Gering falls to Lexington in home opener
     2014-09-18      By Philip Eckerberg   
Photo by Nathan Flowers/Spectrum Photo - Gering junior Deion Contreras tears up the turf on his way to the end zone at the Bulldogs’ Friday night home opener. The Bulldogs had a tough game after an early TD near the end of the first quarter. The Lexington Minutement prevailed 40-7. The Bulldogs travel to face the 2-1 Grand Island Northwest Vikings on Friday. 
The Lexington Minutemen were in town as Gering hosted its first home game of 2014, but the visitors played the better game as they handed Gering a 40-7 loss.

Gering started strong as junior Brent Barge grabbed the opening kickoff and made it out to the 20. Quarterback junior Austin Hoffman had to scramble for a pass, but was able to get ball out to the Lexington 48 for a first down. After a false start penalty, the Bulldogs were able to get to the Lexington 27. That’s as far as they got as the Minutemen took over on downs.

After one play, Lexington fumbled at the 35 and the Bulldogs jumped on it. Then Gering was called for a hold to back them up. But they held the series as senior Matt Wolfe ran in for a touchdown with 2:20 left in the first quarter. An extra point by Chris Bartow put the Bulldogs up 7-0. But it was also their last score.

Lexington’s next drive was working well until Gering grabbed a fumble and took over at their own 20. But it was costly, as Hoffman suffered a shoulder injury and wouldn’t return. Sophomore Austin Abbott took over.

After Gering had to kick away, Lexington took three plays to get on the scoreboard and tie the game at 7 with 8:33 left in the first half. And with 16 seconds left, Lexington added another score but missed the extra point, putting the halftime score at 13-7.

Gering kicked off to Lexington to start the second half. It took the Minutemen three plays to get to the end zone again. With a two-point conversion, they led 21-7.

Gering’s next series stalled and they had to kick away. And as before, Lexington took three plays to score again, putting the Minutemen up 28-7 with 9:03 left in the third quarter.

Gering started with good field position after the next kickoff, but were thrown for a 14-yard loss on a trick flea flicker play and had to give up the ball.

Lexington took eight plays in the next series to add points with 3:36 left in the third quarter. Gering broke up the two-point conversion attempt, but the Minutemen were still up 34-7.

Lexington’s final score was with 2:14 to go in the third quarter when they went up 40-7.

Gering head coach Jimmie Rhodes said he was impressed with how the team played in the first half as he saw a huge improvement from game one to game two.

“We got a little nicked up and lost Austin Hoffman,” Rhodes said. “Then the emotional rollercoaster started for our guys. Expectations for the coming week: guys are going to show up, work their tails off, and go and play a really good Grand Island Northwest game.”

Rhodes did not know if Hoffman would be able to play next week or not.

Lexington is 2-1 and Gering dropped to 0-3. Gering travels to Grand Island Northwest next week to take on the Vikings. The Vikings are 2-1 with wins over Alliance and Adams Central and a loss to McCook. All of these teams are future Gering opponents.

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