By Pastor Vince Carrig
Plainsmen quarterback Quinton Hite spiraled two perfect bombs to Taylor Boldt for touchdowns and his defense kept the Tigers’ rushers in front of them Friday night to give Perkins County a 35-0, season-opening win over Dundy County-Stratton at Haenfler Field in Grant.
Alex Johnston helped set up the Plainsmen’s first touchdown and ran for an 11-yarder of his own to give Perkins County a 14-0 lead at halftime.
Johnston drilled Tigers punt returner Mitchel Shillington and spilled the football right underneath himself at the Dundy County 40-yard line.
Seven plays later, Hite launched a 31-yard touchdown throw to Boldt in the end zone’s left corner for a 7-0 Perkins County lead with 15 seconds left in the first quarter.
The touchdown passes were “well-thrown balls, [with] good routes, good fakes, good pass protection; it all kind of came together,” Plainsmen Head Coach Chip Kay said after the game.
Johnston also raced 11 yards out of the “hole” with a pitch after Colton White blocked a punt and gave the Plainsmen a short field.
Hite booted all five extra points through the uprights in his first game as starting quarterback and placekicker.
The Plainsmen defense, led by senior linebacker Justin Hatcher’s 14 total tackles (seven solo, seven assists), limited the Tigers to just five first downs all game.
Despite Dundy County’s “wingback” alignment that used four backs, fakes, reverses and misdirections to create operating space, Perkins County
defenders stayed with their assignments and allowed only 133 rushing yards.
“With the double-wing offense, if you make the slightest mistake in your technique, or you don’t tackle well, they will get big yardage,” said Coach Kay. “I thought after the first quarter (we gave up half of our yardage [then]) we settled down and played very good defense. That’s one of the things that I’m very proud of is that [our team] understands the importance of playing good defense.”
The Tigers never reached the “red zone,” and the Plainsmen defense stuffed 27 of Dundy County’s 44 running plays for gains of two yards or less.
Plainsmen pass coverage shut quarterback Christopher Rotherham out; he completed one pass in eight tries, but for zero yards.
Perkins County running back Brody Prante led all rushers with 96 yards on just nine carries, and took advantage of a fraying Tigers defense with a 36-yard touchdown run with 9:20 left. The senior made multiple tacklers miss with his speed and strength on the run.
Johnston rushed for 70 yards on just nine carries, and also punched in a six-yarder with 6:51 left to start the continuous clock (35-point spread).
Same play, other side: Boldt slipped his charge and ran into a pass in the right corner of the end zone one minute after the fourth quarter began.
Plainsmen linebacker Elliot Carlson invaded the Tigers secondary for 2.5 tackles for loss, including teaming with Boldt to blow up rusher Paul Downey seven yards behind the line of scrimmage.
Kyle Vandike sped deep into Perkins County’s defense with eight minutes left, but linebacker Chad Fosbinder wrapped and trapped him to stop Dundy County’s only real hope to score.
Perkins County’s defense forced five punts and three turnovers on downs.
Coach Kay won his 80th game as a varsity head coach Friday night.
1 2 3 4
Dundy Co.-Stratton Tigers 0 0 0 0—0
Perkins County Plainsmen 7 7 0 21—35
Q Time Play
PC 1 0:15 Hite 31 pass to Boldt (Hite kick)
PC 2 6:29 Johnson 11 run (Hite kick)
PC 4 11:01 Hite 23 pass to Boldt (Hite kick)
PC 4 9:04 Prante 36 run (Hite kick)
PC 4 5:27 Johnston 6 run (Hite kick)
Rushing leaders: PC—Prante 9/96 (36) 1TD, Johnston 9/70 (20) 2TD, Hatcher
20/7 (9); DCS—Downey 17/60 (24); Shillington 10/25 (10).
Passing: PC—Hite 6-12-90-2; DCS—Rotherham 1-8-0
Receiving: PC—Boldt 4/82 (31) 2TD; Carlson 1/7
Defense: PC—Hatcher 7/7-14 (1.5); Fosbinder 3/5-8 (.5); Carlson 2/5-7 (2.5); Johnston 2/4-6 (2.5); Ross 2/4-6 (1.5); Boldt 3/2-5 (.5)