By Pastor Vince Carrig
Quinton Hite threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more Friday night in Grant to lead his Plainsmen to a 39-0 rout of the Bridgeport Bulldogs.
The win captured the NSAA class C2 district 10 championship for Perkins County for the second year in a row.
“Capturing that title is gratifying because of what you put in to get there,” said Plainsmen Heat Coach Chip Kay after the game. “Unlike other activities where you can have a great day or week and win the District Title, we have to perform well over eight consecutive weeks and play against each team—that is a difficult challenge. Most people have no idea how much work goes into accomplishing that goal. Our players started last spring working on their strength and speed, attending camps, and putting in hours on the practice field and watching film.”
Hite aired up the football early, connecting with Elliot Carlson just 1:17 into the contest for all the points Perkins County would need.
Looking over his right shoulder for the long bomb from Hite, the junior wideout Carlson adjusted to catch it over his left shoulder and ran for the rest to strike for an impressive 65-yard touchdown just four plays into the game.
Led by linebacker Justin Hatcher’s 11 tackles, the Plainsmen defense tied the Bulldogs to a short leash: just three first downs and 25 total yards for the entire game. Four Bridgeport ball carriers gained zero yards or less, and quarterback Jaime Gonzalez completed zero passes.
Accordingly, Bridgeport scored zero points.
“Our defensive effort was a combination of the players working to improve on a few areas from the week before, and our tackling—it was much improved against Bridgeport,” Coach Kay said.
Two possessions, two touchdowns: Taylor Boldt turned that square route to the right sideline that he and Hite like so well into a 14-0 Perkins County lead.
After a full-extension grab by Christian Miyamoto for a 33-yard gain, Boldt darted to the right sideline, eluded his tackler and cut back toward the middle of the field for a 33-yard touchdown with 7:03 left in the first quarter.
“It is great to see the effort of our receivers to catch the ball,” Coach Kay said. “Not every ball can be perfect but Quinton [Hite] has given the receivers a chance to make the play and watching Christian, Elliot [and Taylor] on Friday was a great example of [them] getting it done.”
Standout Plainsmen defensive lineman Vinny Ross penetrated the Bridgeport offensive line and wrestled a fumble away from Bulldogs quarterback Gonzalez at the Bulldogs’ 13-yard line to set up Hite’s quarterback keeper touchdown run on the next play; the Plainsmen took a 20-0 lead with time still remaining in the first quarter.
Hite led Perkins County rushers for the second consecutive game with 69 yards on 10 carries and two touchdowns.
Justin Hatcher, as he has so many times this season, barreled up the middle for an 11-yard scoring run halfway through the second quarter. Unyielding defense gave the Plainsmen position at midfield, and Alex Johnston gained the right edge of the line of scrimmage and turned upfield for 13 yards to highlight the drive that helped move Perkins County to a 26-0 lead.
The Plainsmen brought the ball back into the end zone three plays later, as Colton White hemmed the Bulldogs into their own end with a touchback, Christian Miyamoto intercepted a pass and returned it to the Bridgeport 26-yard line, and Hite got loose off the right edge and met the front right pylon for six more points.
The Plainsmen led 33-0 at halftime.
Alex Johnston had to score twice to get six points and Perkins County’s last touchdown. Johnston moved laterally before the snap of the ball, took the handoff, and ran 29 yards for a touchdown. A referee mistakenly called a motion penalty on the Plainsmen despite the rules allowing lateral movement before the snap of the ball. So, Johnston geared up again and took the second carry to the house to conclude scoring at 39-0 with 13:20 left in the game.
Nick Pappas’ horribly-shanked, six-yard punt put Johnston and the Plainsmen in business on the Bulldogs’ 29-yard line before the last score.
With the continuous clock (started after one team takes a 35-point lead) whizzing away, the fourth quarter mercifully passed quickly.
Perkins County’s defense caught Bulldogs rushers behind the line of scrimmage nine times, with Hatcher taking part in three of those plays.
Carlson sacked Gonzalez for an 11-yard loss early in the second quarter, and returned for a second helping by trapping Bridgeport’s Collin DeCora eight yards behind the line.
Boldt had a 51-yard punt return for a touchdown called back for a clipping penalty.
Hite blasted a 40-yard field goal try far past the goalposts but just wide left in the third quarter.
The Plainsmen defense sniffed out and defused a Bridgeport fake punt at midfield with 2:56 left in the first quarter.
Thursday night (tonight) the 7-1 Plainsmen host the 5-3 Chase County Longhorns in the first round of the C2 playoffs. Perkins County beat the Longhorns, 21-14 on October 14 in Imperial. The winner will face the winner of the 8-0 Crofton Warriors and the 5-3 Hershey Panthers on Wednesday, Nov. 2.
PC 39, Bridgeport 0
Bridgeport 0 0 0 0— 0
Perkins Co. 20 13 6 0—39
Perkins Co. 1 10:43 Hite 65 pass to Carlson (Hite kick)
Perkins Co. 1 7:03 Hite 32 pass to Boldt (Hite kick)
Perkins Co. 1 0:23 Hite 13 run (kick failed)
Perkins Co. 2 7:09 Hatcher 12 run (kick failed)
Perkins Co. 2 6:50 Hite 26 run (Johnson kick)
Perkins Co. 3 1:36 Johnston 27 run (kick failed)
Rushing leaders—Perkins Co: Hite 10 carries/69 yards (26 long) 2TD; Johnston 16/66 (27) TD; Hatcher 7/48 (15) TD; Carlson 1/36; Miyamoto, Christian 1/9; Bridgeport: DeCora, C. 14/22 (25); Gonzalez 7/8 (5); Anderson 5/2 (3); Pappas 2/1 (3).
Passing leaders—Perkins Co: Hite 7-13-168-2; Bridgeport: Gonzalez 0-4-0-1; Anderson 0-1.
Receiving leaders—Perkins County: Carlson 2/73 (65) TD; Boldt 2/42 (32) TD; Miyamoto, Christian 1/33; Lee 1/11; Prante 1/9.
Defensive leaders—Perkins Co: Hatcher 4 solo tackles, 7 assists; Fosbinder 2/7; Carlson 4/1; Ross 1/3; Brueggeman 0/4.