Columbus football held a 7-6 lead at halftime, returned the opening kickoff of the second half for a score but allowed the next 29 straight points and fell to 1-2 on the season with a 35-14 loss at Elkhorn on Friday night.
The Antlers answered the Discoverer’s big special teams play after the halftime kick with a touchdown return of their own then created enough big plays offensively while denying Columbus at critical times the rest of the way.
CHS drove into Elkhorn territory on every second half possession but failed to add anymore points after Garrett Esch scored on the initial second-half kick.
“We just couldn’t finish the drives when we were on their side of the field and hit a couple big plays,” coach Craig Williams said. “We moved the ball up and down the field, it just goes back to finishing drives.
“We started a sophomore quarterback, and he took a big step forward. We’re getting better in some areas. We’ve got to finish on offense and not give up the big play on defense. We’ve got to stop the breakdowns and make them earn every yard they get.”
That was the case in the first half as Columbus limited Elkhorn to six points and led at the half after Joey Braasch’s scored to give the Discoverers a 7-6 led 1:45 before the half. Braasch reached the end zone four times in last week’s win over North Platte but neither he nor his teammates created any more points over the final two quarters.
Meanwhile, Elkhorn answered the kickoff return with one of its own and converted a two-point try for the 14-14 tie, took a 21-14 lead with 6:19 remaining in the third, scored once more before the end of the third then added the final points with 10:02 left in the game.
The Discoverers sustained drives each time they took the ball back but couldn’t solve a bend but don’t break Antlers defense.
“We’re disappointed in the score, but as a coaching staff, we’re not disappointed in our kids. We back them 100 percent,” Williams said. “They’ve given us everything they have this year. They come to practice with a good attitude. They were jacked up before the game tonight, excited, enthusiastic. We just asked them to give us more of the same, and we’re going to keep getting better.
“That attitude and their effort has kept us in these games. It will win some games for us this year. They just have to keep believing that and bring it every day.”
St. Francis 46, Clarkson/Leigh 6
St. Francis Flyers football defeated the visiting Clarkson/Leigh Patriots, 46-6 in Friday’s Week 3 matchup.
In their next game, St. Francis will face the Giltner Hornets with a 2-0 record on the line. Giltner enters the game with a 1-1 record after a 70-20 loss to Central Valley.
Clarkson/Leigh (0-2) will now prepare for its contest against Parkview Christian after blowing out Omaha Christian Academy 74-30 and improving to 1-1.
Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family 55, Sterling 52
HLFH scored 20 in the first quarter, 14 in the second quarter, eight in the third quarter and 13 in the fourth quarter to hold off Sterling. The Bulldogs are on a bye next week after improving to 2-1.
Twin River 35, Tekamah Herman 12
Twin River defeated Tekamah Herman behind a four-touchdown game from Jaxson Hinkle and three touchdown receptions from Mason Prososki.
The Titans piled up 231 yards on the ground.
Twin River (1-2) plays Crofton (0-3) at 7 p.m. Friday night at home.
Peter Huguenin and Nate Tenopir are sports reporters for The Columbus Telegram. Reach them via email at firstname.lastname@example.org