Junior Kobe Clevenger picked up 12 yards on three carries for the Longhorns Friday. (Photo courtesy of Mark Gaschler, Scottsbluff Star-Herald)
Red zone fumble costly
Three fourth quarter fumbles, including one in the red zone at the Mitchell 5 yard line, sealed the Longhorns’ fate in a 32-35 loss there Friday night.
Coach Dan Lenners said the fumbles and drive-killing penalties kept the Longhorns from winning a game they should have won.
The Longhorns went into the game without two-way starter Braden Space. That forced Lenners to make some personnel changes that were unfamiliar to some.
It showed defensively, with the Longhorns giving up 250 yards in the air and three touchdown passes.
Two plays, two touchdowns
Big plays dominated the first quarter. After the opening kickoff, Mitchell went right to the air for a 71-yard scoring strike.
On the Longhorns’ first play of the night, Kadin Vrbas answered, taking an outside screen pass from Scott Wheeler down the sideline for a 55-yard touchdown.
After forcing a Mitchell punt, Vrbas went around the right side and down the sideline, this time for a 75-yard score. Logan Jussel added both extra-point kicks.
After forcing a punt, the Longhorns tried a fake punt at midfield, only to have the pass by punter Parker Dillan batted down.
Four plays later, Mitchell tied the game 14-14 on a 30-yard touchdown pass.
The Longhorns dodged a bullet after Mitchell blocked a punt. inside the Longhorn 30. Fortunately, the defense held.
After another Longhorn punt,
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