Gering loses in dogfight with Alliance
     2014-10-16      By Philip Eckerberg   
Photo by Nathan Flowers/Spectrum Photo - Gering junior Deion Contreras (No. 20) looks to break free from Alliance defenders as Gering junior Brenden Brester (No. 52) moves into action for a block allowing Contreras to gain precious yardage on the play. Contreras eventually made it into the end zone, picking up a touchdown for the home team Bulldogs. For his hard-driving efforts, Contreras was named Gering’s player of the game Friday night. 
It was the battle of the Bulldogs as Gering fell to Alliance 39-21 last Friday, extending its winless record to 0-7.
Gering gave it their best shot in the first quarter, but the drive stalled after a fumble and missed field goal with 5:12 left. Alliance took over on downs and promptly marched down the field and made their first touchdown with 2:49 to go in the first quarter. The extra point put Alliance up 7-0.

Gering was rolling again in the second quarter, but quarterback Junior Austin Hoffman threw an interception to end the drive. Alliance’s next score came with 3:28 to play in the first half, and the extra point was good to put them up 14-0.

But the first half scoring wouldn’t end there. In the closing seconds, Hoffman threw his second interception and Alliance ran it back for their third touchdown with just 22 seconds left. The extra point put Alliance up 21-0.

Alliance continued its scoring with 11:21 left in the third period, putting another six points on the board. But Gering’s Quentin Timblin blocked the extra point attempt, leaving Alliance with a 27-0 lead. And they picked up another touchdown when the special teams unit blocked a punt from Gering’s Brent Barge. Although Gering again blocked the extra point, Alliance was still up 33-0.

Gering finally got their game going in the final quarter, scoring three touchdowns in less than five minutes. The first came on a Hoffman run from the two yard line. Kicker Chris Bartow added the extra point and Gering was on the board, 33-7.

Gering made a successful onside kick to recover the ball. Four plays later, Hoffman connected with Timblin on a huge 34-yard pass. Deion Contreras finished off the drive with a nine-yard into the end zone. Bartow again connected on the extra point and the score was 33-14.
Alliance added an insurance touchdown with 2:47 to go in the game, but Gering’s special teams earned another blocked extra point.
Alliance was now up 39-14.

Gering wasn’t ready to give up as the team set out on a four-play march into the end zone. Hoffman found sophomore Chris Palomo for the 45-yard touchdown pass with 2:25 left. Bartow’s kick was good, but Gering was still behind 39-21. That allowed Alliance to run out the clock.

Looking at Gering’s stats, Contreras had 44 carries for 180 yards. Sophomore Dylan Radzymski had 2 for 11 yards. Hoffman completed 12 of 19 passes for 139 yards with 2 interceptions. Receptions were made by Timblin 4, Palomo 3, Junior Mitch Martin 2, Contreras 1, Senior Esai Hernandez 1, and Barge 1.

“There were a lot of positive things going on,” Gering Coach Jimmie Rhodes said. “It was good to see our guys keep fighting throughout the game. We got down and had some extreme odds to overcome. We kept battling and the guys got it into the end zone at the end of the game. We keep fighting and keep plugging away and keep finding positive things to build on.”

Tomorrow Gering will play their cross-town rival, the Scottsbluff Bearcats, for the biggest game of the year. “Coach Deaver and Coach Benson have a pretty good football team,” Rhodes said of their Friday night opponents. “They have great athletes over there. They have guys that can fly around and run around. They have size, they have experience, and they have speed. We are going to put our best foot forward. We are going to have our best 11 players on the field every possession.”

Scottsbluff, at 6-1, is coming off of a win against a tough district matchup against Sidney. Gering will still be in the hunt for that first win of the season. A wise man once said that if the only game you win all year is the Scottsbluff-Gering game you have had a good season. Time will tell if G-Town will be able to say that.

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