Minatare falls to Riverside in season opener
     2014-09-11      By Roger Holsinger   
Photo by Roger Holsinger Photography - Minatare’s Jovan Perez tries to break free from a Riverside defender as he receives some help from teammate Dominic Longoria during the Indians season opener on Sept. 5. The Indian comeback fell short as the tribe lost to the Chargers, 28-22. 
MINATARE — The Minatare Indians were on their way for a comeback here on Sept. 5 during the season opener, but penalties and a strong Riverside defense halted the surge. The Indians fell to the Chargers, 28-22.

Assistant Coach Matt Korkow said first game jitters were to blame for some of the early mental errors.

“Our players were nervous and excited and I think they were trying to help each other out too much and you can’t do that in football. When it comes to your assignment you have to almost have tunnel vision,” he said.

Despite the slow start, Korkow said the players bounced back, never gave up. “And at the end of the game they were executing pretty well I thought. We just took too long to get going.”

On Sept. 12 Minatare will host Wauneta-Palisade with kickoff set for 6 p.m. The Broncos fell to Sioux County last Friday, 72-27. Sioux County took and early 44-0 first quarter lead and never looked back.

Korkow said this week the team would be practicing on eliminating penalties along with better tackling, blocking and assignments.

Even though the Indians enter with a 0-1 record, Korkow said he was impressed with the way the team played defense, and that Riverside scored on plays called at the right time.

“Offensively in the second half we moved the ball well, but this week we have to make sure that when we’re moving the ball we make sure to get into the end zone,” he said.

Riverside got on the board first as Collin Martinsen connected with Patrick Lange to give the Chargers a 6-0 lead with 2:42 left in the first quarter. Penalties hurt Minatare on its next possession and Riverside extended its lead to 12-0 with less than a minute to play in the first quarter as Martinsen connected with Lange again.

Minatare came back in the second quarter as Tyler Koke found Yovan Perez for 25 yards and then Javier Guerrero took it 13 yards. After Juan Garfio’s kick, Minatare trailed 14-8 with 6:25 remaining in the first half. The Minatare defense stepped up again as Chance McAllister intercepted a pass, but the offense was unable to move the ball. Riverside took over and Noah Valasek scored to give Riverside a 22-8 halftime lead.

As the second half opened, Minatare showed signs of a comeback as the Indians blocked a field goal attempt, but then fumbled on the next set of downs. Riverside added another score late in the third quarter to take a 28-8 lead. But Minatare again showed signs of a rally starting on its own 10 yard line as Koke connected with Dominic Longoria for a 48 yard score. Riverside lead 28-16 at the end of the third quarter.

As the final period opened the Minatre defense stepped up and forced a four and out for the Chargers. Then Marc Cinocco rushed a couple of times to put the Indians within scoring position, but turned over the ball on downs after a fourth down run failed. However, Cinocco recovered a fumble that set up a Perez to Koke pass and a 22-yard touchdown. With 2:23 remaining in the game the Indians had cut the Charger lead to a touchdown, but that would be as close as the Indians would get as a costly penalty gave the Chargers a first down and ended the game.

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