By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
Two big plays by the Gothenburg Swedes and a penalty that nullified a Chase County touchdown proved to be the difference in the Longhorns’ 24-7 loss there Friday night.
After scoring the first touchdown of the game by capitalizing on a Gothenburg turnover, the Longhorns saw their 7-0 lead disappear on the very next play.
Gothenburg’s Ross Ostendorf went almost untouched on an 85-yard kickoff return for Gothenburg’s first score.
The second big play came after Gothenburg scored another touchdown for a 14-7 lead.
Trying to make up some ground, the Longhorns went to the air. As Coach Dan Lenners said, three things can happen on a pass and two are bad.
One of those bad results came in the form of an interception by Ostendorf, who ran it back for a Gothenburg touchdown.
With :06 left in the first quarter, the Longhorns found themselves down 21-7.
The Longhorn defense turned in one of their best performances of the season, Lenners said.
In the first half, they forced Gothenburg into a failed 22-yard field goal attempt, blocked another field goal attempt and forced a pair of punts.
Just before half, the Longhorns mounted a drive from their own 34.
On a fourth-and-two, quarterback Kelton Fisher tossed the ball to Dan Sullivan on an option.
Sullivan got outside the Swede defense and ran 58 yards for the score. However, a blocking penalty nullified the touchdown.
Starting again at the Swede 26, the Longhorns got a pass interference call against Gothenburg, taking the ball to the Swede 10.
The Longhorns got to the Swede 3 but couldn’t punch it in on the ground.
The second half turned out to be a defensive battle.
On Gothenburg’s first possession, they tried to convert a fourth-and-inches at the Longhorn 38.
The defense held, giving the Longhorns great field position.
A Swede penalty put the ball at their 11 but the drive got snuffed again when Gothenburg intercepted another pass to kill the drive.
The Longhorns never threatened again while Gothenburg finally got a field goal from 37 yards out with less than six minutes to play.
Lenners said the defense really rose to the occasion Friday. He was especially pleased with their gang tackling.
“There were times when we’d have four, five, six guys in on a tackle.” he said.
“The kids really played hard,” he added.
Kearney Catholic Friday
The Longhorns will face another challenge when they play host to the Kearney Catholic Stars Friday night.
The Stars suffered their first loss in six starts Friday, losing to an undefeated Cozad team in overtime.
While Lenners said the Stars are not the powerhouse team they were last year, they still have plenty of speed and size.
With Friday’s loss to Gothenburg, the Longhorns stand at 2-4 for the season.
The Longhorns definitely need a win to improve their chances to make the C1 playoffs.
Kickoff Friday is set for 6:30 p.m. MDT.
Stats at a glance
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.
Passing (attempts-completions-yards-TD-INT)—Travis Luhrs 5-3-104-0-0, Kelton Fisher 25-8-91-3-2.
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: Jeff Dickey 10 yd. TD run, kick by David Almanza good.
Gothenburg: Ostendorf 85 yd. kick off return for TD, kick by Trent Long good.
Gothenburg: Graham 17 yd. TD run, kick by Long good.
Gothenburg: Ostendorf 55 yd. interception for TD, kick by Long good.
Gothenburg: 37 yd. field goal by Long good.
CCS 7 0 0 0— 7
Gothenburg 14 7 0 3—24