It seems like Kearney has the formula in stopping North Platte’s triple option. The Bearcats gave the Bulldogs their first loss of the year with a 42-14 victory on Friday. Both teams are 2-1 on the season.
North Platte struggled in taking care of the football early on after two crucial fumbles that would turn into a touchdown drive for the Bearcats.
Parker Wise scored on the opening possession for the Bearcats, then punched the ball out of North Platte quarterback Caleb Tonkinson’s hands on an option pitch and D’Andre Ndugwa scooped it up for a 48-year touchdown and an early 14-0 lead.
Riley Miller the connected on a pair of touchdown passes to Kaden Miller, and the Bulldogs fell behind 28-0 by the end of the first quarter.
“Kearney came out really well prepared,” North Platte’s coach Todd Rice said after the game. “They came out the aggressor, and we just didn’t respond very well, and we had those unfortunate turnovers and things kinda snowballed there.”
North Platte finally got on the board with five minutes left to play in the first half on a 15-yard run by Tate Janas. Kearney ended the first half with a one-yard touchdown run by Chris Dutenhoffer, giving the Bearcats a 35-7 lead at the half.
North Platte controlled the ball for much of the third quarter, but came up empty on fourth and three at the 30 to end the frame. Dutenhoffer rushed his second rushing touchdown to put more damage on the Bulldogs and make it a running clock. Vince Genatone was able to give the Bulldogs one more touchdown on a toss play before Kearney closed the deal late in the fourth. Genatone finished the night with 73 yards rushing.
“We’re trying to get to where they are in terms of being a veteran experienced-type team,” Rice said. “We had some adversity there, and it kinda snowballed there for a little bit.”
North Platte returns home next Friday as they host Lincoln North Star at 7 p.m. Kearney will be back on the road to take on Millard West.