Bearcats win bragging rights in 8-man football

Doreen Heintz
Sports Editor

DGS’s Jake Solomon (14) tackles Tri-City running back Jordan Nees in the Bearcats’ win over the Titans on Saturday in Stanford.            
Photo by Doreen Heintz

The Bearcats of Denton-Geyser-Stanford and the Titans of Tri-City (Hobson, Moore and Judith Gap) duked it out on the football field on a windy day in Stanford on Saturday. The game had no real playoff implications, but bragging rights in the Judith Basin were certainly at stake. When the two teams played six-man football they were in separate divisions, so did not meet very often on the gridiron. Now they are both in the Southern Division in eight-man football so will play each other each season.
The game was a defensive battle for both teams in the first half as penalties stopped several offensive drives for both teams. The score at halftime was two big goose eggs for both teams. The Bearcats got rolling offensively in the second half to take a hard-fought 22-0 win.
After the game, DGS Coach Matt Neumann told his team that they can’t expect to lay an egg in the playoffs and win.
“We have a lot of little things to clean up,” Neumann said in the team huddle following the game.
“Our first half was a real battle,” said senior Sean Bronec after the game. “We came out kind of flat on offense and really didn’t do much until the second half. Both teams have been looking toward this game since the first week of the season, when they called us out. We are still a pretty good team, although we have suffered some injuries throughout the season.”
The Bearcats finally put two points on the board with a safety early in the third period. DGS blocked a Titan punt into the end zone to get the two points. After the Titan free kick, the Bearcats moved the ball down the field, but an incomplete pass on a fourth-and five call gave the ball to Tri-City at its 18-yard line. The Titans were only able to gain two yards before they had to punt the ball away. The Bearcats took possession of the ball on their own 35-yard line when the Titan punt went out of bounds.
Rhet Woodhall completed a pass to Cameron Cali for a big first down on the Bearcats’ drive. Woodhall then ran for two more consecutive first downs. With the Bearcats knocking at the door on the 5-yard line, Titan Coach Jake Stevenson called a timeout in an attempt to slow the Bearcats down.  Woodhall mishandled the snap from center, which moved the ball back to the 12-yard line. On second-and-goal, Woodhall found Clay Hill. The pass completion moved the ball down to the 3-yard line. On the next play from scrimmage, Hill crossed the goal line for the first touchdown of the game. The PAT was no good, but DGS held an 8-0 lead with 1:10 left in the third quarter.
On Tri-City’s next possession, the Titans used a quick kick on third down. DGS took possession of the ball at the Bearcat 39-yard line. After one play, the third quarter ended.
Despite being called for several penalties on their next drive, the Bearcats continued to pound the ball behind the running of Woodhall, Hill and Carson Norskog. Norskog finally carried the ball across the goal line from 2 yards out. The PAT was again no good, but DGS upped its lead to 14-0 with 7:16 left in the game.
The Titans were forced to punt the ball again on their next possession. A short punt into the wind gave the Bearcats a short field to work with when they began their drive from the Titan 28-yard line. On third-and-six, Woodhall fumbled the ball, and it was recovered by Tri-City’s Travis Brown. Again, the Titan offense could not get untracked and was forced to punt.
The Bearcats took possession of the ball at the Titan 35-yard line. Norskog carried the ball to the 20-yard line on first down. After Norskog carried the ball again, Stevenson took a time out with the hopes of getting the ball back, but Norskog ran for nine yards on second down and then picked up another first down on the next play from scrimmage. The Titans were called for encroachment with the ball at the 3-yard line. After moving the ball half the distance to the goal line, Norskog carried the ball across the goal line for the third TD of the game for the Bearcats. Norskog also ran in the PAT to give the Bearcats a 22-0 lead with 3:41 left in the contest. The DGS defense kept the Titans in check. The game ended with the Bearcats taking a knee to finish the game.
“We didn’t play very well on offense,” said Cali, “but I think we have one of the best defenses in the state.”



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