Turnovers cost Plainsmen in Cambridge rout
By Pastor Vince Carrig
Two quick-strike scores by Cambridge’s Ethan Long turned a competitive game into a 33-7 Trojans rout over the Plainsmen Friday night in Grant.
Faced with just 1:12 left before halftime and 65 yards to cover to break a 0-0 deadlock, the Trojans needed only :08 for quarterback Rayce Dauwen to unleash a 48-yard touchdown pass to Ethan Long to give Cambridge a 7-0 lead.
After a 59-yard third quarter Trojans touchdown drive, Long struck again 41 seconds later by scooping up a Plainsmen option pitch gone awry and racing 63 yards down the same left sideline to put Cambridge ahead, 21-0 with 5:53 remaining in the third quarter.
Cambridge also converted Kalen Farr’s fumble recovery into points for a 27-0 lead. Farr penetrated the Plainsmen line and grabbed onto a quarterback-runner exchange that squirted loose.
“Cambridge capitalized on our turnovers, and that disappointed us the most. You can’t have big mental mistakes or key turnovers against top-10 teams like Cambridge and expect to win,” Plainsmen Head Coach Chip Kay said after the game.
Long then gained the right edge as a running back for a 30-yard jaunt, and back Isaac Johnson took a swing pass to the left sideline the final 13 yards to complete the 62-yard drive in 1:40 and give Cambridge the commanding 27-0 lead.
After the fumble recovery, Farr jumped a pass route for an interception deep in Plainsmen territory with 9:28 left. He also carried the football across the goal line two plays later for the Trojans’ final score, running the total to 33-0.
Plainsmen fans had to wait for 46:49 of game time to elapse before seeing a score: fullback Eliot Carlson broke through the left side of the line from four yards away to break Cambridge’s shutout.
Early action seemed to favor the Plainsmen more, as Alex Johnston wrestled loose a fumble to halt a Cambridge drive. Johnston next turned around and picked up a valuable first down as a running back, using second-effort after an initial hit to set the Plainsmen up on the Trojans’ 25-yard line.
Cambridge’s defense, however, bent but did not break. Not only did the Trojans capitalize on their take-aways, they also used them to stop Plainsmen drives.
“Their speed was a factor. We missed a lot of tackles where Cambridge had their first guy to the ball make the tackle,” Coach Kay said of the Trojans defense.
Excellent pass protection allowed Trojans quarterback Rayce Dauwen to throw for 177 yards and two touchdowns and remain upright through the evening.
The Plainsmen travel to Bayard to oppose the 2-2 Tigers on Friday. Bayard beat Sutherland and Bridgeport but lost to Kimball and North Platte—St. Pat’s in its first two games of the year.
“Our goal is to be District Champions, we can still accomplish it by winning our last four games. The players have turned the disappointment of the loss into motivation. I am proud of how they are responding,” Coach Kay said.
1 2 3 4
Trojans 0 7 20 6—33
PC 0 0 0 7—07
Cambridge 2 0:43 Dauwen 48 pass to Long (Rodriguez kick)
Cambridge 3 6:34 Long 4 run (Rodriguez kick)
Cambridge 3 5:53 Long 63 fumble recovery (Rodriguez kick)
Cambridge 3 1:54 Dauwen 12 pass to Johnson (kick failed) Cambridge 4 8:52 Farr 1 run (kick failed)
Perkins Co. 4 1:19 Carlson 4 run (Hite kick)
Rushing leaders—Perkins County: Johnston 18 carries/131 yards (37 long); Hatcher 11/31 (10); Cambridge: Long 14/84 (30) TD; Johnson 9/40 (8) Gregory 2/15 (14).
Passing leaders—Perkins County: Hite 8-17-80-0-1; Dauwen 10-17-177-2.
Receiving leaders—Perkins County: Boldt 5/61 (26); White 1/12; Cambridge: Volk 3/46 (17); Long 2/60 (48) TD; Farr 2/40 (26); Johnson 2/12 (12) TD.
Tackling leaders—Perkins County: Hatcher 11 (6/5); Sestak 7 (3/4); Hite 6 (2/4); Fosbinder 5 (1/4); Prante 4 (2/2); Poppe 4 (1/3); Johnston 4 (0/4).