Longhorns can’t keep pace with Chadron in 21-46 loss
By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
The Chase County Longhorns took an early lead in Friday’s contest with the Chadron Cardinals but it turned out to be their only lead, falling 21-46.
Despite the home-field advantage, the Longhorns couldn’t contain the Cardinals’ running and passing attack.
Longhorn Coach Dan Lenners said his team lost containment on the outside edge far too often. That, coupled with missed tackles in the open field, hurt his team’s effort.
He said the defense lacked consistency throughout the game. “There were times when we looked good on defense but there was no consistency,” he said.
He felt the same way about the offensive side of the ball. He said the line really needs to concentrate on making and holding blocks throughout each play.
With injuries to linemen thus far, Lenners moved senior Justus Wallin back into the line for Friday’s game. Wallin played in the line last year and moved there this week after playing the backfield.
Freshman Zac Space got a taste of varsity football, playing in the offensive line and nose guard on defense.
Injuries took yet another toll Friday night.
Quarterback Kelton Fisher went down in the first half with a hip pointer. Right before the first half ended, lineman Charles Holman suffered a concussion and was taken off the field by ambulance personnel.
Going into this week’s homecoming game against Cozad, Holman will be out while Fisher remains questionable. Luis Rodriguez and Khris Kuhlman missed the Chadron game as well and remain doubtful for this Friday.
Despite the injuries, Lenners told his team after the game Friday they have to rise above that and can’t use loss of personnel to injury as an excuse.
Lenners said the Longhorns face another tough opponent in Cozad for Friday night’s homecoming game.
It marks the first district game of the season for the Longhorns.
Lenners said Cozad comes in at 3-0 with a senior-laden team full of size and speed.
The biggest challenge will be to contain running back Jake Paulsen, who rushed for almost 1,400 yards last season.
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