Raider Football team earn Playoff spot

High school football imitates life in many ways. A person is never sure of what exactly is going to happen next.

Last Friday night, the L-N Raiders played their final game of the regular season in Bruning against last year’s Class D-2 state champions, BDS. And . . . the Raiders lost the game 14-44, giving L-N a 3-5 won-loss record for the season.

I don’t know how many players, fans or coaches were considering a spot in the state playoffs, but because of the tough schedule L-N faced this season, the Raiders became one of three teams in the playoffs with a 3-5 record. (More on the playoffs in an accompanying article.)

The game started off appearing to be an old-fashioned slugfest. The score by quarters:

L-N 0 8 0 6 = 14

BDS 6 22 14 0 = 44

The teams exchanged possession of the ball several times to start the game with L-N taking the ball away once with an Erik Wheeland interception. BDS scored just before the quarter ended.

The dam broke early in the second period as BDS scored twice before L-N used about seven minutes of the clock to put together a 60 yard TD drive to score with 3:36 on the clock. The drive consisted of a lot of passing with Krayton completing 8 of 8 passes and then running the TD score along with the PAT to make the score 8-22. BDS used those last three minutes for a 72 yard drive that crossed the goal line with 12 seconds left on the clock.

Quarter 3: BDS sprang a 61 yard run quickly after the Raider kickoff to score, allowed L-N a first down before doing a TD drive late in the period.

Quarter 4: The Raiders were down 36 points going into the final period but never gave up on themselves. They used much of the period on a 106 yard scoring drive. (Now you may ask how that was possible when the field is only 80 yards long.) L-N overcame 25 yards of penalties and used its passing game to score with Tyson Kotinek, Toby Kotinek, Connor Janda and Bayln Bargen, all on the receiving end of passes. The TD came on a 9 yard Bargen run.

Not to give up on themselves, the Raiders recovered an ‘on-side’ kickoff and moved the ball downfield to the BDS five yard line before time expired for the game.

The result of the game gave L-N a 3-5 won-loss record for the year. However, because of the caliber of their opposition, they had earned enough points to qualify for the State Playoffs.

Stats for the BDS game:

First Downs: L-N 11; BDS 11.

Offense: Run: plays/yds.: L-N 16/97; BDS 35/303.

Offense: Pass: comp./attempts: L-N 20/32; BDS 1/2.

Offense: Passing yds.: L-N 175; BDS 6.

Offense: Total: L-N 272; BDS 309.

Passing: Had intercepted: L-N: 0; BDS: 1.

Fumbles-lost: L-N 2/1; BDS: 2/0.

Penalties-yds.: L-N 6/70; BDS 4/45.

Passing: Kucera: 20/32 for 175 yards.

Rushing: Kucera 8 carries for 35 yards, Toby Kotinek1 carry, 1 yard, Bargen 4 carries for 35 yards, Devyn Zikmund 2 carries, 22 yards, Carter Griffis 1 carry 4 yards.

Receiving: Bayln Bargen 5 for 42 yards; Erik Wheeland 3 for 36 yards; Tyson Kotinek 3 for 25 yards, Connor Janda 1 for 18 yards and Toby Kotinek 8 for 54 yards.

Defense: Tackles: (Assisted-Unassisted) Wyatt Brockman 7-1; Krayton Kucera 11-4; Bayln Bargen 1-0; Nolan Ostdiek 1-3; Erik Wheeland 5-2; Tyson Kotinek 5-1; Toby Kotinek 3-2; Devyn Zikmund 5-1, Keaton Mazour 2-0.


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