With the help of five first half takeaways, North Platte St. Pat’s buried Sutherland, 63-12, on Friday at Knights of Columbus Field.
“I thought our defense played well,” St. Pat’s Head Coach Kevin Dodson said. “We got a great effort from the kids. Despite, what I thought was a slow start, I was really proud of how we came back and finished.”
Sutherland (0-4) was to kick the ball off to St. Pat’s to begin the game. But the Sailors had other ideas. They went for an onside kick and they recovered it.
“We talked all week about how they’re No. 1 in the state and we have nothing to lose,” Sutherland Head Coach Matt Mortimer said. “We had to maximize our possessions, so why not try it? We tried it and we got it. We caught them off guard. We figured it would work only one time a year and it did.”
But the momentum was short lived. Quarterback Cauy Kohl was sacked and fumbled the ball. Brecken Erickson recovered at the Sailor 24 yard line. Two plays later, Erickson caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Sam Troshynski and it was 7-0 after Sutton Tickle made the extra point.
St. Pat’s (5-0) forced Sutherland to punt and the Irish scored again with James Heirigs running it in from 14 yards out. The snap was bad on the extra point attempt but the holder, Troshynski, found Erickson for the two-point conversion to make it 15-0.
Sutherland showed some fight when Kohl found Ryker Copeland for a 50-yard gain to the Irish 2 yard line. But Kohl was stopped for a loss on the next play and then, on the first play of the second quarter, Oliver Nutter mishandled a direct snap and St. Pat’s recovered.
On the next play, Troshynski threw to a wide open Logan Dodson over the middle for a touchdown.
Heirigs intercepted Kohl on each of Sutherland’s next three possessions and the Irish scored touchdowns on all three of them to lead 42-0 at halftime.
St. Pat’s added two more touchdowns in the third quarter before the Sailors got on the board in the fourth quarter with Jackson Saner throwing a 17-yard touchdown pass to Taylor Drueke.
Sutherland scored again with a 57-yard touchdown run by Hayden Anderson to finish the game.
“We missed our opportunities but (St. Pat’s) is really good,” Mortimer said. “Things didn’t go well but we were throwing everything we could at them. This will help us in the long run for what we want to do later on. But that’s a heck of a team and it was tough sledding.”
Next, St. Pat’s will play at Sandhills Valley (0-4) on Sept. 21, while Sutherland hosts Perkins County (3-1) on Sept. 22.
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