Bulldogs keep eye on fundamentals
     2016-09-09      By Frank Marquez    editor@geringcitizen.com
Frank Marquez/Gering Citizen Gering wide receiver Dalton Scott heads for the corner behind a wall of Bulldogs in the blowout game against the McCook Bison, 60-6. Scott gained 114 all-purpose yards on the night, including a 36-yard TD reception.  
Last week the Gering High School football team faced the McCook Bison at Memorial Stadium under Friday night lights in its home opener. The Bison – currently ranked No. 7 among Nebraska high schools, while the Bulldogs are down the list at No. 112 this week – thumped the home team, 60-6.

Bulldogs Head Coach Todd Ekart remarked on just how good a good a Bison team by saying, “They are very good. They beat a very good Aurora team the week before they beat us.” The Aurora Huskies, by the way, are ranked No. 10 this week, and suffered their only loss so far to McCook in their opener, 23-13. Aurora rebounded last week by trashing Sidney (Ekart’s former team from two seasons ago), 52-12.

Gering, by contrast, opened its season on the road against Northwest in Grand Island, taking the brunt of the Vikings’ attack in a 21-0 first quarter. The Bulldogs, though they were held scoreless, managed to ratchet up their defense, and held Northwest to six points in the second quarter, and a lone touchdown in the third for a 34-0 final result.

An optimistic Ekart told his team after the punishing loss to McCook, and second lopsided affair, that “they lost to two very good teams and we still have seven more weeks to get better.”

Ekart added that McCook’s Head Coach Jeff Gross by no means ran up the score. “Coach Gross and the McCook program are a class act,” he said. “When you miss as many assignments as we did, that leads to blowouts.”

The one advantage, and bright spot, was the Bulldogs were able to score on the Bison for their first touchdown of the season when junior QB Tyler Pszanka connected with senior receiver Dalton Scott in the third quarter. Scott worked for the TD, picking up most of the real estate after the catch on a 36-yard advance along the visitor’s sideline.

Pszanka showed plenty of arm, going 6-of-16 for 96 yards, while the Bulldogs’ stable of running backs hit a brick wall. Skylar Mueller, Jacob Rocheleau, Riley Grote and Dalton Scott combined for a net 22 yards. Receiving and a kick return run upped Scott’s all-purpose yardage to 114 on the night.

The Bison spread its offense evenly over four quarters, scoring three touchdowns in the first quarter, but missing a point after attempt. It added two more TDs in the second quarter, again missing a point after attempt, then two more TDs in the third quarter, and another two scores in the final stanza. McCook amassed 342 yards in a fierce ground attack behind senior leader Dunncan Fassler, who accounted for 115 yards and two TDs.

On defense, Bulldogs junior linebacker Cody Ybarra had 11 solo tackles with three assists. Grote (six solos) and senior Dylan Radzymski (five solos) also showed some prowess.

Gering heads to Hastings today to take on Coach Charlie Shoemaker’s Tigers who demolished the Schuyler Warriors last week, 47-3, after losing to the Scottsbluff Bearcats (2-0) in a season opening thriller, 21-13. Last week, the Cats handled Holdrege, 42-28.

This past week, Ekart said he didn’t make any significant changes with regard to a game plan. “We’re working on fundamentals,” he said, “And hopefully, we’ll look like a fundamentally sound team soon.”

Area Scores/Upcoming games

(2-0) Scottsbluff 42, Holdrege 28 (This week: Lexington at home)

Mitchell 7, Pine Bluffs 40 (This week: Kimball at home)

(0-2) Bayard 14, Southeast 18 (This week: At Centura)

Morrill 52, Creek Valley 40 (This week: Crawford at home)

(0-2) Minatare 18, Cody-Kilgore 51 (This week: Arthur County at home)

(0-2) Banner County 13, Arthur County 91 (This week: At Potter-Dix)

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