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

By Mike Motz
Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

Raiders Drop Third Straight

 

October 2, 2019

Shelly Peckham

Sidney senior Eli Ahrens attempts a pass during the Red Raiders' 24-to-9 loss against the Chadron Cardinals Friday night at Chadron High School.

Sidney's Red Raider Football team dropped its' third contest in a row, falling to the Chadron Cardinals 24-to-9 in a soggy slog of a game that had Sidney struggling for offense throughout the contest. The Red Raiders fall to 2-and-3 on the season, and it doesn't get easier as the powerhouse Scottsbluff Bearcats visit Weymouth Field Friday night looking to remain undefeated at Sidney's expense.

Sidney started strong with their defense forcing a three-and-out on Chadron's first possession, but the Raiders were unable to move the ball offensively. Both teams struggled for offensive momentum, with Sidney's defense doing a good job containing the talented Chadron running backs and receivers. Chadron finally gained traction and were able to drive deep into Sidney territory, and cashed in with a short touchdown run open a 6-to-0 lead after a failed point after attempt. Sidney was able to cash in after a 56 yard pass hook up between senior quarterback Eli Ahrens and senior receiver Paul Houser put them deep in Cardinals territory, and Ahrens was eventually able to power the ball in on the ground to give Sidney a 7-to-6 lead. The lead didn't hold up after a Sidney fumble gave the ball to Chadron with good field position, and a 26 yard touchdown pass put the Cardinals up 12-to-7 late in the first quarter. Neither team was able to sustain any offensive momentum in the second quarter, and the teams entered the intermission with Sidney behind.

Sidney had great field position to start the third quarter as Chadron tried an onside kick that was recovered by the Raiders. The Raiders were able to move the ball, but a loss of seven on a fumble by Ahrens led to a Sidney punt that pinned the Cardinals on their own five yard line. Chadron was able to drive the ball effectively, but were forced to punt. The punt pinned the Raiders on their own two yard line. Chadron clamped down and forced a three-and-out, and after junior Beau Wamsley's punt, the Cardinals took over on the Sidney 38 yard line. The Cardinals then drove down the field, scoring on Chadron quarterback Dawson Dunbar's sweep run and the Cardinals extended their lead to 18-to-7.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Ahrens pitched to Wamsley, but the slippery ball dropped on the ground, and the Cardinals recovered on the Sidney 30 yard line. The Cardinals drove and converted a fourth and four for a first down, then on fourth and goal at the one yard line, Chadron broke through and scored their final touchdown, extending their lead to 24-to-7. Sidney battled, but was only able to manage a safety on a blocked punt in the end zone by Beau Wamsley, resulting in a final score of 24-to-9 in favor of Chadron.

"Chadron's a tough and patient team. We did a good job holding them down offensively, but they were eventually able to make the big play to keep their drives going and score points. They also did a great job holding onto the ball with no turnovers, which turned out to be the difference in the game," said Koozer.

The Raiders mustered very little offense, with Ahrens completing just one out of eight passing attempts for 56 yards. Ahrens had 12 yards on 13 rushing attempts and a touchdown. Beau Wamsley had 41 yards on eight rushing attempts and a safety on the night.

Sidney faces their biggest challenge of the year, as the undefeated Scottsbluff Bearcats visit on Friday.

"Great team, very well coached, with great offensive weapons and a solid defense. They've been too tough to handle so far, and we're going to have our hands full this week."

Koozer knows his team needs to play their best game to have a chance against the Bearcats, last year's Class B runner-up, and hopes the dramatic cut in penalties against Chadron is a trend that continues.

 

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