By Pastor Vince Carrig
Quarterback Elliot Carlson raced beyond the Dundy County secondary for two monster touchdown runs and tacked on two more sizable ground scores—all in the first quarter—as Perkins County routed the Tigers 40-14 Friday night in Benkelman.
In his first start at quarterback, the senior Carlson found a play he liked and wore it out: the fake handoff and draw out of the shotgun. That play produced the gigantic touchdown runs of 72 and 65 yards.
On Carlson’s longest run, he powered through the last-ditch tackling effort of Tigers defensive back Kyle Vandike and quickly blew beyond any other challengers.
“When nine guys execute a block, good things are going to happen. When Elliot made the right read, it was big,” Plainsmen Head Coach Chip Kay said of his quarterback’s dominating performance after the game.
Carlson racked up most of his astounding 255 rushing yards in the 33-0 first half blowout. The Plainsmen scored 117 unanswered points on Dundy County in three games, dating back to their last trip south in 2010.
Carlson also launched his first career touchdown pass, also a first for junior receiver Chase Miyamoto. Carlson led Miyamoto into the right corner of the end zone, and allowed the receiver to catch the ball as he curled left. “Oh, man, it was pretty hard to catch because it was wobbly, but I caught it,” Miyamoto said of his initial trip to “the house.”
Senior Plainsmen receiver Austin Thelander said that he just headed for the hole on his career-first eight-yard touchdown run; Thelander carried right-to-left toward the edge but then cut back for a nice opening up the middle to give Perkins County 33 points in just 9:06 of play.
Thelander also had an interception from his defensive back position to speak of after the game.
After having a first-half surge deep into Plainsmen territory self-destruct on a penalty and snap over the quarterback’s head, Dundy County finally scored a safety with 5:49 left in the third quarter to break their “goose egg.”
The Plainsmen defense turned in an excellent performance—especially the defensive backfield—which surrendered just 89 yards in 29 pass attempts. The team forced the Tigers to lose yardage on seven plays.
Alex Malmkar and Cole Whalen led Perkins County tacklers with six and five, respectively. Malmkar dropped over a fumble that a Tigers player kicked to him. The two lineman combined to drop Fox for a sack.
The 33-2 lead gave Coach Kay the opportunity to insert reserve players and get them experience. Freshman Christian White stepped in at quarterback to gain 20 net yards of the team’s 330 on the ground, including a 24-yard run. Only two dropped balls prevented him from completing his first pass for positive yardage.
Kaleb Vak rushed the ball six times, Zac Huff recovered a fumble, and Chris Throckmorton played the entire second half at defensive back to define the reserve brigade.
Tigers quarterback Marcus Fox threw two late touchdown passes. His first, to Mitchel Shillington, fell into the receiver’s hands after Thelander tipped it. Shillington deserves credit for his concentration and perseverance.
The Plainsmen defense stuffed both of Dundy County’s two-point conversion attempts.
Colton White split the uprights with four extra-point kicks, and plugged Fox into the ground for a sack and seven-yard loss playing defensive end. The senior made primary contact on four tackles.
A 70-plus yard touchdown run by Carlson came back because of a Plainsmen penalty.
The Plainsmen begin their home schedule by hosting the Holyoke Dragons at 7 p.m. Friday at Haenfler Field in Grant.
Holyoke traveled to meet the St. Francis Indians in Kansas last week as well, losing 28-15.
PCS 40, DC/S 14
Perkins Co. 33 0 7 0—40
Dundy/Stratton 0 0 2 2—14
Rushing leaders—Perkins County: Carlson 16/255 (72[t]) 4TD; Johnston 1/34; White 8/20 (34); Johnston 7/13 (8); Thelander 1/8 TD, Vak 6/2 (4);
Dundy County-Stratton: Shillington 12/47.
Passing leaders—Perkins County: Carlson 2-5-41-0-1; White 1-4-0;
Dundy County: Fox 9-15-81-2-1; Krug 4-14-8.
Receiving leaders—Perkins County 2-19 TD; Johnston 1-22;
Dundy County-Stratton: Shillington 4-41 TD; Reichert 3-39 TD
Tackling leaders—Perkins County: Malmkar 6; Whalen 5.5; Carlson 4; Johnson 4; White, Colton 4; Toner, G. 4.