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In the Clearwater/Orchard football team's first game since its loss to Creighton, the Cyclones cruised to a 58-6 victory over West Holt Thursday at Clearwater.
"It wasn't the prettiest game really," said OC mentor Jeff Shabram. "We wanted to work on some different things and I thought that was a positive for us."
The Cyclones were dominant in all facets of the game. OC outgained the Huskies, 463 yards to 117 yards.
"At first we kind of got off to a slow start," senior Jacob Long stated. "We decided to ramp it up a little bit. In the second half, we came out and started playing better. It worked out how we wanted this game to go."
OC opened the game by blocking West Holt's punt on its first drive. It took one play for Eli Macke to find the end zone on an 18-yard run.
On the ensuing Husky punt, Blake Hoke appeared to spring free for a touchdown, but a penalty negated the score and the Cyclones later punted.
Penalties continued to plague OC in its next drive, but the Cyclones stilled scored on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Chris Kester to Long.
The Green and Black opened things up in the second quarter. Two Long TD receptions, a Macke scoring run and a sack by Donnie Nolze in the end zone for a safety, gave OC a 36-0 advantage heading into the break.
"We had some early penalties that brought some scores back," Shabram recalled. "We settled in and realized the goal we want to do for each series and each possession. They played hard and did well. The blockers up front did well and the runners ran hard."
At halftime, the Cyclones had outgained the Huskies, 332-44.
"We had some big plays and big chunk yardage plays in the first half," Shabram continued. "We made some nice plays in the passing game and run plays were nice too. You want to start fast and keep going fast. That's what we're going to keep working on each week."
Long did most of the work on OC's opening drive of the third quarter. The senior running back rushed for 64 yards on the drive and wrapped things up with a seven-yard scoring run.
Following a fumble recovery by Codey Snider on West Holt's first drive of the third, Austin Pokorny scored on an one-yard touchdown plunge to extend the Cyclones' lead to 58-0.
The Huskies broke the goose egg in the scoring column midway through the fourth. On a fourth-and-long, Jakeem Brown found a wide-open Nate Wallinger, who ran 53-yards for a score.
The two squads exchanged fumbles to end the game as the Cyclones kept West Holt winless on the year.
Long led the way for OC with more than 200 yards of total offense and four TDs. Macke rushed for 123 yards and three scores and Kester threw for nearly 200 yards and three touchdowns.
"It's a great way for our team to keep building on top of each other," Long said. "I took what I got and kept running with it. We have so many kids that can do it on any given night and tonight was my night."
The Cyclone defense gave up just 64 yards on the ground to the Huskies, recovered two fumbles and blocked a punt.
"We've been working on defense a lot because of the Creighton game," Long added. "We knew we needed to get a lot of work done. That's why we came out here and played the way we did today, because of all the work we put in."
West Holt (0-3) travels to Ainsworth Thursday at 7 p.m.
Clearwater/Orchard (2-1) heads to Greenley to face Central Valley Friday at 7 p.m.
"We need to fix some mistakes penalties wise and scheme wise," Shabram concluded. "We start district play and know we're playing every week. This is district time and hopefully these guys grasp and seize that moment and play every play like it's their last."