The Bulldogs win snapped an 11-game losing streak dating back to the 2012 season. North Platte got the ball on the Columbus 40-yard line after the defense forced a three-and-out inside the Discoverers’ 10-yard line. The seven play drive culminated in a 12-yard touchdown pass from the senior quarterback Mauch to senior receiver Jacob Zimbelman to take a 7-0 lead.
North Platte made another trip to the end zone in the second quarter thanks to the defense setting them up with great field position. Columbus quarterback Blake Bubak was scrambling inside his own 20 when he was hit from behind by junior linebacker Ricky Sandoval jarring the ball loose. Sophomore defensive end Trevon Weaver was right on top of the play and came up with the fumble recovery at the Columbus 18-yard line. Two plays later Mauch connected with senior fullback Jobie Loving for a 13-yard touchdown to make it 14-0.
The Dawgs scored one more time before going into halftime when sophomore kicker Kort Steele drilled a 33-yard field goal to give North Platte a 17-0 lead at the break.
Steele was in the spotlight early in the third quarter after North Platte’s first second half drive stalled. Coach Bernie Madison elected to kick a field goal from 50 yards out. Steele lined up with the ball on the right hash and kicked a line drive that bounced off the crossbar through the uprights for a 20-0 Bulldog lead.
North Platte scored on its next two possessions with a 12-yard pass from Mauch to senior wide receiver Cameron Cox and the final score was a four-yard pass from Mauch to Cox once again.
Columbus’ best chance to score came in the third quarter when North Platte gave them the ball inside the Bulldog 20-yard line. The Discoverers punted and when the ball landed it hit a North Platte player and Columbus jumped on it with just 17 yards to go to the end zone. The threat quickly ended though as junior defensive back Marcos Reyes intercepted Bubak at the goal line to give the ball back to North Platte.
The North Platte defense stood tall all night by not allowing Columbus to get a first down on seven of the Discoverers’ drives.
North Platte unofficially racked up 391 yards of offense and the defense only gave up 123 yards to Columbus. The Dawgs are now 1-0 to start the 2014 season and will next play at home on Friday, September 5 against Lincoln High. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 pm at Bauer Field and the game can be heard on ESPN Radio 1410 with the pregame show starting at 6:30 pm.