Ord's fabulous All-State candidates (L to R); QB/LB Zach Smith, RB/LB Tommy Stevens and WR/DB/Kicker/Punter Kelen Meyer
PREFERRED POPCORN FIELD, CENTRAL CITY, NE
One thing is for certain. Your defense better be in good physical condition to play Central City in 2020. The Class C-2, No.2 rated Ord Chanticleers found that out tonight and, pardon the pun, “passed” the “are we in shape” test pretty well, but not without a battle from the Bison in the second half.
After leading by only a Kelen Meyer field goal after one quarter, the Chants unleashed their brutal gound attack, posting a 31-0 halftime advantage enroute to a 37-20 victory over the Central City Air Raid attack.
Coming into this rivalry matchup, one would have made a seemingly safe assumption that this game would be a high scoring affair, considering the fact Ord laid 71 points on Gordon-Rushville and Central City scored half a hundred points in a 58-50 loss to Battle Creek a week ago.
Didn’t happen, at least not in the opening 15 minutes of play.
A 37 yard field goal by Ord’s All-State candidate Kelen Meyer were the only points showing on the fabulous Preferred Popcorn Field scoreboard after one quarter of action. But the Chants offensive line core of Riley Setlik, Jacob Brown and Trey Werner begin to create openings for 1000 yard rusher Tommy Stevens and outstanding Dual-Threat QB Zach Smith in that 2nd stanza.
That led to a 28 point explosion in a second quarter that saw Tommy Stevens score touchdowns from 12, 3 and 21 yards out while Smith cruised in standing up from 4 yards away.
By halftime, Ord had built a 31-0 lead, Stevens had piled 119 yards on 16 carries, Zach Smith 57 more on 8 totes, and all the while, the Chanticleer defense was limiting Central City’s fireballing Kale Jensen to 14 of 22 passes for a harmless 114 yards.
Now, speaking of Kale Jensen and that Central City offense, if you hadn’t heard prior to this, the Bison line up with an empty backfield…...every single play.
They’re gonna throw the football and they make no secret about it. IF the Bison run the ball, it’s going to be junior quarterback Kale Jensen doing the honors just to keep the defenses honest.
After carrying the football on 14 of the Central City’s 15 running plays against Battle Creek, Coach Troy Huebert did mix in some reverse jet sweep action in tonight, but Ord was ready for it.
So, I don’t care who is playing Central City in 2020, and the Bison have a brutal schedule, that opposing team is in for a battle that could see Troy Huebert’s Air Raid attack come back and make a game of it at any point in time. And Ord saw that in the 2nd half of this one. Although the Chants were really never in trouble at any point.
The defenses ruled the 3rd quarter until Ord’s Kelen Meyer drilled a 24 yard field goal to up the Chants lead to 34-0. In one possession prior to that boot, Meyer was lining up to attempt a 59 yard FG attempt, only to see a motion penalty move Ord back 5 yards.
And…..one reason for Ord’s slowdown in that 3rd frame was the fact Tommy Stevens was taking a breather with the Chants large lead. But, the Central City offense was finally clicking and the Bison found the end zone at the 2:29 mark when Kale Jensen nailed versatile senior Jake Twiss with 16 yard scoring strike.
By that time, Jensen was up to 39 passes, with 28 completions and, a beginning to pile up, 235 yards.
The 3rd quarter ended with Ord up 34-6, but some real, again pardon the pun, kicks were right around the corner.
Midway through the 4th quarter, Central City’s defense forced Ord into a 4th and 19 at the Bison 41 yard line. Knowing that Kelen Meyer had been robbed of the opportunity to attempt that 59 yard field goal attempt earlier, Ord Head Coach Nathan Wells (one of the very best in the biz) sent the kicking tee out and moved Meyer from his wide receiver slot back into the field goal formation to attempt a 58 yarder.
And let me tell you Virginia, when Kelen Meyer put his foot into that baby, you just knew he would not only make it with yards to spare, but tie a Class C-2 State Record for Longest Field Goal.
It was a thing of beauty and the 190 pound physical specman trotted off that Preferred Popcorn Field like it was merely a routine boot.
Meyer’s record field goal would be the last points the Chants would put up on the board in the game and do you think Central City would just lay down and give up after that?
Not a chance. The sharpshooting Kale Jensen hooked up with Cayden Homolka for a 12 yard touchdown with 4:44 showing to cut the Ord lead to 37-12.
Central City would hit the board again with :59.9 ticks left in the 4th quarter when Kale Jensen hit speed merchant Tanner Schneiderheinz for an 11 yard scoring strike. Jensen then hit freshman Ayden Zikmund for the two point conversion making the score 37-20
The Bison recovered the ensuing onside kick on Ord’s 46 yard line, but the Chants defense, fired up by an illegal chop block on 6-4, 290 pound All-State candidate Riley Setlik, forced the Bison offense all the way back to their own 14 yard line where it was 3rd and 42 when the game ended.
And speaking of penalties, which I rarely, if ever mention, there were 21 of those infractions called in tonight’s contest for a total of 207 yards. That happens on occasions and no matter where you are playing and who the opponent is, you have to figure out a way to overcome those penalities because some of those flags can be scoring drive killers.
It’s simply part of the game and in most cases, both teams are affected and remember, we have good officials in this state.
Ord was led in rushing by the sensational Tommy Stevens, who ran for 160 yards on 22 carries and three TDs in maybe 2 and half quarters of action after going off for 165 in limited action against Gordon-Rushville a week ago.
Chanticleer quarterback Zack Smith added 83 yards on 14 touches and a score. Smith completed 5 of 12 passes for 70 yards to balance out that Ord running game.
And about those staggering Central City passing numbers. I’ll be honest, the Bison offense operates so quickly and I’m down at field level, so my stats may not be right on the money, but I had Kale Jensen completing 37 of 50 passes (74%) for 318 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Jensen’s bubble screens were especially effective with sure handed, quick receivers latching onto the short passes, out in the flat. And after the smoke cleared, eight different Bison receivers caught passes, led by sophomore Ashton Gregg’s (6-2, 175) 8 catches for 71 yards.
Kale Jensen, who remember, is just a junior, led the ground attack with 37 hard earned yards on 23 carries, which included 28 yards in losses.
Next Friday, the 2-0 Ord Chants have top notch road matchup with Norfolk Catholic, a team that has not appeared on the Ord schedule as far back as I can check. Catholic is off to a 1-1 start this season after suffering a 35-26 loss to Wahoo Neumann Friday night.
Meanwhile, Central City will be after that initial win of 2020 when they host an O’Neill team, who improved to 1-1 with a 25-13 win over Valentine Friday evening.
Central City (0-2)..0……..0……..6…….14…....….20
Ord-Kelen Meyer 37 FG - (7:34) 0-3
Ord-Tommy Stevens 12 run (PAT-Meyer kick) (10:46) 0-10
Ord-Tommy Stevens 3 run (PAT-Meyer kick) (7:18) 0-17
Ord-Tommy Stevens 21 run (PAT-Meyer kick) (4:18) 0-24
Ord-Zach Smith 4 run (PAT-Meyer kick) (2:34) 0-31
Ord-Kelen Meyer 24 FG - (4:21) 0-34
CC-Jake Twiss 16 pass from Kale Jensen (pass failed) 6-34
Ord-Kelen 58 FG - (?:??) 6-37
CC-Cayden Homolka 12 pass from Kale Jensen (PAT-Run failed) 12-37
CC-Tanner Schneiderheinz 11 pass from Kale Jensen (Ayden Zikmund pass from Jensen (:59.9) 20-37