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

Longhorns fall to state ranked Valentine 40-0


Tonia Copeland

The Kimball Longhorn football team struggled against the state ranked Valentine Badgers. Despite the efforts of the offensive line, Longhorns receivers faced an aggressive opponent in the Badgers.

The 2016 football season came to an end Friday evening for the Kimball High Longhorns as they fell to the state ranked Valentine 40-0, but the score doesn't tell the entire story as the young Horns gave a good effort. Kimball played the visiting Badgers pretty even in the first quarter with neither team getting on the score board, and even at half time the Horns trailed just 14-0.

"I felt we did a very good job that first half and the kids bought into our game plan, but they (Valentine) made some adjustments at half time and they are simply a better and more talented team than we are and their line wore our line down and they got some big plays and that was the difference and the story," said coach Nick Kuxhausen. He went on to say, "I was very proud of our effort. I think the kids played hard and like I said, they just had more horses than we did and that is why they have their number 5 state ranking."

It was a good football evening with an early start time of 5 p.m. to help the Valentine team and fans get back home a bit earlier with many miles to travel. Next season it will be Kimball making the trip to Valentine. The visitors had an even 300 more yards of offense out yarding Kimball 443 to 143, but Kimball ran 54 plays to Valentines' 45 and had the football nearly double with 30 minutes to the Badger's 17. Big scoring plays was the difference!

Valentine rushed for 262 yards on 35 attempts and passed for 181 yards completing 7 of 10. Kimball rushed for 101 yards on 43 attempts and hit on 5 of 11 passes for 42 yards but sophomore Izaac Reuter was 5 of 8 for those 42 yards. Logan Stahla had 3 catches for 39 yards. Stahla also had 37 yards rushing on 10 carries and Jaden Withrow was the workhorse with 26 carries for 51 yards.

Stahla and Kole Bush led the tackle chart with both recording 2 solo stops and 5 assists. Withrow was 2 and 4, Paycen Harroun a good night with 2 and 3, Kyle Spicer 2-2 and Cody Kirby 2-2 and both were in on tackles for loss yardage. Aroon Flores was 2-1 but had 2 tackles for loss yardage and Eric Escajeda was 2-1 with a tackle for loss yardage.

With the loss, Kimball ended up with 1 win and 8 losses on the year but will graduate only 5 seniors off this year's roster. Coach Kuxhausen said he feels this year's younger players have a bright future if they continue to work in the weight room and prepare themselves for next season. This season saw the Horns face a tough and demanding schedule set by the State with teams like Valentine, North Platte St. Pats, Hershey, and C-1 Chase County all state ranked at one time or another. While the season ends for Kimball, Valentine is the C-2 seed in the state playoffs and with their 8-1 record will host number 15 seed Cross County in first round play tomorrow (Friday).

Valentine 0 14 14 12---40

Kimball 0 0 0 0--- 0


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