The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Raiders dominate Vikings

Anglin, Lewis lead potent offense to 44-22 romp

 

Just a tick over five minutes into the new season, Chance Anglin scampered down the left sideline for a 20-yard touchdown run to cap an 80-yard drive. It was just a small taste of what was to come.

With 538 yards of rushing offense - powered primarily by Anglin and Logan Lewis - the Sidney Red Raiders turned the tables on the Grand Island Northwest Vikings with a 44-22 rout at Weymouth Field Friday night.

The final result against this non-league foe was a complete reversal of the opener last year in which the Vikings toppled Sidney in Grand Island 34-12. While the 2013 Vikings have lost nearly all their starters to graduation, Sidney came into this season a more veteran team - especially on offense.

Lewis piled up 267 yards on 37 carries and two touchdowns. HIs first score was a career-high 94-yard scamper on Sidney's second possession. Anglin rang up 234 yards on 24 carries with four touchdowns. Late in the third quarter Anglin rambled for a 55-yard tally.

"We wanted to wear them out and we let the backs go to work," said junior quaterback Lane Harvey.

And work they did. The Raiders ran the ball on 74 of its 80 offensive plays. Throughout the night, the offensive line consistently moved the Vikings off the ball. Even when the holes were small, Lewis and Anglin proved elusive targets.

Lewis continued to pile up the yards despite sustaining an ankle sprain on his fourth carry of the game. He was hobbled after plowing up the middle for 20 yards just three minutes into the contest.

"It's nothing. This isn't my first ankle sprain," Lewis said with a big smile. "No problem. I'll spend some time in ice and I'll be fine."

The Raiders managed to win a lopsided contest despite surrendering significant field-position disadvantages to the Vikes in the first 24 minutes. Sidney attempted on-side kicks after all its first half scores. The pattern continued with the second-half kickoff.

Grand Island's first half starting positions were at their own 48, 47, 40, 20 and 23. After the second-half kickoff Northwest began from their own 40. The latter two starting points of the first half were the result of a punt into the endzone and a lost fumble.

"We wanted to be aggressive so we gave it a try," Harvey said. "We almost got a couple of them."

Conversely, Sidney began its first-half drives from its own 20, 6, 33, 40 and 25. The start at the 40 was courtesy of a big Anglin kickoff return. For much of the second half the strategy was abandoned and Lucas Rosenbaum kicked away. He pinned Grand Island inside the 20 with one boot.

Sidney opened the scoring on the season's opening drive. Lewis took the ball on the Raiders first two offensive plays of the season. His first carry matched his jersey number - a 23-yard run. While Lewis ran for 45 yards on the drive he was removed following his ankle mishap.

Meanwhile, Anglin and the offenive line took over the work load. Anglin went 39 yards on the final three plays of the drive. He followed up his TD by running in the two-point conversion.

"We had a good night, but we expected to play well," said Raiders center Michael Sukup. "We expected them to blitz a lot. We held them off pretty well."

Only 39 seconds elapsed on the clock before Sidney again took possession. Though Vikes quarterback Christian Ellsworth hooked up with Trevis Schlep for an 11-yard gain to open their drive, it was three-and-out after that. Sidney's Tucker Winholz helped stop Northwest by throwing Ty Johnson for a four-yard loss.

The Raiders needed but one play to score again when Lewis did his 94-yard dance. The conversion failed.

"Chance gave me a nice lead block to spring me there," Lewis said.

Grand Island gave up its next possession on downs at the Sidney 33. The Raiders answered by marching 67 yards in 10 plays. Anglin finished the job from 12 yards out. He also ran in the conversion for a 22-0 home-team lead with 46 seconds remaining in the first stanza.

Following Sidney's explosive start, the Vikings began to make a game of it. They scored two unanswered touchdowns in the second quarter. Northwest rang up its first tally when Justin Gill plunged in from the one to cap a 60-yard drive. An Ellsworth to Taylor Willis 23-yard touchdown pass accounted for the other. Sidney's halftime lead was slashed to 22-14.

In the second half the Raiders again geared up the running attack. When the defense stopped the Vikes on three plays, Sidney took over on its own seven after a deep punt. But for a six-yard carry by Harvey, Anglin and Lewis carried the rest of the load. Sidney took more than seven minutes to march the 93 yards before Anglin travelled the final eight. After Lewis added the two pointer, the Raiders were back in command at 30-14.

Though Grand Island answered for one more score, Sidney controlled the clock and the game in the second half. When Anglin struck for his 55-yard touchdown dash with 36 seconds left in the third, the Vikings took to their air attack in greater earnest. Garrett Deer thwarted Northwest's most promising attempt with an interception.

Following Deer's big play, Sidney ate up another seven minutes of clock time with the running game. Lewis punctuated the long drive with a one-yard dive to give the home team its final 44-22 advantage.

Grand Island had the ball twice more after the Lewis TD. The Raider defense stopped the first drive on downs. Tyler Winholz picked off Ellsworth on the Vikings final attempt.

Sidney takes to the road next week when they meet Holdrege at 6 p.m. CDT. Holdrege also won its opener at Gering 21-12.

 

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