Coyotes Shut Out By Patriots, 51-0
State Title Hopes Snuffed by Patriots Defense
November 9, 2023
POTTER--There were big hopes that this would be the year the Coyotes would get past an eastern team and finally get to hold a NSAA State Championship trophy in D6 football. They got close two season ago, racking up 11 wins until they were stopped by a hot Cody-Kilgore team. Last year they got to nine wins, then Pawnee City ended their title drive. This year they got to nine wins, the last by defeating Red Cloud at home in the playoffs, but they could not get past defending champion Parkview Christian even with home field advantage.
Friday afternoon's playoff contest started with Potter-Dix receiving the ball first. They started deep in their own territory, and after three runs only netted them seven yards, sophomore quarterback Dylan Tabor launched a long pass that sophomore Landon Gasseling corralled at the Patriots' 31 yard line. Potter-Dix kept driving and took the ball down to the 4 yard line, before senior Brayden Kasten was called for a false start that backed them up to the 9 yard line. Tabor then ran up the middle for a few yards, leaving the Coyotes with a fourth down on the 6 yard line. The Coyotes lined up for a field goal, but it was a fake. A pass was tossed to senior Caden McConnell, but he could not hang on to the ball, and the pass fell incomplete. The Coyotes marched down the field in 11 plays, took up a good amount of time on the clock, but did not score any points, but at least the Patriots would have to start their opening drive deep in their own territory.
It turned out the unfavorable field position did not matter to the Patriots, as they handed the ball to their star running back, senior Alexander Rohrbaugh, and he cut right through the Coyote defense and trucked all the way for a 74 yard touchdown run. With a converted kick, the Parkview Christian team was up 8-to-0. The Patriots then squibbed an onside kick that was recovered by Potter-Dix. However, the Coyotes could not move the ball, and a fourth down incomplete pass turned the ball over on downs.
Parkview Christian took over and immediately had another big run by Rohrbaugh, but it was called back by a holding penalty. Potter-Dix shut down the Patriots over the next few downs, prompting a fourth down and 14 situation. The Patriots entered a punt formation, but faked the punt and senior kicker Judah Sunderman threw a pass to Rohrbaugh, and he got past the Coyote defense and ran for another touchdown. A missed kick moved the score to 14-to-0 in favor of the visitors.
The Coyotes started near the 30 yard line, but could not get any offense going, and on a fourth down and 7 yards play, Tabor could not find anyone open and threw the ball away for another turnover on downs. Parkview Christian took over, and three plays later, it was Rohrbaugh with another touchdown run to move the score to 22-to-0. Potter-Dix tried three straight passes, but none of them connected, and this time they punted on fourth down. The Patriots started on their own 15 yard line, and with senior running back Brayden Bayliss took the bulk of the carries, marched down the field. The drive was capped by a three yard run by Bayliss, and the Patriots had a commanding 30-to-0 lead early in the second quarter. The next series started good for the Coyotes, with the offense starting on the 29 yard line, and Tabor breaking open a big run that brought the Coyotes down to the Patriots' 25 yard line. But the Patriots then shut down the Coyotes drive, which ended on a fourth down and 8 yard run attempt by Tabor that went for no gain. Parkview Christian started on another drive, and they gained a few first downs with runs. A big pass completion moved them down to the Potter-Dix 13 yard line, and the drive was capped off with a screen pass to Bayliss, who was able to get in the end zone for another score, moving the Patriots' lead to 36-to-0 at the halftime break. Although Potter-Dix was able to shut down the Parkview Christian scoring in the third quarter, the Coyotes were unable to put up any points of their own. The Patriots tacked on another 15 points in the fourth quarter, while keeping the Coyotes off the board to earn the 51-to-0 win, and they advance to the next round of the playoffs.
Potter-Dix ends their season in disappointing fashion, if you could call yet another undefeated regular season and a playoff win a disappointment. This time it was the Parkview Christian defense that did them in, as they were able to contain the powerful Potter-Dix offense while Rohrbaugh ran wild all over Combs Field. The Coyotes were held to a paltry 170 yards. Rohrbaugh rushed 8 times for 130 yards and two touchdowns, plus caught a 39 yard pass for another touchdown. Sundermann went 5 for 7 passing for 112 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Patriots move on and face Hay Springs on Friday in the semi-final round.