Gering struggles at Hastings
     2016-09-16      By Roger Holsinger    editor@geringcitizen.com
Roger Holsinger/Special to the Gering Citizen Gering’s Skylar Mueller avoids a Hastings defender during the Friday contest in Hastings. Mueller had a number of good runs but the Bulldogs fell to the Tigers, 42-6. 
HASTINGS — The Gering High School football team came home without a win here last Friday night, but managed to put points on the board.

In the waning minutes of the fourth quarter, Garrett Conn scrambled in for the score, but the Tigers of Hastings proved too much as the Bulldogs fell, 42-6.

Gering will have the opportunity to regroup this Friday as they travel to Chadron.

Head coach Todd Ekart said the loss had to do with the lack of fundamentals.

“I told the kids that they (Hastings) wanted it more than we did,” he said. “They played harder, ran harder, and tackled better. It’s fundamentals, and we do it every single day and we harp at them and harp at them but it just hasn’t translated.”

Another area the Bulldogs struggled with was tackling, said Ekart, but again he added, that comes with the fundamentals of knowing how to tackle.

“Across the board defensively, it was bad. It was bad in the front end and back end. We’re not bussing our feet; we’re not wrapping up. It’s stuff we should be doing by now,” Ekart said.

So, if this group of players isn’t working, could a change be in the works?

Ekart said no because of the lack of depth.

“We are so thin and if we make a change it’s a kid that I’m not sure if he could play JV (junior varsity).

“The guys we’ve got are the ones we’ve got. As we’re playing we can shift some guys around, but we don’t have that many backups, we don’t have a lot of wholesale changes that we can make. It’s tough,” he said.

The Bulldogs offense was tested first in the contest, but the team struggled and went three and out. Hastings got the ball on their own 26 and proceeded to march up the field. But the drive ended when quarterback Vinny Schmidt lost the ball and Austin Abbott recovered for Gering.

Starting on their own four, the Bulldogs picked up yards from Riley Grote and then a pass went through the hands of the receiver and Gering had to punt again.

Hastings first scoring drive began on its own 36 and ended with Connor Laux scoring from three yards out to give the Tigers a 7-0 lead with 4:28 remaining in the first quarter.

Gering then began with good field position, from its 33, and began a drive that included quarterback Tyler Pszanka scrambling for yards, Grote running for a few and Skylar Mueller catching a pass for 12 yards, but the drive ended with another punt to end the first quarter.

Hastings added another score early in the second quarter to take a 13-0 lead.

Gering began its next drive on its own 40 and moved the ball with runs from Dalton Scott and Pszanka and on a gutsy fourth an inches got the first down to keep the drive alive. But the joy was short-lived as the dive ended and Hasting got the ball at the Gering 40.

Gering then got flagged for interference and off sides to help Hastings move down the field. Carmelo Ozuna and Austin Abbott slowed the Tiger running backs down and Scott added a solid hit and Hastings was looking at its first fourth down of the contest.

Schmidt picked up the first down as the Gering defense couldn’t stop him. Schmidt then connected with Chayce Hepner for the 11-yard score. Hastings would add another score late in the second period to take a commanding, 28-0 halftime lead.

By the end of the third quarter Hastings had a 35-0 lead and the 35-point rule went into effect, meaning that the clock continued to run except for timeouts, injuries and to place the ball.

Gering next drive began strong as Pszanka connected with Scott to the 49 of Hastings and then Scott ran for good yards and had 15 yards added to it after a personal foul on the Tigers. Gering had a first and 10 on the Hastings 23 with 7:29 left in the third period.

Pszanka hit Scott again to the Hastings nine, but then on the next play, Scott had the ball stripped at the 10 and the Tiger defense ended the Bulldogs hope of a score.

As the final quarter began, Gering tried to put a drive together, but flags and wild snaps hampered the drive.

Late in the quarter, Quinton Janecek took over as quarterback and would later lead the team down the field to set up a Bulldog score.

With the loss Gering goes to 0-3 for the season. The team hasn’t had a win since the 2013 season and Ekart said his players have got to learn how to be more than mediocre and that needs to be a quick lesson as they travel to Chadron this week.

“I don’t know if these guys know how to compete right now,” he said. “We have competitions in practice each week, but you have to just learn how to compete and when you do that you learn how to win.

“Right now, we can’t even compete, so we have to learn that first and then we’ll learn how to win,” Ekart said.

Chadron (1-2) is coming off a win over Broken Bow and Ekart said Chadron and Hastings are similar in playing styles.

“They will throw it when they want to and they have a couple of good running backs and they have a quarterback that is pretty good, so it’s more of the same and it’s time to start getting better,” he said.

Area prep scores:

L - Bayard 0, Centura 46

L - Morrill 0, Crawford 48

L - Minatare 33, Arthur County 53

W - Banner County 59, Potter-Dix 5

W - Torrington 19, Worland 13

Gering Junior High School results:

Alliance 20, Gering 14

Gering scoring-Brett Pzsanka 15 yard run

2 point conversion no good

Brady Radzymski 35 yard punt return for TD

Radzymski run 2 point conversion


B Game (2 quarters)

Gering 22, Alliance 8

Markuson 25 yard run TD

2 pt failed

Chris Snellng 34 yd run TD

Markuson run 2 pt good

Jarrod Beamon 6 yard run TD


Snellng run 2 pt conversion good

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