Swedes’ perfect record intact
Gothenburg finishes non-district games with 33-14 win over Minden.
MINDEN—With a two-point overtime win over Minden last year, Gothenburg coach Craig Haake figures the Whippets had Friday’s game with the Swedes circled on their schedule.
After Gothenburg took control and won the final non-district matchup 33-14 on Friday, the Whippets might be looking for some Wite-Out.
“In the first half, there was no doubt who was in control,” Haake said. “They had nothing that could stop us.”
Gothenburg took the opening kickoff and methodically marched up the field. The Swedes scored on their first drive but the touchdown was called back on a penalty.
Gothenburg moved back 10 yards and tried again, scoring on the next play with a 20-yard pass from Mark Hilderbrand to Doran Johnson.
The two-point conversion failed but the Swedes were ahead early 6-0.
After holding Minden on the next series, Swede junior Tannor Mroczek returned the Whippet punt 27 yards to set Gothenburg up on Minden’s end of the field.
The Swedes scored again in the first period on a 13-yard run by Mroczek but the two-point conversion failed. Heading into the second quarter, Gothenburg led Minden 12-0.
Both touchdowns in the second quarter were the result of Minden turnovers, Haake said.
A fumble recovery in Minden territory set up a 24-yard pass from Hilderbrand to Patrick Reeves. When Mroczek ran in the PAT, the Swedes were up 20-0.
“Minden was so intent on stopping our running game that it left our backfield wide open,” Haake said. “That was what we were hoping would happen with this team.”
The Swedes scored again after another Whippet fumble, driving 30 yards before Hilderbrand dove in from the 1-yard line. The PAT attempt failed but Gothenburg went to the locker room with a 26-0 lead at halftime.
“We really were in total control,” Haake said.
The Swedes came out a little flat in the third quarter, Haake said, and rather than attacking the ball Gothenburg players found themselves catching Minden instead.
“And those were some big boys to catch,” he said.
Gothenburg’s defense stayed on the field the majority of the third quarter and much of the fourth.
Haake said the Whippets scored late in the third and after the kickoff, Gothenburg went three-and-out. On fourth-and-1, Landen Haake landed a 62-yard punt to pin Minden deep.
“Then they went on a 96-yard drive,” the coach said. “We didn’t get the ball again until there was about 4 minutes left to play.”
Minden offered an onside kick that failed. Haake said the Swedes used nine plays to travel 45 yards and score one more time.
“The game was pretty well in hand,” he said, “but the kids wanted to make sure no one left that field wondering who was in control.”
Hilderbrand ran in the final touchdown and after an illegal motion penalty on the PAT kick attempt, freshman Dillon Gartner booted the ball through the uprights to finish off the 33-14 win.
“We haven’t had to play into the fourth quarter yet this season,” Haake said.
Landen Haake led Gothenburg’s rush attack with 98 yards on 17 carries.
Hilderbrand was 3-of-5 passing with two touchdowns.
Defensively, Landen Haake led the Swedes again with 20 tackles, while Brady Preitauer and Johnson had 17 tackles each.
The Swedes are a little sore.
“There were some bones rattled Friday night,” Haake said.
Good thing Gothenburg has a bye this week to rest and heal up.
Several factors make the Swedes’ next game a big one.
After a week of rest, Gothenburg hosts Broken Bow for homecoming on Oct. 2, the first district matchup for the Swedes.
Unbeaten Gothenburg is rated No. 7 by the Omaha World-Herald in Class C-1 this week and the Indians sit at No. 9.
Last season, Broken Bow was the only team to hand Gothenburg a loss until the state playoff quarter finals.
“I don’t think any of these kids have forgotten last year,” Haake said.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
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