Warriors open 2018 campaign vs NE City
The last time the Schuyler Central High School Warriors football team played on their home turf last October, they ended a long losing streak with a win over South Sioux City. There were high hopes last Friday night that SCHS would continue building on the momentum of that huge win. As it turned out, the night belonged to the Nebraska City Pioneers who were trying to take the shackles off of their own eleven game losing skid. They did just that with a convincing 41-8 win over the Warriors in the season opener for both teams.
The night belonged to the Levy brothers, who bolstered a Pioneer offense that gained 377 total yards compared to 235 for the Warriors.
Bryce Levy, who ended the night with 293 yards of total offense, carried the ball seven times for 130 yards and three touchdowns and completed 7 of 13 passes for another 163 yards and a score. Bryce’s brother Tyler carried the ball seven times for 70 yards and a touchdown and hauled in six passes for 148 yards and a score.
The Warriors showed moments of greatness on offense as well but couldn’t cross the goal line until the final seconds of the contest.
Caden Yrkoski led Schuyler in rushing with 68 yards on ten carries, and Elmer Salazar added 65 more yards on seven carries. Sophomore Nolan Healy, starting his first game at quarterback, completed 3 of 7 passes for 30 yards but had three potential receptions dropped by his receivers.
“We did some very positive things throughout the night. Our running game was strong as the night went along. We were getting some good angles and great blocks that allowed us to make some big runs,” coach Aaron Thumann said. “You could see that we are really capable of doing well and plan to grow on that each week.”
Nebraska City scored on their second drive of the game on an eight-play, 80 yard drive culminated by a six yard bootleg run by Bryce Levy with 5:26 left in the first quarter. The PAT kick by Manny Adame was low and left of the crossbar leaving the score at 6-0.
The Pioneers made it 12-0 with 3:30 left in the opening frame on a four play scoring drive covering 36 yards. Tyler Levy scored the touchdown on a ten yard sweep around the right end.
Nebraska City decided to go for the two point conversion and converted it on a pass from from Bryce Levy to Aaron Connell making it 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.
The Pioneers’ first drive of the second quarter was a successful one. It began with the first of four personal foul penalties called against the Warriors. Eight plays later, Nebraska City had covered 58 yards on the drive that ended on a 2-yard dive by running back Landon Adams. Following the PAT kick by Adame, NC found themselves up 21-0 with 8:20 left in the half.
Schuyler fumbled the ball away on their next drive setting the Pioneers up with the short field at the SCHS 44 yard-line. Bryce Levy ended the seven play scoring drive on a 12-yard quarterback scamper through the middle of the line making the score 28-0 with 5:25 remaining in the half.
The Warriors then mounted one of their best offensive drives of the night that took them from their own 29 to the Pioneer 27 in nine plays but another fumble by Schuyler Central was recovered by Nebraska City its own 21 yard-line with 1:47 to go.
It appeared as if the Pioneers were going to let the clock run down to end the half but after a 5-yard delay of game penalty and a one yard run, Bryce Levy hit his brother Tyler in stride behind the SCHS secondary on an impressive 83 yard scoring strike making it 35-0 after the PAT.
“There were many times that we got into their backfield and had opportunities to get tackles for losses,” Thumann said. “We really showed our capability to disrupt plays up front but we just needed to finish those plays. That is something that we will get moving forward.”
The Warriors outscored the Pioneers 8-6 in the second half as the 35-point running clock rule went into effect for the remainder of the game.
Neither team crossed the goal line in a scoreless third quarter, but Bryce Levy put the finishing touches on his outstanding evening with an electrifying 86-yard touchdown run with 8:11 to go in the game making the score 41-0 as the extra point kick failed.
Schuyler was its own worst enemy at the start of the next drive as Yrkoski runs of 22 and 11 yards were shortened due to a pair of personal foul penalties.
With second-and-14 at their own 26, Yrkoski ripped off two more runs of 13 and 12 yards setting the Warriors up with a first down at their own 39.
Schuyler put reserves in to finish out the battle against the NC reserves. The second and third stringers continued the drive in fine style covering the final 61 yards in eight plays capped off by a 1-yard plunge by Jesus Carrasco giving Schuyler Central their first points of the 2018 campaign.
After a delay of game call against the Warriors placed the ball at the NC 8, Carrasco tacked on the two point conversion run as he raced around the left end and into the end zone.
“The biggest take away we had from that game is that we hurt ourselves a lot through the night. Small mistakes throughout the night took us from being a really great positions and situations and put us in tough positions where we had our backs up against the wall,” Thumann said. “Some of those key areas were turnovers, not breaking down and making sure tackles, and just being too eager to make the big play and not focusing on doing our individual jobs. If we would’ve been able to do those three things better, that would’ve been a very different game.”
The Warriors travel to Lexington Friday night to take on the 0-1 Minutemen. Lexington lost a rugged battle to the Crete Cardinals in Crete last Friday night by a score of 27-18.