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Neligh-Oakdale picked up its fifth win of the season Thursday as the Clearwater-Orchard football team ended its injury-plagued season.
The Warriors defeated Clearwater-Orchard 50-13 in Clearwater.
"I'm real pleased with how are kids competed. We are starting to buy into the process of having to get better every day. When we focus and put the mental side together with the physical part of the game, we do some pretty exciting things," Neligh-Oakdale coach Ron Beacom said.
The Warriors took an early lead over the Cyclones and had 222 yard through the air and 214 on the ground. Garrett Allemang, who had 112 yards rushing and 47 yards receiving, put Neligh-Oakdale up 14-0 with 2-yard run and 58-yard run
The Cyclones rolled down the field and used a 30-yard score from Zach Martin to Creston Bertschinger to cut the lead in half, 14-7. Neligh-Oakdale responded with three more touchdowns to pull away for the win.
Chris Bentley, who led Neligh-Oakdale in receiving with 111 yards, also had 15 tackles, including three solo. Dylan Kaup wrapped up four unassisted tackles. Casey Garcia and Blake Heithoff each had 14 total tackles. Clayton Anderson had a fumble recovery, and Allemang pulled in an interception for the Warriors.
Clearwater-Orchard's season ended at 1-6. The Cyclones lost several key players to injury throughout the season.
Neligh-Oakdale moved to 5-3, advancing to the Class D1 playoffs.
"One of our goals was to improve upon our final record from last year. Earning a 5-3 regular season record is another stepping stone in this process of building our program," Beacom said. "A playoff win would be a big next step, so we will have to go back to work this week and iron out some execution issues to work forward toward that next goal."
The Warriors will play Elgin Public/Pope John on Thursday in Elgin in the first round of the playoffs. The Wolfpack defeated the Warriors just a week ago on their own field 36-20 to claim the district title.
"Our fans have been so supportive; it really has meant a lot to the kids," Beacom asid. "Our parents have done so much with the weekly dinners and spirit messages. The student body has been very energetic and went out of their way to get to games. Our girls played a volleyball game and still rushed over to have our backs. The community has been very positive and deserves to be a part of this success."
Neligh-Oakdale 14 14 14 8 - 50
Clearwater-Orchard 7 0 6 0 - 13
N-O: 2 yard run by Garett Allemang (Kick by Casey Garcia)
N-O: 58 yard run by Allemang (Garcia Kick)
C-O: 30 yard pass from Martin to Bertschinger (Kick Good)
N-O: 20 yard run by Marquis Granville (Garcia Kick)
N-O: 2 yard pass from Grant White to Granville (Garcia Kick)
N-O: 1 yard run by Allemang (Garcia Kick)
C-O: 5 yard run by Spencer Volden (Run Failed)
N-O: 15 yard run by Granville (Garcia Kick)
N-O: 15 yard run by Blake Heithoff (Run by Garcia)