Indians unable to capitalize against Wolves, fall 46-30
     2013-10-17      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Sheila Weber/for the Citizen - Minatare’s Yovan Pere (No. 20) searches for a clear opening, with teammate Dominic Longoria’s (No. 55) protection at Friday’s home bout against Arthur. Minatare fought hard but Arthur prevailed, logging a 46-30 win.  
MINATARE -- Things started well on the scoreboard for the Minatare football team Friday night, with the Indians leading Arthur County by eight points after the first quarter and by two at halftime.

But the visiting Wolves had nearly twice as many offensive yards in the first half as did Minatare, and Arthur County outgained the Indians by 214 yards on its way to scoring a 46-30 win.

The Wolves (3-3) committed three turnovers, resulting in 22 first-half points for the Indians (2-4).

After Arthur County scored on a 28-yard pass play on its first series, Minatare scored on junior Marc Cinocco's 7-yard run that followed a 32-yard pass from junior Tyler Koke to junior Javier Guerrero.

On second down of the Wolves' next drive, Minatare sophomore Jovan Perez picked off a pass and returned the ball 33 yards to the Arthur County 3-yard line.

Guerrero then scored on the next play, and junior Juan Garfio's extra-point kick gave the Indians a 14-8 lead.

Arthur County fumbled the ball on its first play afterward, when Cinocco and junior Chance McAllister forced a loose ball that was recovered by Garfio at the Wolves' 23-yard line.

Six plays later, Guerrero scored from 2 yards out and Garfio made the 2-point extra-point kick (six-man rule) for a 22-8 Minatare lead with 58 seconds left in the first quarter.

Despite trailing by two scores, however, Arthur County had outgained the Indians 132 total yards to 63.

But Minatare's defense struck again in the second quarter, with Indians junior Juan Garfio returning a fumble 36 yards for a touchdown and give Minatare a 30-22 lead with 40 seconds left before halftime.

But Arthur County gained momentum going into halftime on third down-and-15 from its 34-yard line, when sophomore quarterback Mike Buitron connected with junior Austin Helmer for a 46-yard strike with six seconds remaining in the half.

At intermission, the Wolves held a 220-111 advantage in total yardage, and Minatare coach J.J. Ozuna said Arthur County was really giving the Indians fits with its offense.

"That second quarter, they found a formation that was giving us problems," Ozuna said. "We tried to give assignments to guys defensively. And offensively, it was a matter of maintaining our blocks and that wasn't happening at all and that's what we needed to find success."

In the second half, Minatare mustered just 39 offensive yards and had just one first down after halftime.

"We were playing a good team, and they definitely capitalized on our mistakes," said Minatare coach J.J. Ozuna, whose team did not commit any turnovers but had the Wolves' defense controlling the Indians' offense.

Buitron completed 10 of 24 passes for 321 yards and six touchdowns, with junior Gunner Walker catching five receptions 136 yards and two TDs. Helmer had a rushing TD to go with his scoring reception.

For Minatare, Guerrero had 25 carries for 105 yards and two touchdowns and caught three passes for 41 yards. Koke was limited to 38 passing yards on just 5 of 16 completions.

Defensively, Marc Cinocco finished with a team-high 11 tackles, including six solo stops, while Perez added seven total tackles (four solo) to his interception. Garfio had five total tackles to go with his two fumble recoveries. Freshman Josh Cinocco and McAllister had four tackles apiece.

The Indians finish their regular-season schedule Friday at home against the Arcadia Huskies at 2 p.m.

"Just sticking together as a team, we still have hope for the playoffs, so we need to get our stuff together for another tough opponent," Ozuna said.

Bridgeport 28, Bayard 26 (2 OT)

In the battle of Morrill County at Bayard, Bridgeport sophomore Wyatt Pankowski spoiled the host Tigers’ upset bid by tying the game with 37 seconds remaining to force overtime.

After a scoreless first OT, Pankowski then scored on a 3-yard run in the second overtime and ran in the 2-point conversion to give the Bulldogs a 28-20 lead.

Bayard senior quarterback Zac Rice scored from 2 yards out, but the Tigers were stopped just short of the goal line on the extra-point run and leaving Bayard two points short in the District C2-10 game.

Bayard (2-4, 0-1 district) had 227 rushing yards, led by senior Rugby Miller’s 135 yards on 27 carries with one touchdown.

Rice ran 12 times for 55 yards and his overtime TD, and he completed 9 of 19 passes for 54 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Senior David Schuler had six receptions for 46 yards and one TD.

Pankowski gained 174 yards for Bridgeport (4-2, 1-0 district) on 30 carries, leading the Bulldogs’ 269-yard ground attack.

Senior quarterback Jaime Gonzalez ran for 63 yards on 13 carries and was 7-for-15 for 95 passing yards with one touchdown and one interception. Senior Kaleb Decora had four receptions for 76 yards and one TD.

Defensively for Bayard, senior Michael Alfaro had 14 total tackles (nine solo), Miller had 13 stops (eight solo) and junior Tristan Hunter made 11 tackles (eight solo). Senior Brandon Bowers had two interceptions.

The Tigers will entertain Perkins County (0-5, 0-1) in another district game Friday at 7 p.m.

Ogallala 54, Mitchell 14

The visiting Mitchell Tigers were outscored by Ogallala 27-0 in the first quarter, and the Indians kept the Tigers winless on the season after taking the District C1-10 victory.

Mitchell got 1327 yards rushing from senior Adam Schlotthauer, while Drew Gilliland ran for 33 yards and both Tiger touchdowns. Gilliland also completed five passes for 69 yards with one interception.
Brayden Wiedeman caught two passes for 41 yards and Schlotthauer made two receptions for 21 yards.

Defensively for Mitchell, Schlotthauer made 5 unassisted tackles and 11 total stops, while Gilliland had four solo tackles and seven overall and Nick Harriger had seven assists.

The Tigers (0-6, 0-1 district) will play host to Chadron (4-2, 2-0 district) on Friday at 7 p.m. in Mitchell’s final home game.

Maxwell 32, Morrill 24

In District D1-10 action at Maxwell, the visiting Morrill Lions (2-4) fell to 0-3 in district play while Maxwell (2-4) improved to 2-1.

Statistics for the Lions from the game were not available.

Morrill returns home for its final two games, starting Friday against district leader Hemingford (6-0, 3-0).

Wauneta-Palisade 54, Banner County 47


At Wauneta, the host Broncos scored 38 second-quarter points on their way to downing the Banner County Wildcats in a 101-point shootout.

Statistics for Banner County from the game were not available.

The Wildcats (3-3) will complete their season Friday against Lindsay Holy Family (1-1) at 3 p.m. in Harrisburg.

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