The North Platte Bulldogs couldn’t sustain the momentum from a promising start on Friday and they lost 44-14 to Columbus at Bauer Field.
North Platte (0-2) received the opening kickoff. The Dawgs powered the ball down the field with their flexbone offense gaining three, four yards at a time on the ground and moving the chains.
They moved to near the red zone as they faced a fourth down situation with eight yards to go from the Columbus 25 yard line. On the play, Jaylan Ruffin got the carry on a sweep to the right side and it was close. But the measurement revealed he was just inches short.
The opening drive took eight minutes off the clock and the Bulldog defense came out excited. Columbus (2-0) went nowhere and they went three and out.
NPHS got the ball in Discoverer territory after receiving the punt. But a holding penalty knocked them off schedule and they had to punt.
On the first play of the second quarter, Garrett Esch received the punt and ran to the left side to score, giving Columbus the lead.
Esch missed the extra point and it was only 6-0. But the damage was done and the Bulldogs never recovered.
The Discoverers scored again in the first half. With a little over five minutes left, Joe Braasch scored on a jet sweep to the right side from six yards out and it was 13-0 after Esch booted the extra point.
That was the score at halftime and Columbus got the ball to start the half. It didn’t even take them a minute to find the end zone. Quarterback C.J. Fleeman threw to wide open Esch for a 44-yard touchdown and the rout was on.
Columbus scored two more touchdowns before the Bulldogs finally got on the board in the fourth quarter with Blake Vaughn’s 65-yard run on a sweep to the left side.
North Platte scored again in the fourth with a touchdown run by Tate Janas to salvage something from the game.
The Bulldogs will again try to get their first win when they host Fremont (2-0) for homecoming.