By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
The Chase County Longhorns ended their season Friday with a 66-12 win over Mitchell to finish with a 5-3 record.
Unfortunately for the Longhorns, those three losses kept them outside the 16-team playoffs in C1. They finished 18th in the wildcard points used to determine qualifiers.
Coach Dan Lenners said Friday’s win at Mitchell was “a good game to end on.”
He said his upper classmen executed well, building a big lead early. That resulted in getting plenty of playing time for the younger players.
The Longhorns needed just 16 plays to build a 44-6 halftime lead.
For the game, they amassed 613 yards of offense on only 38 plays, with 534 yards coming on the ground.
Mitchell threw an interception on the first play of the game to set up the Longohrns’ first touchdown.
That came five plays later on a 64-yard run by Kelton Fisher.
After holding Mitchell on fourth down in Longhorn territory, Fisher hit Issac Sorensen on a 37-yard touchdown pass.
After a three-and-out, Jeff Dickey added the next score on a 51-yard run.
Mitchell was forced to punt again. Dickey broke loss for 55 yards. On the next play, Bryson Fisher added another score of 25-yards.
Mitchell got their only first half score early in the second quarter on a 62-yard pass. completion,
On the ensuing kickoff, Dickey took it 73 yards for another touchdown.
Mitchell went three-and-out again with the Longhorns returning the punt to the Mitchell 36.
Kelton Fisher found Destyn Milner on the next play for a 36-yard touchdown.
Mitchell put together a drive against the Longhorn jayvees, moving the ball to the Longhorn 15. Four sacks later, the Longhorns flipped the field, taking over on their own 43.
They needed just one play to put up another score with Dakota Wallin going 57 yards to make the score 44-6 at half.
In the second half, Jorge Cervantes added two touchdowns on runs of 66 and 25 yards with the third coming from Dickey on an 85-yard run.
Dickey closed out his career with 197 yards on four carries Friday to lead the ground game. Cervantes added another 126 yards.
Fisher went 3-8 for 79 yards in the air with Sorensen making two of those catches for 43 yards.
Dickey and Jack Bauerle led the defense with 10 tackles each, followed by Sorensen with eight.
Playoff streak ends
With this year’s change in playoffs thinning the C1 field from 32 teams to 16 teams, the Longhorns missed the playoffs for the first time since 1993.
Lenners said the Longhorns needed a couple of upsets Friday for them to slip into the top 16. After the wildcard points were tallied, the Longhorns finished 18th.
Chadron won the C1-8 district to automatically make the 16-team field. Another district opponent, Ogallala, also made the playoffs, finishing 12th in wildcard points.
Cozad, the only other team the Longhorns lost to, won their district to make the playoffs.
Ogallala and Chadron meet in the first round. If Cozad advances, they will face the winner of the Ogallala-Chadron game in the second round.
Stats at a glance
Tackles—(solo-assists)—Jeff Dickey 3-7, Jack Bauerle 2-8, Isaac Sorensen 1-7, Dakota Wallin 2-2, Kelton Fisher 0-2, Bryson Fisher 2-2, Destyn Milner 0-2, Eli Hinojosa 1-3, Eli Engbrecht 1-2, Garrett Taylor 1-5, Zac Space 1-4, Jorge Cervantes, 2-3, Allan Smith 1-1, Caleb Weiss 0-1, Hunter Dillan 1-2, Taylor Wilson 0-5,Caine Haarberg 1-4, Noah Griffin 0-5, Jacob Christensen 0-1, Jace Clevenger 0-1.
Rushing—(attempts-yards-TD)—Jeff Dickey 4-197-2, Kelton Fisher 3-67-1, Bryson Fisher 2-32-1; Jorge Cervantes, 7-128-2; Dakota Wallin, 1-57-1; Caleb Weiss, 3-35-0; Kass Cochran, 3-11-0; Roper Cochran, 1-2-0.
Passing—(attempts-completions-yards-TD-INT)—Kelton Fisher 3-8-79-2-0.
Receiving—(completions-yards-TD)—Isaac Sorensen 2-43-1, Destyn Milner 1-36-1.
Chase County—Kelton Fisher 64 yd. run; two-point conversion run by Fisher.
Chase County—Isaac Sorensen 37 yd. pass from Kelton Fisher; kick no good.
Chase County—Jeff Dickey 51 yd. run; kick no good.
Chase County—Bryson Fisher 23 yd. run; kick by Eli Engbrecht good.
Mitchell—62 yd. pass; failed two-point conversion.
Chase County—Jeff Dickey 73 yd. Kickoff Return; kick by Eli Engbrecht good.
Chase County—Destyn Milner 36 yd. pass from Kelton Fisher; kick no good.
Chase County—Dakota Wallin 57 yd. run; kick no good.
Chase County—Jorge Cervantes 66 yd. run; kick no good.
Chase County—Jeff Dickey 85 yd. run; two-point conversion by Bryson Fisher.
Chase County—Jorge Cervantes 25 yd. run; Caine Haarberg pass from Caleb Weiss.
Mitchell—5 yd. run; failed two-point conversion.
CCS 27 19 14 8—68
Mitchell 0 6 0 6—12