SIDNEY — Logan Lewis rushed for 257 yards and scored three touchdowns to power Sidney to its first win of the season, a 44-24 victory over Gering on Friday night.
The win improved the Red Raiders to 1-7 on the season, while Gering dropped to 4-4.
“It was huge. It’s exactly what we needed,” Sidney coach Todd Ekart said. “We’ve been close, you know. We’re close, we’re close, we’re close, and then all of the sudden the next week we just come out flat and don’t play well. But this is huge. From start to finish, we came out and played well. It was close there in the third for a while, and it could have gotten away from us, but our kids stepped up and started making plays.”
Sidney rattled off 14 first-quarter points, capped by a 29-yard touchdown run by Logan Lewis on a fourth-and-6 play.
Gering mustered only three more points in the second quarter after Gage Smith connected on a 29-yard field goal to keep the Bulldogs within 12 points at half, 22-10.
In the third quarter, Smith struck again in the third on an 8-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to five points, 22-17. However, a Gering fumble later in the frame set the Red Raiders up for Lewis’ second touchdown of the night, a 1-yard run to extend the lead to 30-17 with one quarter left to play.
Smith found the end zone for a third and final time on a 20-yard scamper early in the final quarter, bringing the Bulldogs within striking distance at 30-24 with more than 10 minutes left to play.
However, Sidney quarterback Lane Harvey found Lucas Rosenbaum for a 30-yard touchdown strike at the 6:32 mark of the fourth quarter, extending the Red Raider lead back to 14 points, 38-24.
Gering mounted a drive late in the game, but with just 27.7 seconds left to play, Sidney’s Bryant Dagg picked off a Gering pass and took it 36 yards to pay dirt, sealing Sidney’s big win.
Ekart lauded the effort of his team against a tough Gering squad and praised his sophomore quarterback, Harvey, who finished the game 2-for-4 for 70 yards and a touchdown.
“He’s got great vision; he knows the game. He’s just an athlete,” Ekart said of Harvey. “It’s good to have a kid that young that is so composed. He’s getting after it, and it’s only going to get better for that kid because once he finally gets the grasp of it and hits the weight room and gets a little bit bigger, he’s going to be a tough kid.”
Ekart went on to say that his team has been waiting for a solid performance on the ground from Dru Estrada, Lewis, and Chance Anglin, who all combined for 339 yards rushing.
“We’ve been waiting for that all year,” he said. “One kid will have a good game, then another kid will have a good game. We knew what we had with Logan, and tonight Chance broke out and Dru broke out, and we really got all three of them going.”
Despite the tough season the Red Raiders had coming into Friday night’s game, Ekart believes his squad is refocused and ready to finish out the season with a strong showing against No. 2 Scottsbluff (Omaha World-Herald) next Friday night in Scottsbluff.
“It could have gone south, but the kids decided that we’re going to step it up and we’re going to rededicate ourselves,” Ekart noted. “They were refocused, and the last two weeks have been the best two weeks of practice probably since I’ve been here. They’ve really just focused and gotten after it, and it’s paying off. I told them it would. I just said to keep plugging along, and it will happen, and it did.”
Along with Lewis’ 257 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries, Estrada finished with six carries for 20 yards and Anglin rushed the ball 11 times for 62 yards and a touchdown. Rosenbaum had two catches for 70 yards and a touchdown.
Gering was led by Smith’s 26 rushes for 151 yards and three touchdowns.
Gering will next be in action on Friday night when it finishes up the regular season at home against Alliance.
Gering (4-4)................................7 3 7 7 — 24
Sidney (1-7).............................14 8 8 14 — 44