Friday, September 21, 2018
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Gothenburg football team takes care of business

Swedes make quick work of Southern Valley.

Gothenburg football coach Craig Haake didn’t have to dig too deep into his playbook to beat Southern Valley Friday night.

The Swedes ran 46 total plays throughout the game to score six touchdowns and five two-point conversions, defeating the Eagles 46-8.

“It seemed like our defense set us up with short field nearly every time,” said Swede coach Craig Haake. “We didn’t have very far to go and it didn’t take us long to get there.”

The Swedes scored on all three of their possessions in the first period.

Gothenburg spent the first three minutes of the game setting up a 14-yard touchdown run by Tannor Mroczek.

The point-after conversion run by Mark Hilderbrand put Gothenburg up quickly 8-0.

After forcing Southern Valley to punt from mid-field and returning the ball to the 16-yard line, the Swedes scored again when Landen Haake carried the ball in from the 5-yard line. Joel Teahon added a PAT run.

Putting on a tight squeeze defensively, the Swedes held Southern Valley out again, adding more points after Mroczek intercepted a Tyler Nielsen pass at the 40-yard line and ran it back to the 15.

Landen Haake scored the touchdown one play later and Hilderbrand added the PAT conversion for a 24-0 lead after one period.

Gothenburg continued to control both sides of the line of scrimmage, not budging an inch.

The Swedes got two more possessions in the second period and scored both times, once on a 4-yard run by Haake and again with a 1-yard push by Teahon.

Up 38-0 at halftime, the clock ran throughout the second half.

“We performed well,” the Swede coach said. “The kids played with a lot of fire and a lot of emotion.”

Southern Valley’s only successful drive of the night came on the first possession of the second half.

The Eagles used nearly 10 minutes to march 80 yards and finally score on a 6-yard pass from Nielsen to Ethan Dake. The PAT pass failed leaving the score at 38-6.

Gothenburg hammered right back.

With their first play of the second half, the Swedes scored on a 48-yard touchdown run by Landen Haake and a PAT run from Mroczek.

All that was left for either team was a safety scored by Southern Valley with 7:38 left in the game when the Eagles blocked a punt by Swede freshman Dillon Gartner.

Landen Haake finished with 133 yards on 13 carries to lead Gothenburg offensively.

Defensively, Brady Preitauer had nine tackles including two for losses.

The Swedes (3-0) now turn their focus to Minden (0-2).

Coach Haake said the Whippets are a big team and will play physical football.

“They don’t look like they have a lot of speed so we’ll try to exploit that,” Haake said. “We’re going to have to defend some smash-mouth football and we’re going to try to play some of that ourselves.”

So far this season, the Swedes have been able to break big plays when necessary. Haake said he hopes that will continue this week.

“We can’t allow a lot of long, time-consuming drives,” he said. “It will be critical that we control the tempo and play our game.”

Much of Gothenburg’s success has come so far from pouncing on opponents early. Haake wants to put a couple of touchdowns on the board early to pressure Minden to score quickly.

“They’re not built to do that,” he said.

The Swedes remain in the Omaha World-Herald’s Class C-1 state ratings, this week at No. 8. Haake said he doesn’t put much stock into ratings, though.

“I firmly believe you’re never as good and never as bad as everybody else says you are,” he said.

Kickoff Friday in Minden is set for 7 p.m.