PLATTSMOUTH – Plattsmouth’s playoff run continues – thanks to a stingy defense and two dramatic touchdowns that lifted the Blue Devils to a 13-9 win over McCook last Friday evening in the first round of the Class B state playoffs.
“I couldn’t be more happy for the kids,” said Plattsmouth head coach Bob Dzuris.
Defense was the name of the game for the most part, but when the Blue Devils needed a score they came through.
This was first evident late in the first half with McCook leading 3-0 and with little offensive punch being shown by the Blue Devils. But with just 12 seconds remaining before intermission, senior Adam Eggert returned a punt 45 yards for a score – a much needed score, according to the coach.
“That punt return gave us energy for the remaining game,” Dzuris said. “It was a tremendous effort on his (Eggert) part.”
But, McCook’s defense had plenty of energy of its own, stopping the Blue Devils for most of the second half. Meanwhile, the Bison offense picked up enough yardage to allow senior Luke Maris to kick two field goals for a 9-6 lead. The second one came with only three-and-a-half minutes remaining.
But in this season of dramatic plays, the Blue Devils showed they still had some in their playbook.
Following that go-ahead McCook field goal, Plattsmouth returned the kickoff back to its own 45-yard line. Then, a long pass play moved the ball to the McCook 24-yard line. A few plays later, the Blue Devils made just enough yardage on a fourth-and-short play to keep the drive going.
Finally, junior Owen Prince caught a short pass from senior quarterback Jack Alexander and ran 11 yards for the go-ahead touchdown with just 34 seconds to go. The extra point made the score 13-9.
McCook tried several desperation passes in the few moments remaining, but to no avail. When the last second ticked away, the entire PHS team ran out to midfield to celebrate a tough victory.
“We made some plays at the end with our passing,” Dzuris said.
The effort by the defense in not allowing a McCook touchdown, and the way the offense came up with the big plays when needed impressed him.
“It really showed the character and strength of these young men,” Dzuris said.
He also praised the McCook defense on keying in on the running game of Plattsmouth’s Christian Meneses.
“They did a great job of defending him,” Dzuris said.
Meneses led Plattsmouth rushers with 95 yards on 26 carries, while quarterback Jack Alexander completed six passes on 17 attempts for 99 yards,
Prince caught three passes for 34 yards and one touchdown, while Eggert also caught three for 75 yards.
On defense, junior Dalton Baumgart made five solo tackles, while Eggert, fellow seniors Max Waters and Brayden Zaliauskas and junior Cameron Aughenbaugh each had four. Junior Clyde Hinton made three.
The Blue Devils, now with an overall record of seven wins and two losses, advance to the second round with a game at Bennington High School on Friday. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m.
McCook 3 0 3 3 – 9
Plattsmouth 0 6 0 7 – 13