Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

By Dave Faries
Guest Columnist 

Coyotes dominate in 76-6 victory

 

Anne Johnson

Kelsey Rozelle of Potter-Dix snakes his way through defenders on a carry. Jake Johnson and Bryant Knigge work to clear a path for him in the Coyotes’ game last week.

Kelsey Rozelle clearly had just one thing on his mind Friday night.

Barely two minutes into the game, the Coyotes sophomore burst across the goal line from four yards out. In the middle of the first period, he knifed through Creek Valley’s line, stumbled for a moment and then raced 45 yards for another score.

In fact, the first five times Rozelle touched the ball he wound up in the end zone, not including conversions.

“Last year I didn’t start,” he said. “This year I knew it was time.”

Rozelle’s five touchdown night helped Potter-Dix to a 76-6 road win over a young Storm squad.

In addition to his first quarter scoring runs, he followed up a safety by returning Creek Valley’s free kick untouched. Rozelle tacked on two more rushing touchdowns before halftime. In between, quarterback Tyler Magninie found Bryant Knigge all alone for six more points then scampered across on a 5 yard keeper and Jake Johnson slammed through the middle to account for another.

“We executed well,” observed Coyotes’ head coach Dale Frerichs. “The offensive line communicated real well.”

The outcome was not unexpected. Creek Valley entered the game with 18 underclassmen in their ranks. The inexperience showed in 8 turnovers and several errant snaps. One led to the Coyotes’ first score, when Potter-Dix lineman Cameron Purcell hit Storm starting quarterback Jared Savely as he tried to scoop up the loose ball, ending what had been a promising opening series for the hosts.

“We shot ourselves in the foot a lot,” head coach Todd Westover pointed out. “But we’ll get it cleaned up.”

Potter-Dix led 62-0 at the break.

Despite the lopsided score, the Storm never caved in. After halftime, their defense silenced Potter-Dix’s potent second squad. Freshman quarterback Maverick Widdowson took advantage, slinging a 14 yard touchdown pass to young receiver Josh Schievelbein.

“I just ran the right route,” Schievelbein reported. “It felt good to be a freshman and get the first score of the year.”

The pair would connect two more times, accumulating a total of 55 yards through the air. Meanwhile the hard running of Savely, Cody Simmons and Dane McConnell earned 6 first downs for the Creek Valley offense.

But miscues continued to plague the home side. Deep in the third quarter, Coyotes’ linebacker Anthony Vahlbusch dropped Savely for a loss. On the next snap, Widdowson’s fourth down pass sailed off target, into the arms of Rozelle, Potter-Dix’s man of the moment.

The turnover led to a 5 yard Noah Nelson touchdown run. Potter-Dix’s third team signal caller added another, moments later, to cap the scoring.

Yet the night belonged to Rozelle. The super soph recorded a pick, repeatedly pinned Creek Valley deep with his long kicks and, of course, lit the scoreboard over and over. He credited his veteran offensive line for opening holes, allowing him to rack up 105 yards on just 7 carries.

“He saw a lot of green,” quarterback Tyler Magninie agreed.

Potter-Dix takes on Garden County on Friday. The Storm will face Wallace. In spite of the outcome, Westover observed several positives from his young Creek Valley squad, not the least of which was their willingness to battle when down.

“We’ve got good kids,” he said. “They’re ready to prepare for Wallace.”

 

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