Gering opens against a tough G.I. Northwest
     2016-09-02      By Roger Holsinger    editor@geringcitizen.com
GRAND ISLAND – Last Friday night’s season opener for the Gering football team was not the way Head Coach Todd Ekart had hoped as his young team lost, 34-0.

“It was a mess,” said Ekart. “We went out and we knew exactly what they were going to run – we worked on it all week – and we just didn’t execute. We got tired and we got lazy and we gave up big plays. They out-toughed us, pure and simple.”

Despite the loss, Ekart said he did see a few positives as his defense tackled better than last year, “and the offense probably had a better day than they did last year,” but he added that his team missed a number of opportunities as a result of fumbles and not staying focused.

“You can’t make those types of mistakes when you’re an up and coming team. We’ll learn from it and go next week,” said Ekart.

Gering got the ball first to start the game and ran three plays and gain just a yard. Then on fourth down the punt only traveled a few yards and Grand Island Northwest started its first drive on the Gering 28 yard line. Two plays later Northwest had scored with a 12-yards touchdown pass and after the point-after kick, had a 7-0 lead with 10:03 left in the first quarter.

It appeared that the Bulldogs might have had some first game jitters as they started at their own 27 and then moved the ball into Viking territory, due in part to a couple of personal fouls called on Viking players. But the drive ended and Gering punted the ball away. However the defense stepped up and forced a three and out.

The Bulldogs started their next drive on the Northwest 40, but again the offense failed to move the ball and the Vikings got the ball back. Two plays later the Vikings would be in the end zone as Brady Glause went 75 yards to score to give his Vikings a 14-0 advantage with 5:20 remaining in the first quarter.

Things didn’t get any better for the Bulldogs and they went three and out on their next possession and then saw another seven points added to the Viking score as the Northwest quarterback, Carter Terry, scrambled 53 yards for the score and took at 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

A brief ray of hope came in the second quarter as Gering started its drive on the Northwest 37 after the Viking punter bobbled the snap and was sacked. However, two plays later Northwest got the ball back after a Bulldog fumble. But the Bulldog defense stepped up to the hold the Vikings. But once again the offense stalled and Gering punted away.

Northwest added another score in the second quarter and went in at halftime leading, 27-0.

In the third quarter it appeared as though Gering might be on the verge of a scoring drive and the offense began to click and the Bulldogs were knocking on the Viking 15. But on the next play, running back Jacob Rocheleau, had the ball striped and Northwest took over at its own 23.

Two plays later Northwest was in the end zone to take a 34-0 lead.

The Bulldogs had one more drive late in the game as Tyler Pszanka connected with Chris Palomo and Palomo took it to the Viking five yard line for a first and goal. But the fumble bug hit the Bulldogs again and another Gering drive ended.

This Friday the Bulldogs hope to bounce back with their home opener with McCook.

Ekart said McCook is a “tough” team and his squad needs to be prepared to play much better than they did against Northwest.

“They (Gering) need to figure out which team is going to show up because if this team (from August 26) shows up it will be rough, but we have got to get them going.”

Ekart said they will need to work on the fundamentals and that hopefully his squad will be motivated at home.

Something that Ekart hopes will motivate his team is the lack of wins for a couple of seasons.

“I told the seniors that they haven’t won a game, ever, from their sophomore year. That should be motivation in itself and we shouldn’t have to give them the ‘rah rah’ speech. They should just want to get on the board,” he said.

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