effort Friday night to add another win to their record. “This will be a tough game for us,” he said.
’Horns tackling much better
Lenners came away from Friday’s win with a much better feeling about the Longhorns’ tackling.
“We did a lot better,” Lenners said, after struggling with tackling issues in losses to Chadron and Cozad.
Lenners said the focus of the defensive portion of practice was devoted to tackling and getting back to fundamentals.
It showed as the Longhorns put some big hits on several Mitchell players. The defense added several sacks while hurrying their quarterback on numerous occasions.
He said they will continue to focus on tackling on the defensive side of the ball this week. Offensively, blocking until the whistle blows will be the focus.
He said there were numerous situations that had the blocks been held longer, five-yard gains would have turned into 10 to 15 yards.
The Longhorns generated several turnovers Friday night and were able to capitalize on the opportunities. “It was nice to get some turnovers,” Lenners said.
Longhorns score 37 by half
After trading fumbles to open the game, the Longhorn defense came up with a three-and-out to force a punt and set up their first score.
Taking over on the Mitchell 47, quarterback Joel Gockley converted a 4th & 1 sneak into a 15-yard gain to the Mitchell 23 to keep the drive alive.
Four plays later, Trey Milner took the ball in from eight yards out. David Almanza added the extra-point kick for a 7-0 lead with 5:31 left in the first quarter.
After forcing another three-and-out, the Longhorns coughed the ball up to stop their next drive. However, Mitchell reciprocated three plays later when Kelton Fisher stepped in front of a Mitchell aerial, returning it to the Mitchell 35.
Four plays later, Justin German went in from 13 yards out. An Almanza’s kick made the score 14-0 just inside the second quarter.
On their first play after taking the kickoff, Mitchell’s quarterback put the ball up for grabs. Milner batted it up in the air and Dan Sullivan came down with it and returned it to the Mitchell 11.
From their, Gockley kept the ball over the right side and scored easily. With Almanza’s kick, the score moved to 21-0.
The defense came up with the next score, when Milner and Sullivan blocked Mitchell’s punt near the goal line.
A Mitchell player picked up the ball but was tackled by Sullivan in the end zone for a safety.
Almanza showed his speed, taking the kickoff at the Longhorn 37 and returning it all the way to the Mitchell 14. A lone Mitchell tackler made the touchdown-saving tackle.
It didn’t matter though as Milner took it over from three yards out four plays later. The touchdown and kick gave Chase County a 30-0 lead with 7:23 left in the half.
Mitchell used an interference call against the Longhorns on third-and-long to keep their drive alive.
They completed a pass down to the Longhorn 5 and finally scored on 4th & a foot, making the score 30-7 after their kick.
Mitchell tried an on-side kick but gave Imperial the ball at the Longhorn 45. Six plays later, Sullivan went in from 14 to make the score 37-7 after Almanza’s kick with 58 seconds left in the half.
Fisher picked off a Mitchell aerial to end the half.
The Longhorns got the ball to start the second half and traded possessions with Mitchell, taking over again on the Longhorn 45.
Gockley capped a nine-play drive, hitting Fisher for a 30-yard touchdown pass. Almanza’s PAT made the score 44-7.
Three plays later, Justus Wallin stepped in front of a Mitchell receiver at their 35, returning it to the 6. On the next play, Milner took it in for the score.
Mitchell blocked Almanza’s kick to make the final score 50-7.
Milner led a 363-yard ground attack for the Longhorns, finishing with 133 yards.
Gockley was 3-3 passing for 55 yards and one touchdown.
Fisher and Brian Bell led the defense, each with a total of nine tackles.
Friday’s game here against Gothenburg is slated for a 6:30 p.m. MT kickoff.
Stats at a glance
Tackles (solos-assists)—Kelton Fisher 2-7, Brian Bell 1-8, Dan Sullivan 2-5, Justus Wallin 0-7, Jeff Dickey 3-2, Callin Ledall 1-4, Justin German 1-3, Khris Kuhlmann 0-4, Jacob Lueth 0-4, Tyler Oxford 0-4, David Almanza 2-0, Trey Milner 0-2, Sam Cahow 0-2, Spencer Hartman 0-2, Ethan Haarberg 0-2, Sam Haarberg 0-2, Charles Holman 1-0, Jacob Christensen 0-1, Kale Gockley 0-1, Allan Smith 0-1.
Rushing (attempts-yards-TD)—Trey Milner 12-125-3, Dan Sullivan 10-70-1, Justin German 11-51-1, Khris Kuhlmann 4-48-0, Kale Gockley 6-31-1, Ryan Moline 2-28-0, Jacob Lueth 2-8-0, David Almanza 1-2-0, Travis Luhrs 3-0-0. TEAM: 51-363-6.
Passing (attempts-completions-yards-TD-INT)—Kale Gockley 3-3-55-1-0.
Receiving (completions-yards-TDs)—Kelton Fisher 2-44-1, David Almanza 1-11-0.
CCS: Trey Milner 8 yd. TD run, kick by David Almanza good.
CCS: 13 yd. TD run by Justin German, kick by Almanza good.
CCS: 11 yd. TD run by Kale Gockley.
CCS: Milner blocked punt, Jeff Dickey tackled defender in end zone for a safety.
CCS: 3 yd. TD run by Milner, kick by Almanza good.
Mitchell: Adam Schlotthauer 1 yd. TD run, kick is good.
CCS: 14 yd. TD run by Dan Sullivan, kick by Almanza good.
CCS: 30 yd. TD pass from Gockley to Kelton Fisher, kick by Almanza good.
CCS: 6 yd. TD run by Milner, kick by Almanza blocked.
CCS 7 30 20 0—50
Mitchell 0 7 0 0— 7