Red Raiders Roll Over Bulldogs, 56-20
Hosts Gothenburg in First Round of Playoffs Friday
October 26, 2023
SIDNEY--After last week's heartbreaking loss to Ogallala that spoiled the Red Raiders undefeated season, curious eyes were on the Sidney boys, looking to see how they would respond in a game against a rival that they should beat. The loss to Ogallala seemed to have no lasting effect on the Red Raiders, as they blasted the visiting Bulldogs by a final score of 56-to-20.
It was a perfect fall night in Sidney on Friday, with crisp temperatures and a clear sky for the last regular season game for the Red Raiders. Alliance started with the ball, and used a no-huddle offensive scheme to keep Sidney off-balance and prevent substitutions. The Bulldogs were able to pick up two first downs on their opening drive, but a third down sack of senior quarterback Landen Crowe forced an Alliance punt. Sidney started their opening drive deep in their own territory, and mixed runs with seniors Isak Doty and Luke Holly, as well as toss sweeps by juniors Landon Riddle and Reid Fiscus. Sidney marched down the field until Holly broke loose and rumbled 23 yard for a touchdown, putting Sidney up 7-to-0 after a successful extra point kick.
Alliance could not get any rhythm going on their next offensive drive, and two false start penalties stalled their effort, forcing another punt. Sidney again moved the ball past midfield, setting up a big 34 yard touchdown pass from Isak Doty to Landon Riddle to move the score to 14-to-0 in Sidney's favor. Again Alliance started their offensive drive in a no-huddle scheme, but Sidney's defense swarmed and smothered the Bulldog's offense, forcing another punt which again put Sidney near mid-field for their next drive. Sidney drove again, and on a fourth down and 8 yards to go try, Doty again found Riddle with a long pass, this time after Riddle had beaten his defender and curled into the front right corner of the end zone. The reception added six more points for Sidney after a missed extra point attempt.
Alliance finally got on the board when Crowe found senior Tristan Timbers streaking down the left sideline. The long pass was caught while Timbers battled coverage by Landon Riddle. After the reception, Timbers was able to fight off Riddle and make it into the end zone, and a two point conversion moved the score to 20-to-8. That would be the closest the Bulldog's would get to the Red Raiders, as the second quarter had Sidney racking up 39 more points while Alliance added just 6 to give Sidney a 49-to-14 lead at the halftime break. Sidney slowed the pace and ran the clock through the second half, with each team adding a score. Sidney cruised to a 56-to-20 win, securing a home-field playoff game. Isak Doty went 9-for-12 for 141 yards and two touchdowns through the air, and rushed 9 times for 143 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Raider offense. Luke Holly rushed 14 times for 122 yards and two touchdowns. Landon Riddle had four receptions for 89 yards and two touchdowns, and Reid Fiscus had four receptions for 59 yards, an interception on defense and provided a few big blocks on offense that led to big gains by Sidney. The Sidney offensive line had another outstanding game, controlling the line of scrimmage and opening big holes for the Red Raider rushing attack.
Sidney advances to the playoffs, and hosts the 6-and-3 Gothenburg Swedes on Friday. The Swedes have a well-balanced offensive attack and a strong defense, and beat Ogallala 29-to-6 in their season opener. They have also defeated common opponents Holdrege, Alliance and McCook. They lost to Cozad by one point, 14-to-13. If Sidney's offensive line can control the line of scrimmage and open some holes for the Sidney rushing attack, look for the Red Raiders to have a good night against the Swedes. But Gothenburg's speed on defense could cause problems for Sidney, and the Red Raiders need to be flexible on offense, use play-action to keep the defense off-balance and convert some big plays for success. With the way the Sidney boys have been playing this season, if they play at their highest level, they should be able to get past Gothenburg and advance to the next round of the playoffs.