Haymakers blank Gothenburg, 19-0
When Gothenburg football players loaded onto the bus headed for Cozad they knew a tough opponent was waiting.
Cozad, ranked seventh by the Omaha-World Herald, proved to be worthy, beating the Swedes 19-0.A stiff wind and temperatures in the upper 30’s made playing conditions tough.
It was no surprise that a steady dose of running back Jake Paulsen was anticipated by Gothenburg, as the Swedes forced a three-and-out on Cozad’s first possession.
Ross Ostendorf converted a third down situation with a 12-yard run, but the Swedes punted just three plays later.
Trenton Long boomed a 46-yard punt that bounced straight towards that sideline pinning the Haymakers on their own nine yard line.
Momemtum would swing quickly as Paulsen edged outside for a 27-yard scamper reaching the 38 and getting out of the shadow of Cozad’s endzone.
Head coach Craig Haake said the Swedes could never flip the field on Cozad, allowing them to get good field position on offense.
“We couldn’t get them deep and stop a long drive by them,” he said.
Cozad reached midfield, but used a punt to swing momentum in their favor.
The Swedes were pinned on their nine yard line.
Zach Wolf picked up seven yards on second down before Blake Ristine turned on the jets for a 28-yard gain, downed near midfield.
Gothenburg fumbled on the next play, giving the ball back to Cozad.
Once again, the Swede defense stood tough after giving up some yards.
A touchdown run by Paulsen was called back on a holding penalty.
The Haymakers marched down the field reaching the seven as the first quarter horn sounded.
On third down, Gothenburg stopped Cozad on the six yard line, forcing a 23-yard field goal attempt.
The kick was pulled left and the score remained notched at 0-0.
Gothenburg ground out a 12-play drive from their own nine to Cozad’s 32 yard line.
With high gusts of wind, Gothenburg couldn’t risk a field goal so Long punted the ball 17 yards, to the 15 yard line.
The Swede defense spent a lot of time on the field, Haake said.
“Our offense didn’t convert enough third downs,” Haake said.
With just over four minutes left in the half, Paulsen got lose and ran 85 yards up the home sideline and the Haymakers led 7-0 after a made PAT.
“You can’t have a defensive lapse against him,” Haake said. “If you make a mistake, you pay for it.”
Gothenburg would go three-and-out on its next drive, before a Cozad pass was picked off by Jacob Clark who returned the ball 15 yards before halftime.
The Swedes had opportunities early to score but didn’t capitalize, Haake said.
To start the second half, Ostendorf returned the kickoff 58 yards to the Haymaker 37 but after three short runs, Long would punt again.
Cozad kicked the ball back to Gothenburg after five straight runs but solid defense didn’t allow for much offense once again by the Swedes.
“They are a solid team up front,” Haake said. “With that wind, and not being able to throw, made it tough to come back.”
A punt gave Cozad the ball on Gothenburg’s 34 yard line. On his fourth carry of the series, Paulsen broke free from 20 yards out, extending the lead to 13-0. with 2:10 left in the third quarter.
The Haymakers scored on an eight-yard run from Paulsen, again between quick Swede possessions, in the fourth quarter.
Gothenburg was held to seven plays in the fourth quarter, including a 10-yard surge through the middle by Ostendorf.
The Swedes look to bounce back from last week’s loss against Chase County during Friday’s homecoming game.
Haake said Chase County looks to do a little bit of everything out of shotgun formations.
“They will throw it around more than other teams we play,” Haake said.
Haake said the Swedes are forced to use some players in new, important roles this week because of some injuries, adding that this may be the chance that some guys were looking to get.