Schuyler football finds success on ground but falls to Bennington
Desperately searching for an offensive revival, the Schuyler Central High School Warriors football team turned to their rushing attack and came up with 223 yards on the ground and a strong first half against the Bennington Badgers in Schuyler on Friday night but ended up losing the game by the score of 46-7.
In a game played under wet and slippery conditions, Schuyler Central head coach Aaron Thumann noted: “Actually, it was a perfect night for football.
“We actually thought the light mist might be to our advantage because we wanted to run straight ahead at Bennington, and they are a team that wants to throw the ball down field and run just sweeps.”
Senior running backs Caden Yrkoski and Jesus Maganda both gave strong performances against the Badgers collecting 86 and 88 yards, respectively, in the contest.
The Warriors may have ended up losing more than just a football game however as Maganda had to be helped off the field in the middle of the third quarter with an apparent shoulder injury.
Though the Warriors found success in their offensive game plan, the defense still struggled to shut down their district foe.
Bennington ran for 422 yards and five touchdowns on 35 carries, and quarterback Nick Bohn connected on three of his five aerial attempts for another 82 yards and a score.
Karson Gansebom led the Badgers with 123 yards on five carries including an incredible 84-yard touchdown run on an end around on Bennington’s first offensive possession of the game.
Thumann knew that Bennington had some offensive weapons that were going to be tough to slow down.
“Bennington has some speed on their team and some very talented athletes,” he said. “We had to make sure we took the right angles against their offense and make some sure tackles. At times we did not do that and that is when they had the plays on us.”
For the second week in a row, the Warriors took the opening kickoff and appeared to be on their way to scoring the opening touchdown of the contest.
Unlike a week ago however, the drive stalled when Yrkoski mishandled the slippery football and fumbled the pigskin away to Bennington deep in Badger territory midway through the first quarter.
“We started on offense and were moving the ball well. It looked like we would have to opportunity to take our opening drive right down the field for a score,” Thumann said. “Unfortunately, we had that fumble and gave the ball over to Bennington.”
That fumble set up Gansebom as he stepped up and took off on his 84-yard touchdown gallop giving Bennington the early 8-0 lead after a two-point conversion.
Gansebom scored his second touchdown of the evening on the Badgers next possession on a five-yard run making it 15-0 after one quarter of action.
Following a huge stop of Bennington on fourth-and-1 at Schuyler’s 29-yard line early in the second quarter, SCHS set sail on a very impressive scoring drive.
Yrkoski and Maganda drove the ground attack while quarterback Merrick Kort hit passes of 17 yards to Adrian Francisco and 18 yards to Travis Marxsen setting Schuyler up with a first and goal at the Bennington 6.
Following a short gain by Yrkoski on first down, Kort powered his way behind the middle of the SCHS line and into the end zone from five yards out cutting Bennington’s lead to 15-7 with 6:43 left in the first half.
Despite having the momentum on their side, the Warriors were unable to stop the potent Bennington offense in the latter stages of the second quarter as the Badgers scored two more touchdowns to take a 30-7 lead into the halftime break.
Bennington took over in the second half scoring two more touchdowns and picking up a safety when the Warriors sailed a snap over their punter’s head. Travis Marxsen fell on top of the loose ball preventing another Badgers six-pointer.
Thumann felt that his team had a good game plan going into the battle against the Badgers but consistency was once again a problem.
“On offense we would have a good drive going and miss a block that would lead to a tackle for a loss, setting us back on offense. On defense we would make two or three solid plays in a row putting ourselves in a good situation and then we would take a bad angle or miss a tackle and give them a big play,” Thumann said.
“Our young men have shown that they can make some good plays on both sides of the ball. They have shown more of that each week. We just have to build the consistency of those plays.”
The Warriors are still looking for their first victory of the season as they stand at 0-7 on the season. This Friday they travel to Omaha to take on The Crimson Tide of Omaha Roncalli Catholic - 5-2 on the season and unbeaten in district action.