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Mitchell Tigers come away victorious in double overtime thriller

Mitchell Tigers come away victorious in double overtime thriller

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Mitchell Tigers come away victorious in double overtime thriller

Gering recovers its own fumble in the third quarter on Friday against Mitchell.

In the penultimate game of the regular season, the Gering Bulldogs took on the Mitchell Tigers in a game that needed more than 48 minutes of regulation play to settle.

The game started slow with a scoreless first quarter. However, the Bulldogs managed to put the first points on the board with a four-yard touchdown pass from Jackson Howard to Tyler Garrett on the first play of the second quarter.

Later in the quarter, the Tigers drove into Bulldog territory, but were ultimately stopped by penalties on both of the first half drives that crossed into opponent territory. The Tigers turned the ball over on downs twice in the second quarter and went into the locker room down 7-0.

However, the Tigers were able kick start their play after recovering a Gering fumble on the opening kickoff of the second half, which set up their first points, a touchdown run from Cael Peters. Peters finished the night with two total touchdowns.

“Turnovers were huge for us; we picked up those turnovers and managed score off of them. Cael Peters came away with two picks tonight, which was awesome for us. He even got one right after he fumbled, which was a good way for him to recover and step up big,” Mitchell Head Coach Nick Kuxhausen said.

The turnover battle proved to be one of the major deciding factors of this double overtime thriller.

“Any time you give the opposing team extra possessions its killer and we gave the ball to them deep in their own territory, and it just seemed to snowball. We couldn’t get away from it,” Gering coach Danny O’Boyle said.

On the ensuing drive, Peters intercepted Howard, which helped set up Peter’s second touchdown run of the night.

On the corresponding drive, Peters and the Tigers were on the other end of a turnover, with Peters losing a fumble that was recovered by Gering’s Ryan Johnston. The Bulldogs managed to capitalize with a 36-yard screen pass for a touchdown from Howard to Tanner Gartner.

With the score tied at 14, the scoring was over for the regulation period. In the final two minutes of regulation play, both teams traded turnovers which included a Mitchell Hail Mary that was complete to Adrian Garza, but just a few yards shy of the end zone, ending regulation.

The overtime period proved to be just as, if not more exciting, with the teams needing two overtime periods to decide the game. The teams both scored touchdowns, with unsuccessful extra point attempts.

In the second overtime period, the Tigers managed to score a touchdown and convert the two point attempt. When they got the ball back, the Bulldogs managed to score a touchdown, but couldn’t convert the 2-point conversion, bringing a conclusion to one of the Tigers toughest wins of the season.

In the late game situation, both teams’ resolve was tested, with the Tigers fairing the high pressure situation better.

“I was really proud of our kids, they just kept fighting and they just never gave up. We lost our starting running back in the middle of the third quarter and we were really moving the ball well and that really hampered our offense. I really give credit to our kids stepping up and staying with the grind and finding a way to win that thing,” Kuxhausen said.

Both teams could come out of this game knowing that each gave their all to win; with the Tigers proving they could muster the late game heroics.

“I’m really proud of how our guys battled, but we came out really lame from the second half, turned it over on the kickoff and ended with four or five turnovers. However, throughout all of that, I think our guys managed to weather the storm. So, to lose like that, it hurts,” O’Boyle said.

“It was just a great football game, I feel for the Gering kids, because every single kid out there left it all on the field, it was just a great game all around,” Kuxhausen said.

The Bulldogs will host the Scottsbluff Bearcats for the conclusion of the regular season while the Tigers travel to the Sidney Red Raiders on Oct. 22.

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