Bison roll over Alliance

Friday, September 28, 2012
Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette McCook running back Jake Schlager runs for a big gain in action at Weiland Field earlier this season. The senior speedster scored four touchdowns, including a 43-yard run and a 90-yard kickoff return, to lead the Bison to a big 45-14 win at Alliance Friday, Sept. 28.

ALLIANCE, Neb. -- The McCook Bison flexed their football muscles before the start of district play with a 45-14 romp past host Alliance Friday, Sept. 28.

The Bison improved to 4-2 overall with the victory over Alliance at Bulldog Stadium.

McCook capitalized on three Alliance turnovers -- three fumbles all recovered by senior linebacker Javier Beltran -- to run to a 28-0 lead in the second quarter.

The Bison scored on a pair of Jake Schlager runs, using good field position after Beltran's first two recoveries in the first quarter. After Alliance pinned McCook deep following a punt, the Bison went on a 90-yard scoring drive, capped by Schlager's 43-yard TD run early in the second period.

After Beltran covered another loose ball at the Bulldogs 14-yard line, McCook used three plays to score again, as quarterback Austin Cherry covered the final 2 yards.

Alliance finally got on the board midway through the second quarter, capitalizing on several McCook penalties to drive. But McCook blocked the conversion kick to stay ahead 28-6.

Senior Zayne Gillen returned a short kickoff near midfield, and McCook needed just four plays to cover 57 yards, with Cherry running 23 yards on an option keeper for a TD. The fifth PAT kick by Dakota Baumgartner gave McCook a 35-6 cushion with just over five minutes left in the first half.

Schlager's halfback pass to Cody Wudtke on McCook's next possession covered 54 yards and took the ball to the Alliance 2. Two bobbled snaps and an incomplete pass later, the Bison opted for Baumgartner's 20-yard field goal to up the lead to 38-6 just before intermission.

McCOOK gave the ball up on downs to start the third quarter, then Alliance drove for a score to cut the Bison lead to 38-14. On the ensuing kickoff, Schlager returned the ball 90 yards for a touchdown, and Baumgartner's PAT kick put McCook in control at 45-14 midway through the period.

McCook traded turnovers with the Bulldogs in the final quarter. The Bison lost two fumbles, while Wudtke intercepted a pair of Alliance passes from his cornerback position.

McCook will visit 1-5 Hastings Friday, Oct. 5, the first of three Class B-7 District games to end the regular season. That game will be played at Lloyd Wilson Field at Hastings College, with kickoff set for 7 p.m.

Alliance, 4-2, will open B-8 District play Oct. 5 at 0-6 Sidney.

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