Bulldogs stopped by Huskies, weather
     2016-09-30      By Frank Marquez    editor@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Nathan Flowers/Spectrum Photo Huskies running back Presten Dibbern pushes through the Gering defense, with a teammate assist, while Gering senior Riley Grote fights against a tough Aurora O line. 
Gering forfeited the game against the Aurora Huskies due to possible lightning strikes last Friday night as the Bulldogs (0-5) suffered their fifth loss of the season at home, 26-0, in playing less than one half of the game.

The Bulldogs continue to struggle on offense scoring only 12 points total through five games; two touchdowns came against McCook and Hastings in the second and third week, respectively. “Offensively we have to do a better job up front,” said Gering Head Coach Todd Ekart. “We need to get low and play behind our pads and get a push. We have not finished the blocks and our pad-level is way too high.”

Regarding flashes of brilliance, the Bulldogs afforded one in the first quarter when junior QB Tyler Pszanka connected with senior receiver Dalton Scott for a 17-yard pickup. The completed pass brought a deafening roar from the crowd, which approved of a Gering team showing signs of life. But just as lightning strikes, the moment passed just as quickly.

That happened during Gering’s first chance at scoring. Instead, Aurora struck first, capping a six-play drive with 6:37 to go in the first quarter for a TD in its first series. In Gering’s first try, Pszanka hit Scott for 17 yards, getting into Huskies’ territory. The Bulldogs failed to extend the drive. Two runs for zero yards, and an incomplete pass later, Gering punted. The Huskies, with the ball, moved quickly down field from their own 32. Senior QB Carter Thompson tossed a 19-yarder to senior wide receiver Presten Dibbern, his only reception on the night. The Huskies missed the point-after attempt for a 6-0 lead.

Aurora cashed in on its next drive as well, after Gering’s four-and-out effort that shaved only a minute off the clock. In six plays, matching its first drive, the Huskies hand-off to Cal Narber on short yardage from the 5-yard line, put Aurora up, 13-0.

On Gering’s next drive, sophomore running back Garrett Conn, during a breakout run, moved the ball from the Bulldogs’ 36 to the Aurora 34, where the drive sputtered. An incomplete pass on fourth down gave the ball back to the Huskies, who then moved it the length of the field to the Gering 11-yard line, where the Bulldogs’ defense held.

Unable to uncork the big play and capitalize on momentum, Gering punted to an already hyped Huskies team. A heavy wet ball traveled only 36 yards, where Dibbern put his jetpack on and returned the rock for Aurora’s third TD, and a 19-0 lead.

Aside from Conn’s performance, Ekart said, “We are really seeing a lot of good things from freshmen in practice and there are some sophomores that are really raising their level of play. We still have plenty of work to do in regard to player development, but we are seeing the younger kids picking up on techniques and they will really benefit from the off season training.”

According to Ekart, Gering’s record doesn’t influence playing time or with whether or not underclassmen get more game-time experience. “We are going to play the kids that give us the best chance to win,” he said. “We are constantly looking for kids that are going to do what they are coached to do, and play with great effort. I expect that to be seniors, but if it is underclassmen so be it.”

Gering squandered another drive before the lightning delay, while Aurora again covered short yardage after the punt. After only two plays, Thompson hit senior Alex Kubik on a screen pass up the left side, adding another TD for the Huskies, and a 26-0 final score. Ekart called his team off the field with the weather delay, and eventual game ending forfeit.

Gering’s offensive leader Pszanka was 2-of-4 for 24 yards passing. Conn led rushers with six carries for 32 yards. Scott’s 17-yard reception was the longest. On defense, Scott also had three solo tackles, and two assists. Otherwise, the Bulldogs’ defense was almost non-existent.

The Bulldogs face the Lexington Minutemen tonight, September 30, on the road just one of four games left on their schedule. Both teams are still looking for their first win of the season after suffering five lopsided losses. Having that in common, which team will get that first win? It may be Gering’s best chance before having to play rival Scottsbluff, Alliance and Sidney as a heavy underdog.

The Bearcats remain undefeated at the top of the B-8 District standings unless they stumble against the McCook Bison; they have the best chance of any team in the valley of making a deep run in the playoffs. Their first win against the Hastings Tigers, 21-13, might have been their only real test.

