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

Cox, Bulldogs chew up North Park

 

Perhaps there is something about the oppressive heat that brings out the bulldog in the Peetz football team.

Though Peetz's Garrin Cox wasn't exactly gnarling like a rabid canine, he played as if so possessed. Before five minutes had elapsed in the first quater, Cox scored three touchdowns, including two on defense. That was more than the visitors would tally the entire game.

When all the numbers were finally added up, Peetz advanced its record to 2-0 with a 61-14 pasting of the North Park Wildcats in six-man football. The 1 p.m. non-league matinee was the Bulldogs home opener.

Peetz was aided by the Wildcats' youth, which showed itself often. With a roster of just 12 names (only nine of which made the trip) - including just one senior and five freshmen - North Park had its hands full. Though Peetz has but two seniors itself, the 'Dogs depth advantage appeared significant.

While the Bulldogs made the first error, a fumble on first-and-goal at the Wildcat one, they made few others. Instead of capitalizing on the Peetz mistake, however, the Wildcats fumbled in their own end zone. Cox pounced on the rock with 6:54 left in the opening quarter.

"They shot themselves in the foot a few times and we forced them into some other mistakes," Cox said. "Every team makes errors, but I think they had more than ususal."

The Wildcats turned the ball over eight times in all. Other times they recovered their own miscues. Many of the errors were on snaps and tosses.

"Our defense caused some of their turnovers," Peetz Head Coach Scott Sorensen said, echoing Cox's thoughts. "But when a team turns the ball over eight times they have to be making a lot of their own mistakes."

North Park had the ball only two plays after the Cox TD before Cody Wilson picked off a T.J. Richard pass. Wilson returned it 18 yards to the opposing 11-yard line. Peetz quarterback Bradey Holtz needed just one play to hit paydirt, as he found Cox in the endzone for a 12-0 lead.

"He was awesome today," said Sorensen said of Cox. "We lined him up in different places on the field and he was very effective."

Cox rang up six more points just 14 seconds later. In shotgun formation on first down at their own 16, the Wildcats center snap sailed over Richards' head. Cox blew through the line and pounced on his second defensive touchdown of the quarter.

When Holtz connected with Jordan Nelson for the one-point conversion, the score had stood at 19-0. Cox's three touchdowns came in a span of just 1:15.

"We knew it was going to be hot so we were hoping to get a big lead so we could get a break in the second half," said Nelson.

By rule, if a team establishes a 45-point lead the clock continues to run. Before the first half would end, Peetz would be well on their way to achieving a running clock. With 1:42 left in the opening quarter, Holtz found Wilson for a 35-yard TD strike and a 26-0 lead.

Early in the second stanza Wilson found the endzone again with a short interception return. It was the first of three touchdowns the teams would score in a four-play span.

The Wildcats finally hit the board on the ensuing kickoff when Will Hutchenson ran 65-yards on the return. Hutchenson added the two-point kick to shrink the deficit to 35-8.

Peetz then took the ball at their own 27 after the kickoff. Logan Vach went nearly untouched on the first play from scrimmage with a 53-yard scoring run. Nelson later added the Bulldogs final score of the half with a one-yard plunge. Holtz drop kicked the two pointer for a 49-8 halftime lead.

With 3:22 left in the third quarter, the Bulldogs got the lead they were looking for. Corbin Heller rumbled in from 16 yards to establish a 55-8 lead and a running clock. The teams traded a touchdowns in a fast moving fourth quarter to end the scoring.

Tre Lewis finished a 38-yard drive with a five-yard scamper to account for the Peetz score. Adrian Cereceres ran 39 yards for the Wildcats tally.

As he did last week, Vach led the Bulldogs in rushing with 95 yards. Nelson ran for 67.

Peetz is next in action next Friday night at Pawnee in Grover, Colo. Last year the Bulldogs lost to Pawnee in a shootout 68-55 at home.

 

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