Gothenburg pounds Mitchell 41-0 on the road
MITCHELL—The Swede football team made a 500-mile round trip into western Nebraska Friday night well worth the drive time with a 41-0 shutout over Mitchell in the second game of the season.
Every Gothenburg player in uniform got on the field, said coach Craig Haake.
“And when we put the young kids in, they just kept going.”
Gothenburg stalled on its first drive but left little doubt after that.
On third-and-long just inside Swede territory, quarterback Blake Ristine hit Roy Slack with a 12-yard bootleg pass to set up a 50-yard touchdown run that got called back on a penalty.
The Swedes wasted little time finding the endzone again, scoring two plays later on a 46-yard touchdown run by Preston Franzen.
A bad snap prevented the PAT kick.
After forcing the Tigers to punt on the next possession, the Swedes returned the ball to the Mitchell 40-yard line and scored one play later on a pass from Ristine to Connor Schwanz.
The PAT kick by Trenton Long gave the Swedes an early 13-0 lead.
“Mitchell stacked its defense on our strong side,” Haake said. “We were able to go to the other side and rip off some very large chunks of yardage.”
In the second quarter, Haake decided to give sophomore Jacob Clark a try at quarterback and moved Ristine, a junior, to running back.
Because of a clip on a punt return, the Swedes were pinned at their own 7-yard line.
Clark ran a trap play to Logan Sheets, who managed 40 yards before getting pinned at the sideline.
Gothenburg continued to drive the ball, finishing in the endzone on a 10-yard run by Ristine. Long’s PAT kick was good for a 21-0 lead.
Forcing another Tiger three-and-out, Gothenburg had a short field the next series, managing to score quickly on a 2-yard run by Sheets and a Long PAT.
With two minutes to go in the half, Gothenburg put one more score on the board.
Mitchell threw deep and Long intercepted. Clark replied with a long 35-yard pass of his own, pulled in with a one-handed catch by Ross Ostendorf.
That set up another scoring run by Franzen, who marched in from 23 yards out. The touchdown and PAT kick by Long put Gothenburg up 34-0 at the half.
“The kids knew going into halftime that we weren’t going to roll up 60 points,” Haake said. “The starters knew they’d get one series.”
The third quarter started with another Swede score as Preston Franzen bulked up his total with a 37-yard touchdown run on the first possession of the half.
Long’s PAT kick gave Gothenburg the 41-0 advantage it would finish with.
“We subbed liberally,” Haake said. “It’s good to get everyone in the game.”
Franzen finished with 130 yards on eight carries with three touchdowns. Sheets added 102 to the 379 yards of total rushing.
Sheets was the leading defender with one solo tackle and 10 assists. Tanner Borchardt managed nine total tackles.
With a 2-0 record, Gothenburg breaks into the state rankings, earning a No. 9 spot in the Omaha World-Herald.
“It’s nice for the kids to get recognized for getting out of the gate well,” Haake said, “but really all it does at this point in the season is put a target on your back.”
Broken Bow will be eyeing that target Friday night as the Indians come to town.
Broken Bow defeated Ogallala 28-6 on Friday and will look to stop the Swedes’ momentum.
“I expect it to be a typical Broken Bow-Gothenburg game,” Haake said. “It will be a full four-quarter game and I think it will come down to turnovers and execution. Both teams have been pretty good at disrupting each other’s offense.”
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.