Bulldogs advance with 82-28 playoff win, secure home-field advantage for round two

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Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2018 4:13 pm

Thirty-two Nebraska Class D1 gridiron teams went into their second season last week, among them, the Creighton Bulldogs.

Sixteen of those teams advance to the second round after Thursday wins, among them, the Creighton Bulldogs.

Notably, defending D1 champion BDS is not among the 16.

A 21-game winning streak came to an end when Bruning-Davenport/Shickley, east side fourth-seed, was upset Thursday night in Bruning by 13th-seed Osceola-High Plains, a first year consolidated team coming into the playoffs with a 4-4 record. OHP won, 34-22.

The Creighton Bulldogs amassed 597 yards of offense, 435 yards on the ground, putting 82 points on the scoreboard at Bill Harder Memorial Field on their way to a first-round victory over the Southern Raiders from Wymore.

Creighton quickly took a 22-0 lead. But the Raiders then found the end zone twice, coming within one-touchdown, but it was a short lived accomplishment. Southern’s 28 points were all scored in the first half.  

The Bulldogs held the Raiders to 271 yards, 196 of them coming on pass plays.

Creighton’s Zimmerer duo claimed most of the Bulldog’s nearly 600 yards of offense.

Quarterback Brayden Zimmerer was responsible for more than half, rushing for 172 yards and two touchdowns, and completing eight of his 16 passes, for another 162 yards and two TDs, while one pass was picked off.

Running back Bryce Zimmerer was on the receiving end of two of those passes, for 65 yards and a TD, and added 209 more yards, along with five touchdowns, on the ground.

Thad Hazen caught a 26-yard aerial and rushed for another 18 yards.

Reserve quarterback Sam Vortherms rushed for 33 yards and a touchdown.

Brenden Waldow caught a 31-yard throw and, kicked both of Creighton’s punts, totaling 44 yards. Brian Johnson grabbed a 14-yard pass to score. Conner Hammer caught a 12-yard toss and returned a punt 11 yards. Sam Van Metre was on the receiving end of two passes for a total 14 yards.

Travis Tyler, who is typically punching open holes for the point makers, drew first blood when he bulldozed his way into the endzone on the fourth play of the game, after he had returned the opening kickoff to midfield.

A Terrance Burrell kickoff to the end zone put the Raiders on the 15-yard line, and the Bulldogs held them there, three-and-out.

A block-in-the-back penalty against the Raiders gave the Bulldogs good field position, at their own 29, and two plays later Bryce Zimmerer was in the end zone. He ran for two, and Creighton was up 14-0, with almost eight minutes left in the first quarter.

Again Burrell kicked to the end zone, but this time a three-minute Southern drive resulted in a score.

A Raider attempt at an onside kick backfired, with Brian Johnson recovering the ball midfield. Two plays later, Bryce Zimmerer sprinted 32 yards to pay dirt. Brayden Zimmerer took it in for two extra points and Creighton led, 22-6.

A couple of coverage errors cost the Bulldogs, with the Raiders completing a 28-yard touchdown pass. The Southern quarterback ran in for two and it was again a one TD ballgame, 22-14. But, not for long.

Another attempted Raider onside kick was recovered by Creighton’s Brenden Waldow, starting the ensuing Bulldog drive on the Southern 38.

A quarterback keep put Brayden Zimmerer just inches from the goal line on the first play of the possession and he called his own number again to score. Bryce Zimmerer ran for two and a 30-14 lead, with just over two minutes left in the first quarter.

The Bulldogs held fast, forcing another Raider punt before one minute ticked off the game clock.

After an unsuccessful pass attempt, Brayden Zimmerer flipped a potential fumble back to Bryce Zimmerer, who scored on the 38-yard reception. A quarterback keep gave Creighton the extra two points and the Bulldogs had a 38-14 lead with 10 seconds remaining in the quarter.

Southern moved the ball just inside Creighton territory as the quarter ended, but a self-recovered fumble put the Raiders back on their own side of the 40-yard line, where they were held by the Bulldog defenders.

After completing a pass to Hazen, Brayden Zimmerer found Johnson open on a 14-yard TD pass. The Bulldogs were ahead by 30, 44-14, before a minute of the second quarter passed.

The Raiders, getting the ball in Creighton territory, answered with a TD and two extra points two plays later, bringing the score to 44-22.

An interception put the ball back in Raider hands and they capitalized, again making it a two-touchdown game, 44-28.

The Bulldogs were not deterred, answering with a 48-yard Bryce Zimmerer TD run.

After holding Southern to three-and-out, Bryce Zimmerer sprinted 37 yards to the end zone again and Travis Tyler caught a two-point conversion pass to give the Bulldogs a 30-point advantage, 58-28, with just under three minutes remaining on the first-half clock.

Once again, the Raiders returned the kickoff to Creighton territory, but were denied a first down and punted with still nearly a minute on the clock.

The Bulldogs came an inch short on third down, at the 30-yard line, with 33 seconds left, and opted to punt. The Southern receiver fumbled the ball after the catch, with Cameron Tyler recovering.

Creighton had the ball back while the last 10 seconds ticked off the first-half clock, maintaining the 58-28 advantage.

The Bulldogs dominated the second half, denying the Raiders the opportunity to score.

Southern reached the red zone early in the third quarter, but a fumble was recovered by JD Kuhlman on the 16-yard line. Two plays later, Brayden Zimmerer called his own number, running 53 yards to pay dirt. Bryce Zimmerer walked in a two-point conversion, untouched. The Bulldogs had a 38-point lead, initiating a running clock for the duration of the game.

After forcing another Raider punt, the Bulldogs faced long drive, starting on their own 14-yard line. But they took care of business with Bryce Zimmerer scoring his final TD on a 13-yard run. Travis Tyler ran for two, giving Creighton a 74-28 lead at the end of three quarters.

Another three-and-out punt put the ball back in Creighton hands and coach Zac Kliment sent in the reserves.

The young Bulldog offense was held, forcing just the second punt of the game, but the Raiders were unable to gain much yardage and a failed fourth-down conversion attempt put the ball back in Creighton’s hands.

This time, reserve quarterback Sam Vortherms scored on a 7-yard run and took it in for two, giving Creighton its final 82-point score.

Creighton will host Wisner-Pilger for a second-round playoff game at 4 p.m. on Halloween.

The eighth-seeded Gators advanced with a home-field victory over ninth-seed Lourdes Central Catholic.

Other area playoff game results include:

Laurel-Concord-Coleridge lost to Fullerton, 40-34 on the east side of D1, while Neligh-Oakdale was eliminated by North Central, 60-26, on the west side.

Number two on the east, Exeter-Milligan/Friend (8-0), defeated East Butler, 60-24, and will face Fullerton. Number three Guardian Angels Central Catholic (7-1), defeated Thayer Central, 48-14, advancing to face Howells-Dodge. Osceola-High Plains will take on number five Lutheran High Northeast.

On the west side, number one Burwell (8-0), defeated Palmer, 63-26, while number two South Loup (7-1), shut out Ansley-Litchfield, 38-0.

In D2, Bloomfield (8-0) advanced with a win over Meridian; Wausa was eliminated by undefeated number one Humphrey St. Francis; Plainview was eliminated by Randolph; Clearwater/Orchard (7-1, only loss to Creighton) advanced with a win over Brady; Osmond defeated Diller-Odell.

© 2018 The Creighton News . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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