Longhorns finish football season with 5-4 record

    This year’s Longhorn football finishes with a 5-4 record for the year.
    Going into their final game, the Longhorns still had a shot at making the C1 playoffs. But what they needed first was a win over District 8 Champion Chadron.
    Unfortunately, that was one of the four losses the Longhorns suffered this season against five wins.
    Those wins came against Broken Bow, Kimball, Gordon-Rushville and Minden.
    In District 8, Chadron went 4-0, followed by Ogallala and Chase County at 2-2 with Mitchell and Gordon-Rushville at 1-3.
    Coach Dan Lenners will lose six seniors from this year’s squad including quarterback Caleb Weiss, linemen Brady Gittlein, Jack Bauerle, Caine Haarberg, Jace Clevenger, Eli Hinojosa and end Jose Medrano.
    Lenners will especially miss Hinojosa on defense. He finished with nine sacks and 19 tackles-for-loss as the team’s second leading tackler with 62 total tackles, including 18 solos.
    Sophomore Trevor Peterson took honors as the team’s leading tackler with 68 total tackles. That included 12 solos and 56 assists from his linebacker position.
    Junior Braden Space eclipsed the 60-tackle mark with 61, including 19 solos.
    Junior Evan Fisher led the defense in solo tackles for the season with 27.
    Offensively, junior Kadin Vrbas led the rushing attack, finishing the season with 716 yards. He averaged 8.04 yards per carry on 89 carries.
    Nine of those carries ended up as touchdowns, including one for 90 yards.
    Fisher picked up 463 yards on 70 carries for a 6.61-yard average. He scored five rushing touchdowns with a long of 78 yards.
    At quarterback, Weiss carried the ball 55 times, gaining 320 yards for a 5.82-yard average and crossed the goal line four times.
    As a passer, Weiss completed 49 percent of his passes, hitting 39 of 80 attempts for 589 yards. His longest completion was good for 47 yards, along with nine touchdown passes.
    His two favorite receivers were juniors Scott Wheeler and Braden Space.
    Wheeler pulled down 12 catches for 199 yards for an average of 16.5 yards. He also added three touchdowns.
    Space caught 11 passes for 170 yards and four touchdowns with an average of 15.5 yards per catch.
    Wheeler handled the majority of the punt returns, breaking three of them for touchdowns. His longest return was for 61 yards.
    He fielded seven kickoffs and averaged 21.3 yards per return with a long of 63 yards.
    Vrbas handled four kickoffs and averaged 17.5 yards per return.
    In the kicking game, junior Parker Dillan handled the punting chores while Space handled kickoff and extra-point duties.

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