The Warriors dominated on their home field in a windy Friday afternoon game, defeating Niobrara/Verdigre, 56-14.
"We handled the elements fairly well," Coach Ron Beacom said. "We talked before the game that the wind would only be a factor if we made it a factor. The kids responded real well to that challenge. Other than a couple longer throws, and one punt we tried to make into the wind, the wind didn't seem to affect what we were trying to accomplish."
Beacom said the Cougars handled the wind well in the first quarter too.
"They pretty much controlled the clock and shortened the game with that first drive," he said. "We aided them with the fumbled punt return, but otherwise they had the ball for the whole first quarter. I actually told the kids at the end of the first quarter, 'We should feel fortunate. We had the ball for less than a minute of the whole quarter, and still managed to forge a 7-6 lead.' At that point, we felt if we could get a couple of defensive stops, we could control the game."
Beacom said "the skill guys" get a lot of credit each week for their play, but he also wants to recognize the line.
"I thought our linemen played exceptionally well on both sides of the ball," he said. "To limit their running attack to 80 yards on 41 carries is pretty good when that is what they really want to do. Then in return, to be able to pick up their blitzes, and games they were playing up front, and be able to average over 4 yards a carry was really what led to our success."
Garett Allemang led the Warriors' rushing game with 116 yards and 2 TDs, followed by Marquis Granville with 67 yards on the ground and 2 TDs. In the aerial attack, Chris Bentley racked up 73 yards receiving and 1 TD, followed by Tyson Belitz with 49 yards and 1 TD. Quarterback Grant White tallied 11 pass completions for 149 yards. Blake Heithoff led the team with 16 tackles and Casey Garcia took down 15. Click here for the complete game stats.
Neligh-Oakdale 7 14 7 28 56
Niobrara/Verdigre 6 0 8 0 14
5 yard run by Marquis Granville (Casey Garcia kick)
5 yard run by Grant White (Garcia kick)
9 yard pass from White to Tyson Belitz (Garcia kick)
9 yard run by Garett Allemang (Garcia kick)
31 yard run by Granville (Garcia kick)
56 yard pass from White to Chris Bentley (Garcia kick)
12 yard run by Allemang (Garcia kick)
15 yard run b Devan Breuer (Garcia kick)
The 3-2 Warriors will host Boyd County in Neligh-Oakdale's Homecoming game on Friday night. Kick off is set for 7 p.m.