When Omaha Roncalli Catholic came to Schuyler last Friday night for a Class B football match-up against the Warriors, many fans thought they would see a show presented by Crimson Pride standout quarterback Jackson Dotzler.
But his performance, while noteworthy, only lasted a couple of plays into the second quarter as he led Roncalli to a 28-0 lead on its way to a 49-7 drubbing of Schuyler. In one quarter of action, Dotzler was 5 of 7 passing for 102 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran the ball twice for ten yards and a seven-yard touchdown.
Roncalli amassed 287 total yards on the evening with 245 coming before the halftime break. Schuyler won the second half on the scoreboard, 7-0, and in total yards, 118-42, but the damage had already been done.
The fourth quarter touchdown scored by Warriors freshman quarterback Dennis Martinez on a 1-yard dive was big in many ways. It helped to breathe some life into a Schuyler offense that had struggled against the Crimson Pride for most of the contest, it was the first points scored by SCHS in the past four games and it gave the Warriors some momentum heading into their season finale this Friday night in their Homecoming battle against 1-8 South Sioux City.
Early game struggles have plagued the Warriors all season,and the game against the Crimson Pride was no exception.
Dotzler connected with Shane Orr on a 35-yard scoring strike less than 90 seconds into the game. Less than two minutes later, T.J. Hamilton picked off a pass attempt by Schuyler’s Landen Reyes and raced to the end zone for a 50 yard pick-six making it 14-0 with 8:52 left in the first quarter. The interception was one of three thrown by Schuyler quarterbacks in the first half.
“Tonight they came out here and got a couple quick scores right away,” said SCHS head coach Jason Ankrah. “We made a lot of mistakes against Roncalli tonight. We have to make sure that next week we don’t make those mistakes again.”
“It is important that we get off to a quick start against our opponents. We have to come out here and get the momentum going first. We can’t let them get the momentum first or we will be in for a struggle, regardless of who we are playing.”
Dotzler hit tight end Ryan Fenoglio with a 10-yard touchdown strike and halfback Darik Rodgers bolted in from 15 yards out giving the Crimson Pride their 28-0 first-quarter lead.
You have free articles remaining.
It was more of the same for the Warriors in the second quarter. Schuyler tossed two more interceptions leading to three Crimson Pride touchdowns. Dotzler scored on a 7-yard scramble, back-up quarterback Thomas Kenney raced home with a 20-yard score and then hit Michael Charles on a 7 yard touchdown pass making the score 49-0 at halftime.
With the 35-point running clock rule in effect, the second half sped by quickly.
Martinez scored his touchdown for Schuyler with 5:04 left in the game, concluding an impressive 15-play, 88-yard scoring drive as both teams had cleared their benches and entered backups into the fray.
“The second and third string-guys were excited to get in the whole time. Obviously, they are the guys who are younger, and I have no problem with playing freshmen at this point. We are just trying to control what we can control," Ankrah said. "I don’t care what the scoreboard is, we just want to go out there and end on a positive note, and we did that tonight."
The Warriors finished with 118 yards rushing on 36 carries. They were led by Jhony Escobar, who had 42 yards on 10 carries, Travis Marxsen, who had 24 yards on 7 carries, Dennis Martinez, who had 21 yards on 6 carries, and Donny Rice, who had 17 yards on five attempts.
The Warriors have ended the past two seasons with victories over South Sioux City and hope to do the same thing again this week.
“It’s always good to win that last game of the season,” said Ankrah. “It will be Homecoming and the last home game for these seniors. This is a very special class for me because they are my very first class. I am going to do whatever it takes to get these guys a win next week.”
Due to homecoming festivities the game against South Sioux City will begin at 6:00 p.m., one hour earlier than usual.
Doug Phillips is a freelance write for the Schuyler Sun. Reach him via email at SCHsports@lee.net.