Season Opener Results in Loss to Dragons
Indians 8 - Dragons 28
The 2013 high school football season kicked off Friday evening, September 6, when the St. Francis Indians hosted the Holyoke Dragons in St. Francis. The Dragons, 46-0 winners over Perkins County (Grant, NE) the previous week, proved to be a formidable team with good size, a strong defense, as well as a balanced running and passing attack. The Indians, in their first game of the season, made numerous errors and had trouble sustaining drives and making the stops necessary to control the Dragons' attack. The Indians were defeated by the Dragons, 8-28.
St. Francis received the opening kickoff, but unfortunately fumbled the ball on the return. Holyoke recovered on the Indian 38 yard line. The Dragons reeled off a nine yard run up the middle on first down. On 3rd-and-1, another running play moved the ball to the St. Francis 17 yard line. The Indians held strong on the next two plays. On 3rd-and-15, freshman Taylor Rogers made an nice defensive play to break up a Dragon pass attempt. On fourth down, the Dragons rumbled to the 4 1/2 yard line with another strong run. With 9:01 left in the first quarter, Dylan Koch, the Dragon's 230 junior fullback, banged into the end zone over the left side following the blocking of 300-pound junior left tackle Logan Gift and others. The conversion pass was broken up by Lane Hobrock. St. Francis trailed 0-6.
Taylor Rogers returned the ensuing kickoff 16 yards to the Indian 24 yard line. On first down, Cade Bracelin powered for 4 yards and earned three more on second down. Wyatt Landenberger earned the Indians' initial first down of the season, running to the 37 yard line. An unsportsmanlike penalty on the Indians, backed the offense up to the 22. On 4th and 11, the Indians prepared to punt, but a procedure penalty resulted in another 5-yard loss.
After the St. Francis punt, Holyoke set up on their own 41 yard line. Fullback Koch rammed all the way to the Indian 40 on first down. The Indians held defensively on the next three plays resulting in a 4th-and-9 situation for the Dragons. The Dragons responded with a 40-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Trevor Dalton to tight end Logan Tharp. The PAT kick failed. With 3:08 left in the 1st quarter, the Dragon were up by 12 points.
Wyatt Landenberger gathered in the kickoff, but lost his footing at the 13 yard line. A delay-of-game penalty moved the Indians back to the 8 yard line. After 3 plays, the Indians punted from their own 7 yard line.
The punt was returned to the Indian 31 yard line as the first quarter closed. On 2nd-down, Derek Queen sacked the Dragons' quarterback resulting in a 3rd-and-16 situation. On third down, Logan Lampe and Queen again got to the quarterback. The Indians were applying good pressure on the Dragons and the result was 4th-and 21 on the Indian 37. The Dragons punted with the ball coming to rest at the 4 yard line.
On third down, Lane Hoffman grabbed the Dragons' quarterback behind the line of scrimmage to set up a 4th-and-5 situation. Holyoke punted.
Taylor Rogers returned the ball to the Sainty 20 yard line. On first down, Wyatt Landenberger ran to the 48 for a nice gain. Quarterback Clay Cassaw, on third down, scrambled down to the Holyoke 16 yard line on a keeper around the left end. Just over 3 1/2 minutes remained in the half. Cade Bracelin drove up the middle to the 9 yard line. On the next play, Wyatt Landenberger went over-the-top to the 5 for a first down. Mason Schiltz hauled-in an accurate pass from Clay Cassaw for a 5-yard Indian touchdown. The Indians ran over the right side for the two-point conversion. With 1:49 left in the half, the Indians had cut the lead to 8-12.
Holyoke advanced the ball to their own 46 yard line and called time-out. The Indian defense backed the Dragons up on two consecutive plays, but with four seconds remaining, the Indians were called for unnecessary roughness on a tackle at the sideline. With the ball on the Indian 47 yard line, the Indians were called for encroachment on consecutive plays. Wyatt Landenberger broke up a pass attempt to the end zone as the half expired. The Indians left the field trailing 8-12.
Bracelin's kick-off found the end zone, so the Dragons began the second half on their own twenty yard line. On first down, the Dragons powered to the 40. On the next play, Dalton completed a pass to wide receiver T.J. Gertner to move the ball to the Indian 29 yard line. The Indians held strong during the next two plays, forcing a 3rd-and-7 situation at 8:58. The Dragons powered to the 18 yard line for a 4th-and-1. On fourth down, Koch rumbled to the Sainty eleven for another 1st down. On the next play, running back Saul Ramos sprinted around the right end for a touchdown. The conversion run was also successful. With 7:56 left in the 3rd period, the Indians fell behind 8-20.
Landenberger returned the kick-off to the 29 yard line. St. Francis was called for illegal helmet contact and and an illegal man downfield on consecutive plays. The Indians faced 4th and 19 from their own 20 yard line.
Holyoke returned the Indian punt to the Sainty 44. On first down, the Dragons moved the ball to the 30. On 4th and 10 from the Sainty 18 yard line, the Dragons attempted a pass to the end zone. The pass fell incomplete.
Holyoke quickly moved the ball to the 5 for a first down. On the next play, Koch banged though the middle within a foot of the goal line. On second down, a quick-pitch play to the right side resulted in another Holyoke touchdown. The two-point conversion was scored on a pass to wide receiver Tanner Smith. With 10:11 remaining in the game, the Dragons were in full control 8-28.
After the kick return, the Indians setup on the 21 yard line. Queen ran for 5 yards on first down, and Bracelin for 4 on second down. Bracelin earned an Indian first down on the next play, advancing the ball to the 33. On third down, the Indians committed a holding penalty, stalling the drive. St. Francis punted to the Holyoke 32.
With approximately 6 1/2 minutes remaining, Dragon sophomore running back Bradley Cumming sprinted to the Sainty 35, but a holding call nullified the big play. Methodically using most of the play clock on each snap, the Dragons advanced the ball to the 17 yard line before kneeling twice to close the game. The Indians were defeated by a strong Holyoke team 8-28.
The Indians will play Dundy County - Stratton in St. Francis on Friday, September 13th. Kick-off is set for 7:30 PM.
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