Bison dominate Sidney
SIDNEY -- The McCook Bison football team blasted the Sidney Red Raiders 67-0 Friday night at Sidney to open the 2008 season.
McCook senior Matt Berry, who scored 27 touchdowns last year and rushed for more than 1,000 yards, ran for three touchdowns in the first half, threw a TD pass and returned an interception for another TD.
Berry scored the Bison squad's first touchdown on a 6-yard run, capping a 55-yard drive on the first offensive series of the game.
Jeff Lorentz kicked the extra point with assistance from new holder Ryan Hardin and new snapper Joe Vetrovsky.
Berry sprinted in from 12 yards out for McCook's second TD and Lorentz' PAT gave the Bison a 14-0 lead.
On the third series by Sidney, Red Raiders' quarterback Eric Einspahr was picked off by Berry, who ran it back 32 yards for his third TD. Lorentz tacked on his third PAT kick.
Andy Smith opened the second quarter with a 2-yard TD run after setting up the score with a 30-yard burst. Lorentz missed the PAT.
Berry hooked up with senior tight end Tyrone Sellers on a 40-yard touchdown pass for the fifth TD of the first half. The TD capped a four-play 74-yard drive. Lorentz kicked his fourth PAT.
On the next series, Berry broke loose from 30 yards out for his fourth TD run. The PAT kick was blocked.
Berry was replaced at quarterback by senior Mike Grabowski with four minutes left in the first half.
Grabowski added a 1-yard TD run before the first half. Lorentz added yet another PAT and McCook led 47-0 at halftime.
Senior Brock Kotschwar recovered a fumble in the second quarter.
McCook's defense limited Sidney to 15 yards of total offense and no first downs in the first half.
Senior Dillon Goltl intercepted a pass in the third quarter, setting up another scoring drive.
Zach Wieser, who rushed for 24 yards on the drive, scored from 1 yard out. The snap on the PAT went over Hardin's head and his throw into the end zone was incomplete.
Matt Thayer made a one-handed interception to set up another scoring opportunity. Smith tacked on a 4-yard TD run in the fourth quarter and Shane Wallen kicked the PAT.
Third-string quarterback Chad Stull added a 44-yard TD run in the fourth quarter. Wallen booted the PAT.
The Bison rushed for 357 yards and passed for 92 for 447 yards of total offense.
The McCook defense held Sidney to 47 yards of total offense and three first downs.
Berry's three TD runs were his oly carries of the game for 48 yards and he passed for 92.
Smith finished with 85 yards rushing, Wieser 66, Chris Schleeman 58, Stull 44, Deon Allen 29, Kotschwar 23 and Grabowski 4.
Goltl caught 3 passes for 30 yards, Sellers had 1 catch for 40. Grabowski 1 for 10, Smith 1 for 8 and Logan Pearson 1 for 4.
"You have to be happy with the way we played," Gross said. "Everybody did their job. We executed our option offense, our power offense and our passing game.
"Our biggest question mark coming into the game was defense and stopping the runand we did that."
McCook plays its home opener next Friday at Weiland Field against Alliance. Kickoff is 7 p.m.
Game notes: Sidney was without two starters. Fullback Matt Johnson is out for four weeks with a knee injury and wide receiver Marcus Hartzler missed the game with an injury.
Gross improved his career record to 97-21. The record was incorrectly listed in the McCook Daily Gazette's Fall Sports edition.
McCook was ranked No. 1 in Nebraska Class B in the Omaha World-Herald, Lincoln Journal Star and Huskerland Prep Report preseason rankings.
The Bison are also ranked No. 10 in the Midwest Regional preseason poll by USA Today and No. 38 in another national poll.
McCook's Week 2 opponent Alliance lost to Chadron 25-6 while Week 3 opponent Aurora upset defending state champion Crete 23-22 in double overtime.
In area games, Southern Valley defeated Cozad 13-12, Wauneta-Palisade edged Wallace 36-32 and Arapahoe lost to Maxwell 31-0.
McCook (1-0) 21 26 6 14 -- 67
at Sidney (0-1) 0 0 0 0 -- 0
M -- Matt Berry 6 run (Jeff Lorentz kick)
M -- Berry 12 run (Lorentz kick)
M -- Berry 32 interception return (Lorentz kick)
M -- Andy Smith 1 run (kick failed)
M -- Tyrone Sellers 40 pass from Berry (Lorentz kick)
M -- Berry 30 run (kick failed)
M -- Mike Grabowski 1 run (Lorentz kick)
M -- Zach Wieser 1 run (pass failed)
M -- Smith 4 run (Shane Wallen kick)
M -- Chad Stull 44 run (Wallen kick)