As for Gering’s mounting losses, and although they have improved on last season’s efforts, the rewards have been incremental. “We try to just go 1 and 0 every week,” Ekart said. “So we tell the players to learn from past mistakes, but don’t dwell on them. Good athletes are internally motivated and we stress that. If they want to be good, we will put them in position, but they have to do the work.”

Against Lexington, the Bulldogs may be shorthanded on defense. Ekart said linebacker Cody Ybarra, a leader in tackles, who injured his shoulder in the game against the Huskies, will be evaluated by a specialist to measure the extent of the injury.

As for defense, the Bulldogs will need to pick up on the slack in covering the edges. Breakout runs by their opponents have plagued them all season long. “I think it was more a lack of speed,” Ekart said. “We had guys in position, but could not seem to run anyone down. We need better pursuit to help with that.”

As for the keys to a possible win against Lexington, Ekart said it will take “energy and a competitive attitude.”

Other area prep scores:

L - Mitchell 14, Gordon-Rushville 46

L - Morrill 12, Sutherland 66

L – Bayard 14, Bridgeport 18

W - Minatare 68, Potter-Dix 35

L - Banner County 6, Hay Springs 53

W - Torrington 66, Riverton 49

Share this story on Facebook
LOGIN or REGISTER for exclusive access to premium content

Good Afternoon friend!
Recently Read Sports
995Bulldogs stopped by Huskies, weather
577Zephyrs open season
728Wrestling round up
791Bearcat girls' perfect streak reaches 12 before loss
1802State competitors help bolster Bayard track team
917Mitchell track team committed to hard work
1143STATE CHAMPIONS: Bearcats spell state title run T-E-A-M
749Gering soccer: win some, lose some
781Scottsbluff boys take 2 hard losses, Bearcat girls fall on road
972Scottsbluff takes third at home tennis invite
927Bulldogs place third in Greeley 3v3 soccer tournament
598Bearcat golfers take second, headed to state: Bulldog boys end season at district tournament
1037Bearcats sweep tennis triangular
1278WNCC men advanced in Region IX hoops tourney
1357Bearcats sweep season-opening Gering meet: Scottsbluff boys take top-4 spots for perfect team score; Barraza, Muncie earn wins
1200WNCC's Rasnic named North Division Coach of the Year
721Morrill cross country team trying new sport
628Gering girl's 10-U softball champions
939Gering juniors plagued by 10-run rule against Casper
743Final Point: Awesome autumnal athletes thrive in team, individual roles
Most Read Sports 2012
3921Mitchell track off to a strong start
3797Morrill baseball back in business
3203Rivals make good friends, better training partners
2993Mendoza spirit lives on in softball tournament
2907Gering wrestling builds on experience
2807Bulldogs basketball ready to run Class B gauntlet
2640Raising the bar high
2596Gering breaks two records at Chadron: Track season gets underway at Chadron Indoor Meet
2580Kizzire and Kautz take first place
2570Gering resident lives his dream
2547All Points West: Time to get tough Huskers
2460All Points West: We’ll miss 2016 seniors
2404Doing the heavy lifting
2342Basketball girls hungry for more wins
2308Gering girls’ soccer team creating team first attitude
2294Cougars clench 18th straight Region IX title
2243Beam to golf at Midland
2217Sterkel Colorado bound, inks with Rangers
2131Morrill Lions move to eight-man offers opportunity
2071Mud Volleyball has another wildly successful year
Most Read Sports 2011
3921Mitchell track off to a strong start
3797Morrill baseball back in business
3203Rivals make good friends, better training partners
2993Mendoza spirit lives on in softball tournament
2907Gering wrestling builds on experience
2807Bulldogs basketball ready to run Class B gauntlet
2640Raising the bar high
2596Gering breaks two records at Chadron: Track season gets underway at Chadron Indoor Meet
2580Kizzire and Kautz take first place
2570Gering resident lives his dream
2547All Points West: Time to get tough Huskers
2460All Points West: We’ll miss 2016 seniors
2404Doing the heavy lifting
2342Basketball girls hungry for more wins
2308Gering girls’ soccer team creating team first attitude
2294Cougars clench 18th straight Region IX title
2243Beam to golf at Midland
2217Sterkel Colorado bound, inks with Rangers
2131Morrill Lions move to eight-man offers opportunity
2071Mud Volleyball has another wildly successful year
Platte Valley Companies
Fresh Foods
American Legacy
Spectrum Photo
Kendell Henderson
= = = Platte Valley Companies' = = =
Sports Page

Check out the
Gering Bulldogs on