ELKHORN — If you were looking for a pretty, high-octane football game, Elkhorn versus Lincoln Southwest certainly wasn’t the game for you.
In a sloppy, grind-it-out game that brought forth plenty of penalties, it was the Antlers who were victorious on their homecoming night, shutting down the Silver Hawk offense in route to a 28-14 win.
“The special teams did well, our defense played well, and our offense has got to get better,” said Elkhorn head coach Mark Wortman.
Penalties were a major factor in the game for both teams, combining for 20 penalties and 150 yards, which limited both squads.
The action started quickly as Elkhorn found the end zone in their first possession. The Antlers forced Southwest to punt on its opening drive, and the shanked kick put Elkhorn in prime position at the Southwest 39-yard line. Elkhorn made quick work with a six-play drive capped by senior running back Logan Macumber punching it in from 4 yards out to make it 7-0.
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On the next drive, Lincoln Southwest used its rushing game to get to the Elkhorn 19-yard line. On a rollout to the right, Silver Hawk quarterback Laken Harnly found a wide-open Dakota Harders for a 19-yard touchdown to tie things up at 7-7.
From there, Elkhorn put together two special plays to shift the momentum. Facing a fourth-and-long in their own territory, Elkhorn’s Gannon Gragert faked the punt and scampered for a 59-yard touchdown run.
“I had no idea. Really, we were in silence,” said Wortman on the fake punt. “Nobody’s there, so he did that on his own. I can’t take credit for that.”
Just a few drives later, Antler cornerback Issac Robinson took a tipped pass from Harnley to the house, putting the lead up to 21-7.
Then, in the fourth quarter, Southwest attempted a reverse pass that was intercepted by sophomore safety Hayden Stec, who took it back 40 yards for a touchdown.
Southwest’s Telo Arsiaga scored on a 5-yard touchdown run with minutes to go for the final score.
Elkhorn will have a three-game winning streak when they take on defending state champion Omaha Burke on the road next week. Southwest will play North Platte in Lincoln.