By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
Longhorns football Coach Dan Lenners expected his team to beat Gordon-Rushville in the season opener Friday. What he didn’t anticipate was the margin of victory.
The Chase County Longhorns completely dominated the Gordon-Rushville (G-R) Mustangs on the Longhorns’ home field in a 51-0 blowout.
The ’Horns didn’t allow a first down in the first quarter and only five in the second quarter. At halftime, the Longhorns had dropped G-R for -21 yards rushing and 67 in the air for a net 46 yards.
The Longhorns put up two touchdowns in the first quarter alone, along with a safety and added another by half.
G-R had all kinds of trouble snapping to their quarterback in the shotgun. Numerous times the ball went over the QB’s head, including the one they recovered in the endzone for a safety.
In G-R’s defense, Lenners said the Mustangs were missing some players Friday due to disciplinary issues and injuries.
But that didn’t stop his Longhorns from pounding on them.
“It was a good win for your kids,” Lenners said this week.
While there’s always room to improve, he was pleased with his team’s progress thus far.
He said the line on both sides of the ball played well, but he’ll have a hole to fill from here on.
Sophomore lineman Eli Engbrecht suffered an ACL tear in the first half and will be lost for the season.
The Longhorns showed off a new wrinkle, running a no-huddle offense. They mixed up the run and pass to keep G-R off balance much of the night.
Sidney this week
The Longhorns will travel to Sidney Friday to face the 2-0 Red Raiders.
This looks like one of Sidney’s better teams in recent years with wins over Grand Island Northwest (1-1) 44-22 and Holdrege (1-1) 44-13.
Lenners said they have good size in both the line and backfield.
They are a much improved team than the Sidney team the Longhorns thrashed last season 35-0.
Lenners said they like to use a lot of motion out of a double-wing set with split ends on the outside.
Their quarterback likes to rollout on the pass and is a good runner, he said.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. MDT.
Longhorns strike first Friday
The Longhorns needed just two possessions to put their first touchdown of the season on the board Friday.
After trading possessions with G-R, the Mustangs found themselves at their own 5 after a snap over the quarterback’s head and a sack.
This gave CCS great field position after the punt, starting at G-R’s 47.
Five plays later, Jeff Dickey broke a pair of tackles and rambled in 23 yards for the score. A David Almanza extra-point kick made the score 7-0 with 6:59 left in the first.
After trading possessions again, the Longhorns got back on the board with a G-R safety.
Starting on their own 20, G-R’s center snapped the ball over the quarterback. They recovered both times but the second recovery was in the endzone resulting in a safety.
Kevin German returned the free kick to the Longhorns’ 46.
Running at the fullback spot, Justus Wallin bullied his way down field for 31 yards. He kept the drive alive with a fourthdown conversion good for 14 yards to the Mustang 5.
From there, Longhorn QB Kelton Fisher hit German in the endzone with a strike. The defender stripped the ball from German but he managed to reel it in before hitting the ground for the touchdown.
With 2:55 left in the first quarter, the Longhorns led
After forcing G-R into a three-and-out, the Longhorns put together an eight-play drive to go up 23-0. Dickey, Wallin, Dan Sullivan and Trey Milner all got carries of six to nine yards.
Fisher capped the drive with an eight-yard pass to Isaac Sorensen. An Almanza kick made the score 23-0 less than two minutes into the second quarter.
The Mustangs made their only sustained drive of the night on their next possession. Starting at their own 20, they got the ball down to the Longhorn 20 before a pair of incomplete passes ended the effort.
21 points in third quarter
German got the Longhorns going in the third, returning the kickoff for 45 yards to the Mustang 25.
On the first play of the drive, Walling broke through for a 25-yard touchdown run. Almanza added the kick for a 30-0 lead.
The Mustangs fumbled the ball away again, this time on their own 12.
The Longhorns went to the air but couldn’t get the ball in. Almanza’s field goal attempt sailed wide left.
The Mustangs gave the ball back at their own 28 after falling short on a fourth-down conversion attempt.
A 20-yard pass from Fisher to German set up the next score, which came on a one-yard run by Wallin on fourth down. Almanza’s kick put the Longhorns up 37-0 with 7:40 left in the third.
Dickey got the interception on G-R’s next possession to give the Longhorns the ball at the Mustang 41.
Sullivan broke loose for 13 yards to open the drive. With Travis Luhrs at QB, Sullivan hauled in a pass for a 26-yard touchdown. With Almanza’s kick, CCS led 44-0 with 2:47 left in the third.
The margin allowed Lenners to get everyone playing time with freshman Bryson Fisher adding the final score on a 21-yard run. Almanza’s kick made the final score 51-0.
Stats at a glance
The Longhorns threw for 200 yard and ran for 140 more. German led the receivers with four catches, gaining 53 yards. In the backfield, Wallin finished with 71 yards, followed by Dickey with 71.
Wallin led the defense with nine tackles, including a pair of solos.
Tackles (solos-assists)—Justus Wallin 2-7, Isaac Sorensen 3-3, Kelton Fisher 2-4, Shay Eidson 1-5, Dan Sullivan 1-4, Jeff Dickey 2-2, Khris Kuhlmann 0-4, Dakota Wallin 2-1, Jacob Lueth 2-1, Trey Milner 1-2, Sam Cahow 1-2, Eli Engbrecht 0-3, Bryson Fisher 2-0, Travis Luhrs 1-1, Destyn Milner 1-0, David Almanza 1-0, Luis Rodriguez 0-1, Kevin German 0-1.
Rushing (attempts-yards-TD)—Justus Wallin 11-71-2, Jeff Dickey 10-63-1, Bryson Fisher 1-21-1, Dakota Wallin 1-3-0, Trey Milner 2-2-0, Dan Sullivan 2-1-0, Kelton Fisher 5- -21-0. TEAM: 32-140-4.
Passing (attempts-completions-yards-TD-INT)—Kelton Fisher 25-8-96-3-2, Travis Luhrs 5-3-104-0-0.
Receiving (completions-yards-TDs)—Jacob Lueth 2-75-0, Kevin German 4-53-1, Dan Sullivan 2-40-1, Isaac Sorensen 2-23-1, Trey Milner 1-9-0.
CCS: 23 yd. run by Jeff Dickey; kick by David Almanza good.
CCS: Micah Scherbarth tackled in endzone for safety.
CCS: 5 yd. TD pass from Kelton Fisher to Kevin German; kick by Almanza good.
CCS: 8 yd. TD pass from Fisher to Isaac Sorensen; kick by Almanza good.
CCS: 25 yd. run by Justus Wallin; kick by Almanza good.
CCS: 1 yd. run by Justus Wallin; kick by Almanza good.
CCS: 26 yd. TD pass from Travis Luhrs to Dan Sullivan; kick by Almanza good.
CCS: 21 yd. run by Bryson Fisher; kick by Almanza good.
CCS 16 7 21 7—51
Gordon/Rushville 0 0 0 0— 0