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After 'first-game jitters,' Gretna makes scores stand up as it flexes defensive muscles against Silver Hawks

After 'first-game jitters,' Gretna makes scores stand up as it flexes defensive muscles against Silver Hawks

From the Recap a wild Week 1 with the Journal Star crew. Here's all of our high school football content from Friday series
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GRETNA — Gretna coach Mike Kayl said it best: His team made a lot of mistakes and could not stop that for a while.

But two touchdowns early in the second half were enough for the Dragons to defeat Lincoln Southwest 21-13 on Friday night.

“It’s the first-game jitters,” he said. “We kind of preached all week about not shooting ourselves in the foot and we were pretty good about shooting ourselves in the foot there for a while.”

Lincoln Southwest took advantage of some early miscues from Gretna. The Dragons turned it over twice in the first half, resulting in a touchdown with less than a minute to go in the first half to make it 7-6. A face-mask penalty kept the chains moving on that drive.

“We can’t be our worst enemy,” Kayl said. “And we were our worst enemy there. A team like Southwest is going to take advantage of that.”

The Gretna offense broke out last season with Zane Flores under center. The defense and special teams were the groups that showed their muscles against the Silver Hawks.

“Defense stepped up tonight,” Flores said. “Only 13 points on the board. That’s pretty big. And special teams, too, with some great returns.”

Gretna took the lead with a punt block on the first possession of the second half, something that was drawn up. They also blocked the extra point after Lincoln Southwest’s first touchdown.

High school football summaries, 8/27

“I wanted to call it before, then we called timeout and thought they saw it coming,” Kayl said. “Fortunately, we still made the play.”

Flores bounced back from two interceptions in the first half to lead a 56-yard touchdown drive just a few minutes later that sealed the game. He rushed in for that score from a yard out.

“He had to wipe off a couple of interceptions out of his head,” Kayl said. “It’s the same thing the next play. He still kept his composure and led the kids down the field and made some plays for us.”

Collin Fritton did all he could to try and keep Lincoln Southwest in it. He scrambled and threw a 30-yard touchdown pass that was tipped by four different people to start the fourth quarter. Cal Newell also ran the ball well despite not starting the game.

Lincoln Southwest will look to bounce back after the season-opening loss against Lincoln Southeast next Friday at Seacrest Field. Gretna, which was just outside of the rankings this week, will take on Omaha Central at home.

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