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Kadyn Vrbas finds a seam in the Gothenburg defense to get the Longhorns on the board Friday night. (Johnson Publications photo)

Despite loss, Coach Lenners pleased with first-game effort

Longhorns fall to Gothenburg Swedes 27-6 in season opener

    Gothenburg’s linemen outweighed their Longhorn opponents by 50-60 pounds per man but the Longhorns never backed off in Friday’s season opener in Imperial.
    In fact, after the game, the Swedes’ coach complimented Longhorn coach Dan Lenners on his linemen’s tenacity. He told Lenners he didn’t know how Lenners got his 150-lb. linemen to play as hard as they did all night.
    But as the game progressed, the Swedes’ size did begin to take a toll. The Longhorns gave up two third-quarter touchdowns and one in the fourth in the 27-6 loss to  open the season.
    “Our kids competed well for the first game,” Lenners said following the game.
    He added his Longhorns played a great defensive first half. “We probably couldn’t have played a better defensive game in the first half,” he said following the game.
    Late in the second quarter, the Longhorns suffered a breakdown on pass coverage that resulted in the only score of the first half.
    Despite that, Lenners said his kids were really fired up at halftime.     
    Lenners said his kids are still getting used to a new offense and new blocking schemes. Plus, Gothenburg’s defensive linemen and linebackers were quick off the ball, which shut down the running attack most of the game.
    That’s not something they see in practice and will have to adjust to during a game, he said.
    Getting on the board Friday night was also a good milestone for the kids.
    They missed two opportunities early in the game after Gothenburg turnovers.
    Gothenburg failed to handle the opening kickoff and the Longhorns recovered on the Swede 25.
    Two plays later, Kadyn Vrbas took a handoff from quarterback Scott Wheeler all the way to the Swede 6, only to have the play nullified by a penalty.
    The drive stalled and Gothenburg took over. But two plays later, the Longhorns recovered another fumble on the Swede 43 but were forced to punt.

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