The Neligh-Oakdale football team was dealt a tough blow Friday night, but it wasn't just the 76-41 loss to Fullerton.
The Warriors had several players leave the game with injuries.
Fullerton jumped out to an early 24-0 lead before the Warriors responded with a touchdown, courtesy of Garret Allemang's 4-yard run.
"For a first game, we saw an awful lot of positive things on the field," Neligh-Oakdale coach Ron Beacom said. "We had several young men starting their first varsity football game and getting their first extensive action. It took us a little bit of an adjustment period to catch up to the game."
Fullerton scored again to start the second quarter. Neligh-Oakdale fought back with a pair of touchdowns to come within a touchdown at 30-23. But Fullerton kept rolling and scored 24 unanswered points.
"Fullerton has a very nice program. We knew coming in that they would be physical, and they didn't disappoint us in that regard. Garrett Sonderup is a returning All-State running back and he showed why," Beacom said.
Marquis Granville closed out Neligh-Oakdale's first-half scoring by taking a 72-yard kick off return into the end zone. Fullerton ended the first half up 60-29.
Two touchdown passes rounded out the scoring for the Warriors in the second half. In the third quarter, Neligh-Oakdale drove the ball down the field, and Blake Heithoff scored on a 3-yard toss from Grant White. In the fourth, Tyson Belitz connected with Allemang on a 67-yard touchdown pass.
"The game is really pretty easy. It's about being able to block and tackle. We need to tighten up our fundamental work a little more and get some technique work in this week. Our kids will respond positively, and we'll have a great game next Thursday night."
The Warriors will host Burwell on Thursday, Sept. 11. Burwell lost to North Central 40-24 on Friday.
Fullerton 24 38 14 0 - 76
Neligh-Oakdale 8 21 6 6 - 41