The North Platte Bulldog defense shut down Columbus at every turn Friday night in a 28-0 homecoming victory at Bauer Field.
“Luckily, what Columbus was similar to what Scottsbluff ran,” NPHS interim coach Kurt Altig said. “We knew they were going to come out and be run-heavy and we liked our chances of playing tough, physical football. Outside of maybe two plays, we did exactly what we wanted to do.”
Both teams went three and out on their first possession and North Platte (2-2) got good field position for their second possession after Kolten Tilford returned Columbus’ punt to midfield.
The Bulldogs powered the ball down the field and Brock Roblee punched it in for a touchdown from a yard out to put NPHS on top with a little over three minutes left in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Bulldogs drove into Columbus territory. But on fourth down, Tilford was stopped short after he received the pass from quarterback Caden Joneson.
North Platte had a chance to score again right before halftime. They drove to within the 10 yard line. But Joneson was sacked on the last play of the half.
“It seemed like we couldn’t get out of our own way, offensively, in the first half,” Altig said. “Right before half, that was a poor coaching decision on our part. We should’ve kicked the field goal and got more points before the half. That’s one of those things we’ll learn from, and in the second half, we got after it.”
Columbus (1-4) received the kickoff to start the second half and got a first down before they were forced to punt. The Discoverers pinned the Bulldogs at their own 10.
But that was when the NPHS offensive line and running game started to take over. They had no problem moving the ball past midfield and at the 29, Tilford took a pitch and broke loose on the right side for a touchdown to make it 14-0.
After stopping Columbus again, the Bulldogs went back to work and Roblee scored again on a 33-yard touchdown run with two minutes left in the third quarter.
“”We play Bulldog football. We come out and grind it,” Altig said. “Those two, three, four-yard carries in the first half become 50 yard carries in the second half. We’re not doing anything special. We’re going to come out and grind it at ya. You’ve got to stop us and lots of time, we beat people down and wear on them.”
After that, Columbus got the ball into NPHS territory after quarterback Will Wickham found Nic Kriech for a big gain. But on fourth down, near the Bulldog 20, Wickham was sacked by Caleb Kinkaid.
The North Platte reserves got into the game in the last few minutes and sophomore Alonzo Torrez got his first career touchdown with two minutes left.
On the second to last play of the game, Logan Streeter made an interception to cap off the stellar defensive effort for the Dawg defense.
Next, the Bulldogs will play at archrival Kearney (4-0) on Sept. 23.
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