By Pastor Vince Carrig
SUTHERLAND—Brody Prante broke loose for 202 rushing yards and four touchdowns as his Plainsmen crushed the Sailors, 53-7 Friday night in Sutherland.
Prante burned Sutherland for a 61-yard run and a 30-yard touchdown run.
“Brody, as have all our backs, benefited from great [offensive] line play so far this season, “Plainsmen Head Coach Chip Kay said after the game. “I am very pleased with what Brody, Alex [Johnston], and Justin [Hatcher] are doing when they get in the open field. Brody made some great reads and had the big plays this week.”
Perkins County’s offense made the Sailors’ defense responsible for too many options on the ground, frequently resulting in large gains for the visiting team.
Prante’s backfield mates, Alex Johnston and Justin Hatcher, rushed for 90 and 84 yards, respectively.
Quarterback Quinton Hite made the longest and most critical plays of the Plainsmen’s first scoring drive, and used all of his options to help. He faked a pitch to fullback Justin Hatcher and then kept the ball himself for 16 yards. Then Hite converted a fourth-and-three with another fake pitch that he took for six yards. Hatcher then ran straight and hard for a 13-yard touchdown for the game-winning score at 7-6.
Sutherland surprised the Plainsmen with a seven-play, 69-yard drive off of the opening kickoff to take a 6-0 lead. Quarterback Tyler Fear hit slot receiver Riley McConnell for a 24-yard gain and then finished the drive with a 13-yard throw to senior Austin Kelly in just 3:47.
“Sutherland deserves a lot of credit for a very good plan on their first drive,” said Coach Kay. “It put our players on their heels. I’m sure that caught our players’ attention and improved their mental focus. This is high school football; no team can just show up and expect to win, you have to perform at your best every time out. That’s a good life lesson, no matter what it is you are doing you should be ready to do your best.”
The Plainsmen outgained Sutherland 527 to 145 yards from that point, outscoring them 53-0.
Making their recovery from Sutherland’s quick score complete, Plainsmen special teams man Taylor Boldt drilled Sailors’ returner Collin Fleecs and sprung the ball loose and recovered it.
Perkins County capitalized immediately, sending sophomore Matt Sestak deep and having Hite hook up with him. The 20-yard touchdown pass caught as Sestak backpedaled and Hite’s kick put the Plainsmen ahead 14-6 with 4:02 left in the first quarter.
Sophomore Alex Johnston keyed the Plainsmen’s third score, breaking up a pass on defense to end a Sailors drive and then bulling his way past the line for a 32-yard run on the Plainsmen’s possession. Johnston reached the end zone from 24 yards away on the next play, but a penalty negated the score.
Brody Prante made one tackler miss in the backfield and slid by two others for a 21-6 Plainsmen lead a few plays later.
Sutherland’s only real bid for a second score self-destructed when a touchdown pass came back due to a motion penalty and Perkins County’s Taylor Boldt intercepted quarterback Tyler Fear at the Plainsmen two-yard line.
“Our coaching staff was really proud of the two stops our defense made on the Sailors inside our 15-yard line, [and] they came away with no points,” Coach Kay said.
The Plainsmen dug out of the bad field position for their fourth score thanks to Brody Prante’s 61-yard run through a huge hole on the right side of the line. Prante made the one-yard run for a touchdown look easy and gave Perkins County a 27-6 lead just before halftime.
The Plainsmen kept their momentum after the half, scoring on their first drive. Hite found receiver Boldt alone on the right sideline at the seven-yard line; Boldt went in untouched for a 33-6 blowout lead.
Perkins County defensive lineman Vinny Ross scooped up an elusive fumble that started at midfield with a snap over quarterback Fear’s head. Ross advanced the ball to the Sutherland one-yard line, where Johnston banged it in on the next play from scrimmage.
Not having started the continuous clock yet, the Plainsmen took advantage of good field position to set up Prante for a five-yard rush into the end zone and a 46-6 lead with 4:15 left in the third quarter.
Prante broke loose again up the left sideline after Hite faked to Hatcher and pitched to him, reaching the end zone from 30 yards away.
Hite kicked three extra points for the Plainsmen and Tim Johnson two.
The Cambridge Trojans give the Plainsmen an opportunity to avenge their loss last year when they come to Grant for a 6 p.m. game on Friday. After cruising to two easy wins, Cambridge lost to Kearney Catholic 34-8 on Friday.
Perkins County 14 13 19 7—53
Sutherland 6 0 0 0—6
Sutherland 1 9:13 Fear 13 pass to Kelly (run failed)
Perkins County 1 4:17 Hatcher 10 run (Hite kick)
Perkins County 1 4:02 Hite 20 pass to Sestak (Hite kick)
Perkins County 2 6:57 Prante 11 run (Hite kick)
Perkins County 2 0:33 Prante 1 run (pass failed)
Perkins County 3 9:23 Hite 26 pass to Boldt (kick failed)
Perkins County 3 4:15 Johnston 2 run (kick failed)
Perkins County 3 1:10 Prante 6 run (Johnson kick)
Perkins County 4 6:33 Prante 30 run (Johnson kick)
Rushing leaders—Perkins County: Prante 15 rush 202 yards (61 longest) 4TD; Johnston 12-90 (35) TD; Hatcher 12-84 (19) TD; Sutherland: Fear 14-44 (12).
Passing leaders—Perkins County: Hite 5 complete 12 attempts 89 yards 2TD INT; Fear 15-30-165-1-2.
Receiving leaders—Perkins County: Boldt 3/50 (26 longest) TD; Sestak 1/20 TD; Johnston 1/19; Sutherland: Kelly 8/122 (36) TD; McConnell, Riley 3/27 (24 longest).
Tackling leaders—Perkins County: Hatcher 4 solo 5 assisted; Boldt 4/3; Hite 4/3; Malmkar 2/2; Fosbinder 2/2; Miyamoto, Chase 1/3