The Gering Bulldogs struggled Friday night as the team hosted the Ogallala Indians in a 37-23 loss where Gering struggled defensively.
“Overall, I think it was a poor effort. We got dominated up front and that starts with myself, I help coach the offensive and defensive line so I’ve got to do a better job,” head coach Danny O’Boyle said. “They dominated the line of scrimmage and their quarterback played a heck of a game, he’s a talented football player. He ran the ball hard and we didn’t have an answer for him.”
The game was a physical one as the Bulldogs were getting banged up throughout the game and with the injuries the team already face, all they can do is regroup.
“It was a physical game. Ogallala plays a physical style of football and we got beat up tonight,” O’Boyle said. “We’re a little bit thin on numbers as is and we’ve just got to regroup as best as we can. We’ve got to build some depth and build guys that are ready to go.”
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Ogallala struck first less than two minutes into the game when quarterback Harry Caskey ran the ball 62 yards before going for the 2-point conversion. The Indians went up 8-0 on a run by Mario Bush.
Three minutes later, Gering punted the ball but recovered after an Indian made contact. With 4:13 left in the opening quarter, Tanner Gartner ran the ball in from the one to cut the lead to 8-7.
Caskey scored his second from the two-yard line before passing to Caden Rezac for the second 2-point conversion for the Indians to go up 16-7 to end the first quarter.
Ogallala fumbled the ball with 8:20 remaining in the half and was recovered by Gering. The Bulldogs fumbled less than a minute later, which was recovered by the Indians.
Caskey would get his third touchdown of the night from the two to put Ogallala up 23-7.
Gering’s Mitch Moravec intercepted Caskey but penalties would kill the drive. With four seconds left Joey Van Anne caught an interception as well.
Ogallala led 23-7 at halftime and within the last few minutes, penalties were pushing the Bulldog defense farther back.
“We’re just undisciplined and it’s three weeks in a row that we have come out and kind of laid an egg in the first half not ready to go,” O’Boyle said. “We’ve given up a big play on the first drive, we’ve given up a scoring drive three weeks in a row now and we’re not ready to go.
“We talked in the locker room before the game about playing unselfish football. I think at times, we just have some guys that just go out and start thinking too much and too fast, they start changing what they’re supposed to be doing and that gets us out of position.”
The Bulldogs cut the lead to eight to start the third quarter on a pass from Jackson Howard to Jackson Harriger for a 59-yard touchdown with a 2-point conversion from Howard to Kaden Bohnsack.
It wouldn’t take long though for Ogallala to score again on a two-yard run from Caskey. A pass from Rezac to Bush gave the Indians a 31-15 lead.
In the fourth quarter, a bad snap by Gering was recovered by Ogallala, who would score later in the drive but for the first time, missed the 2-point conversion.
The Bulldogs however, wouldn’t go down without a fight as they would score the final touchdown of the game on a 35-yard pass from Howard to Gartner. Howard would then pass to Harriger for the conversion, bringing the final score to 37-23.
Gering will travel for their second road game of the season as they face the 3-1 Seward Bluejays on Sept. 23. One of the aspects the Bulldogs will need to work on is tackling as there were many missed tackles and opportunities by the defense.
“We missed a ton of tackles and there’s just no excuse for it because we work on that everyday, so tackling has to get a lot better,” O’Boyle said.