Gering emerges as top dog beating Alliance 14-7
     2012-10-25      By Philip Eckerberg, Special to the Citizen   
Photo by Ken Kurtz/Spectrum Photo Gering junior Dillon De Mott (No. 11) preps for a powerful pass, while team mates senior Bret Orozco (No. 55) and junior Dylan Wetherington (No. 52) defend against Alliance challengers during Gering’s Homecoming game Friday at Memorial Stadium. Gering completed their season with a 14-7 win over Alliance. 
It was a battle of Bulldogs, the Gering Bulldogs and the Alliance Bulldogs met up for the final regular season game with playoff hopes alive. Gering scrapped their way to the top of the pack, beating Alliance 14-7.

Gering’s offense started slow, having to punt on the first possession and giving the ball back to Alliance on their first offensive chance as they got some help moving the ball downfield, thanks to a pass interference call on third and 16, only to punt a few plays later.

Gering on their next possession then faced head coach Jimmie Rhodes with a tough decision to go for it on fourth and inches. But the play call was unneeded as Alliance got an encroachment violation giving Gering a first down. The drive faltered as quarterback Dillon Demott’s pass was intercepted by Alliance’s Austin Davidson.
Two plays later Alliance’s Mitch Pancost fumbled giving the ball back to Gering. The G-town Bulldogs had no trouble moving the ball down the field capping it off with a Demott to Zac Bibb 10 yard touchdown pass and a good PAT by Gage Smith to give Gering the lead of 7-0 with 11:04 left in the first half to round out the scoring in the first half.

The second half started with Alliance getting the first possession but both teams traded ball back and forth. Then came the controversial play of the game which also turned out to be a huge momentum swing for Gering as an Issac Burham pass ruled a lateral was dropped and Gering recovered.

Before Gering could even snap the ball on the ensuing possession two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties on Mitch Pancost and Alliance head coach Travis Hawk gave Gering a first and goal. A pass interference call on the next play gave Gering a 1st and goal at the 4 yard line. Demott then scrambled in for the four yard score with a PAT by Smith giving Gering a 14-0 lead with 4:32 left to go in the third quarter.
The penalty bug then struck Gering as a roughing the passer penalty kept the Alliance drive alive giving them momentum with a touchdown as Isaac Burnham ran the ball in from the one yard line with a good PAT the score was 14-7 Gering’s lead with 25 seconds left on the third quarter clock.

Both teams traded possessions before crunch time as Alliance marched down the field threatening to get in the end zone. But the Gering faithful left Memorial Stadium happy when Isaac Burnham was intercepted by Walker Britsch on the 4 yard line virtually sealing the game for the Blue and Gold Bulldogs. Gage Smith added the icing on the cake with a 73 yard run down to the 5 yard line and Gering was able to take a knee to run out the clock giving Gering the win 14-7.

Coach Rhodes after the game was very excited for his team coming up with a big win. “The kids played hard for each other and they knew how important this last game was.” Rhodes said ”They played hard for each other, they played hard for their city, they played hard for their seniors, and for them to line up and play four quarters hard was awesome.”

Unfortunately the stars did not line up right for Gering to get into the postseason needing a Grand Island Northwest victory over Columbus and a Chadron victory over Valentine only getting one of the two as Grand Island soundly defeated Columbus 44-13, but Chadron fell at home in overtime against Valentine 14-20 ending Gering’s season at 5-4.

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