OGALLALA — Two of the state’s top C-1 teams with ideologies on opposite sides of the spectrum clashed on Friday.
Gothenburg’s pounding ground game and stingy defense stuffed Ogallala’s high-scoring aerial attack in a 44-6 win at Ogallala High School.
Led by Owen Geiken and Maguire Bartlett, whose joint efforts on the ground combined for 199 of the team’s 301 rushing yards and five touchdowns, the Swedes outpaced and outmaneuvered Ogallala’s high-powered offense — which mustered 209 total yards of offense and their lowest scoring game of the season.
Gothenburg’s running attack was on full display early and never let up.
The Swedes (7-1) bursted for a 75-yard drive on the ground in the opening series, punctuating it with a Geiken 25-yard touchdown run that foreshadowed a night-long struggle for the Ogallala Indians.
After Ogallala (6-2) faltered on a fourth-down attempt deep in Gothenburg territory, the Swedes tacked on another touchdown. This time the Swedes drove 66-yards down the field before a 15-yard pass from Bartlett to Bryce Ryker extended their lead to 14-0.
And the struggles ensued for the Indians, who opened the second period with an intercepted pass from Chadron-commit Clayton Murphy that led to a Heith Kaiser return for a touchdown. Murphy finished with 13 of 17 attempts completed for 151 yards and one touchdown for the Indians.
Ogallala’s most successful possession of the first half happened in a blender, putting them on the Gothenburg 10-yard line before a fumble near the goal derailed any first-half scoring opportunity.
In turn, the Swedes connected on a 37-yard pass from Bartlett to Geiken to extend their halftime lead by 28 unanswered.
The Swedes continued running the ball deep into Ogallala territory to start the second half, scoring with 4-minutes, 10-seconds in the third quarter on a 31-yard run from Bartlett, who led the Swedes running attack with 102 rushing yards and two scores.
But chances at a fourth consecutive shutout by Gothenburg ended with 1:10 left in the third.
The Indians parlayed a fumble recovery into a 47-yard pass from Murphy to Brandon Beamon to end the quarter.
With reserves on the field for both teams in the fourth quarter, the Swedes tacked on another nine points, highlighted by a 71-yard run from Wes Geiken to end the game.
Ogallala (6-2) 0 0 6 0 — 6
Gothenburg (7-1) 14 14 7 9 — 44
G: Geiken for a 25yrd run (PAT is good)
G: Bartlett to Ryker on a 15yrd pass (PAT is good)
G: Pick-six from Heith Keiser (PAT is good)
G: Bartlett to Geiken on a 37yrd pass (PAT is good)
G: Bartlett on a 31yrd run (PAT is good)
O: Murphy to Beamon on a 47yrd pass (PAT is no good)
G: Marc Ackerman on a 38yrd field goal
G: Wes Geiken on a 71yrd run (PAT is no good)