Holdrege – In a hard fought back-and-forth game Gothenburg pulled off a season opening win over Holdrege Friday night 20-13.
Holdrege took an early lead on a one-yard plunge by Alex Wells. Wells was a 1,000 yard rusher last year for the Dusters however, he only managed 59 yards on the night against the Swedes. Gothenburg tied the game at six with a 65 yard punt return by Bennett Folkers. The teams went into the locker room knotted at six.
Gothenburg scored first in the second half on a four-yard run by Brennan Seitsinger. Conner Baker tacked on the extra point and the Swedes led 13-6. The Dusters struck back in the fourth quarter with a 24 year touchdown run by Preston Melroy.
The scene was set for a dramatic finish.
The Swedes drove to the Holdrege 14 yard line, but they appeared to bog down. Facing a fourth and eight Gothenburg coach Craig Haake reached into his bag of tricks and pulled out an old favorite . . . the half-back option pass. Folkers lined up in the back field, took the pitch and lofted a pass to Noah Larson in the end zone to give the Swedes a 20-13 lead.
The Dusters drove down the field in the waning moments of the game, but Tyce Hruza intercepted a Zach Hurlburt pass to end the threat.
Rushing yards were hard to come by in the game. Swede quarterback Maguire Bartlett was the leading rusher with 69 yards. Hurlburt led all passers with 163 yards. Holdrege out-yarded the Swedes 275-245. The Dusters also turned the ball over four times compared to Gothenburg’s one.