By Pastor Vince Carrig
Running back Alex Johnston followed a dominant offensive line to shred the Longhorns’ defense for four touchdowns and 180 yards in the Plainsmen’s 37-6 playoff blowout of Chase County last Thursday night in Grant.
Perkins County advanced to play the 8-0 Crofton Warriors last night (Wednesday) in the NSAA class C2’s playoffs with the win.
Perkins County controlled the game, scoring touchdowns on its first two drives and the first 38 points.
The outcome could not have contrasted more with the last two close games the teams have played: a 21-14 Plainsmen win with :09 left two weeks ago, and last year’s 12-6 game that Perkins County won in overtime.
Johnston looked most impressive in finding a seam on the left side of the line, accelerating beyond the second level of Chase County’s defense, and flying up the left sideline for a 70-yard touchdown run that put the Plainsmen ahead 21-0 with 3:11 left in the half.
The junior running back appeared for an encore in the third quarter, running through a photocopied blocking scheme of his longest touchdown run for 41 yards. Johnston rushed for 60 of the drive’s 63 yards and finished it from six yards away for a 31-0 Perkins County advantage.
Accomplices to the bludgeoning, senior fullback Justin Hatcher softened the Longhorns’ resistance with punishing runs up the middle–13 for 71 yards including one for 19 yards where he penetrated deep into Chase County’s secondary.
Coach Kay also mixed in Brody Prante’s speed and quick footwork to set up Johnston’s touchdown runs.
Prante quickly hit two holes for eight yards, Hatcher barreled for four, and Johnston blew through a hole on the left side for a 10-yard touchdown and a 14-0 Plainsmen lead.
Plainsmen quarterback Quinton Hite had a successful night passing, despite the fact that his team could have kept the ball on the ground and won handily.
Hite allowed three blitzers to chase him before flipping to Taylor Boldt, who broke multiple tackles and reversed fields twice in Boldt’s 60-yard touchdown play in the third quarter.
Hite also bombed a ball to the right sideline for a 31-yard completion to senior receiver Christian Miyamoto.
Perkins County’s defense held their local rival scoreless until the last couple of minutes of the game. Led by junior tackle Vinny Ross, they forced five punts and two turnovers on downs.
Ross quickly reached Longhorns running back Michael May on a third-and-eight in the first quarter, forcing Chase County to punt. Ross drilled May three yards behind the line of scrimmage on a third down play in the third quarter, helping the Plainsmen regain possession on downs.
The defense made key plays–including open-field tackles–to keep Chase County scoreless. Safety Hite got in front of quarterback Kyle Gockley before his keeper play reached the open field. Boldt foiled a halfback option pass back to Gockley by meeting him at the line of scrimmage. Christian Miyamoto sniffed out a fake punt and stuck receiver Brady Mays four yards short of a first down in the third quarter.
Chase County took advantage of a short field and a 26-yard run by May (aided by a missed holding call) to get to the one-yard line. The Plainsmen refused to yield on the first two Longhorns tries, but Gockley finally sneaked through for a touchdown to break the shutout.
Hite’s bomb to Boldt set up his own 36-yard field goal. His kick sailed through with air to spare and sent the Plainsmen to halftime with a 24-0 lead.
Hite hit the scoreboard, a vehicle, and almost hit the school building with his extra-point kicks.
As they did in the teams’ previous contest in Imperial, the Longhorns punted the ball on third down. Running back Dan Sullivan’s kick bounded backwards after traveling 31 yards and still left the Plainsmen with good field position at midfield.
The Plainsmen headed to northeast Nebraska for their second-round playoff game in Crofton yesterday (Wednesday). The game started at 2 p.m. CT, 1 p.m. MT. Third-ranked Crofton annihilated the Hershey Panthers 55-0, in their opening round game. The Warriors beat their opponents–all C2 teams–by a combined 374-48 score during the regular season, with their smallest margin of victory at 22 points in a win over 6-2 Hartington Cedar Catholic.
Perkins Co. 37, Chase Co. 6
Chase Co. 0 0 0 6 – 6
Perkins Co. 7 17 13 0 – 37
Perkins County 1 6:07 Johnston 10 run (Hite kick)
Perkins County 2 10:53 Johnston 10 run (Hite kick)
Perkins County 2 3:11 Johnston 70 run (Hite kick)
Perkins County 2 0:15 Hite 36 FG
Perkins County 3 6:00 Johnston 6 run (Hite kick)
Perkins County 3 0:32 Hite 60 pass to Boldt (kick failed)
Chase County 4 2:5 Gockley 1 run (kick failed)
Rushing leaders—Perkins County: Johnston 13 rushes/180 yards (70 long) 4TD; Hatcher 13/71 (19); Prante 8/61 (19); Hite 6/19 (13); Chase County: Gockley 16/64 (14) TD; May 8/39 (26); German 7/29 (8) Sullivan 6/15 (7).
Passing leaders—Perkins County: Hite 3 completions-6 attempts 121 yards-1TD; Chase County: Gockley 6-15-64; Fisher 1-1-1.
Receiving leaders—Perkins County: Boldt 2/90 (60) TD; Miyamoto, Christian 1/31; Chase County: May 2/32 (17); Mays 2/16 (11); German, K. 2/16 (11).
Defensive leaders—Perkins County: Ross (3 tackles/9 assists [1.5 for loss]); Poppe (0/8); Hatcher (4/3); Fosbinder (0/7); Hite (4/2); Miyamoto, Christian (3/3); Boldt (3/3 ); Carlson (2/4 [1.5]); Miyamoto, Chase (4/1).