Bulldogs' rally fest ends with 27-24 victory
     2012-09-14      By Terry Gaston   
Photo by Philip Eckerberg/for the Citizen Gering junior Dillon DeMott (No. 11) gets ready to hand off in the season’s home opener on Friday, Aug. 31 against the Chadron Cardinals. The Bulldogs are shaping up for a great season, with an undefeated 3-0 record after defeating Lexington 27-24. 
LEXINGTON — Four times the Lexington Minutemen took a lead in Friday’s Class B football match-up against the Gering Bulldogs.

On all four occasions, the Bulldogs responded and erased the deficit, scoring with 41 seconds remaining on junior Dillon DeMott’s 7-yard rollout pass to senior Walker Britsch for the go-ahead touchdown. Junior Gage Smith kicked his third extra point of the night for Gering’s three-point lead.

And then on the short ensuing drive, Britsch preserved Gering’s 3-0 season start with an interception that thus denied Lexington a fourth comeback attempt of its own.

“It was a good team effort,” Gering coach Jimmie Rhodes said of the Bulldogs’ winning performance. “They got the opening kickoff and scored, then we scored on our first play to answer.
“Their tempo was upbeat, they lined up in formation, and our defense had to be ready. It was more like controlled chaos, and we held them under 100 yards rushing and tackled well.”

Gering’s answer to Lexington’s opening score came on a 62-yard completion by DeMott to Jeremy Eskam, and then Smith gave the Bulldogs a 7-6 lead with his first PAT kick of the game.

The Minutemen added a field goal, but Gering responded with a 48-yard connection from DeMott to senior Zac Bibb for a 14-9 Bulldog lead. Lexington scored another touchdown to hold a 19-14 halftime lead.

No scoring occurred during the third quarter, although Gering’s next go-ahead score was set up by a 15-play drive that bridged the third and fourth periods. Nick Chitwood finished the series with a 2-yard rush, and the Bulldogs tried a 2-point pass but failed but maintained a 20-16 lead.

Lexington scored with 2:14 remaining for a 24-20 lead, and then the Gering offense dug in and deep.

“It was a great drive by our whole team,” Rhodes said of the following, winning series. “We just got the football and did what we do.

DeMott passed for 205 yards, 63 to Britsch, while senior James Guzman led the Bulldogs on the ground with 86 yards. Smith’s three extra-point kicks gave him seven in as many attempts on the season.
“It was a great three-phase game for us, offense, defense and special teams,” Rhodes said. “Our kickoff cover team was outstanding. the week before, Lexington had scored on a fake field goal and a kick return.”

Next up for the unbeaten Bulldogs are the McCook Bison, who lost their first two games to fellow Class B stalwarts Aurora and Scottsbluff but scored their first win Friday over Grand Island Northwest, 26-13.

For the second straight year, McCook comes to Gering, with kickoff at Memorial Stadium set for 7 p.m.

“They have played two football teams that are pretty good, and against Grand Island Northwest, their defense played hard,” Rhodes said in his early analysis of McCook last weekend. “And they have had a blocked punt in every game.

“We started preparing for them on Saturday, and we asked the kids, ‘Will you be ready for them? Do what you do and play as tough as we can, and if we do that, we can win the game.’”

Gering will be on the road the next two Fridays, next week at Grand Island NW, then Sept. 28 at Hastings, before returning home to play Scottsbluff on Oct. 5.

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