By Rob Langrell
Publisher of the Sun-Telegraph 

Red Raiders aim to bounce back

Ground game will be crucial for Sidney to get back in win column


Larry Brown - For The Sun-Telegraph

Sidney High School's Alex Linneman gives a stiff arm to a McCook defender during last week's game.

The Sidney High School football team will look to bounce back from its first loss of the season when it heads east Friday to play Lexington.

The Red Raiders lost at home last week to McCook after three consecutive wins to open the 2015 campaign, but expect to right the ship against Lexington (1-3).

"Right now, we just try to get better each week as a team," said Sidney's first-year head coach Chris Koozer. "We still have some defensive breakdowns at times, but we're trying to clean that up."

The Red Raiders will again rely on their potent running game when they make the 185-mile trip to take on the Minutemen on Friday. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. MDT.

Sidney is averaging 279 yards per game on the ground this year, with junior Alex Linneman leading the way with 368 yards on 32 carries. Sophomore Derek Robb (240 yards, 49 carries) and senior Hunter Secrest (192 yards on 42 carries) help balance the ground game.

Koozer said he expects senior running back Jake Heeren to miss his second straight week in the backfield. Heeren, who is battling an ankle and foot injury, carried the ball for 209 yards on 20 carries in the season's first two games.

"Jake hasn't practiced all week, so I don't expect he'll be ready to go," Koozer said. "Nothing has shown up on the X-rays, so it looks like an injury that just needs some rest."

Lexington has struggled offensively this year, getting shutout twice already. Scottsbluff beat the Minutemen 41-0 and Alliance topped them 27-0 last week.

Lexington counts on quarterback Trevor McKeone (153 carries on 40 carries; 16 for 43 passing for 254 yards) and running back Kyle Doty (44 carries and 256 yards) for most of its offensive output.


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