The Trojans struggled to come up with points in Cowboy territory in a 15-7 loss to Boys Town at home Friday.
Platteview fumbled twice in the red zone during the game and lost running back Jed Christensen after the first play of the game to an injury.
“They had two touchdowns called back. One for holding and another for illegal formation. We also had a couple big plays come back on penalties,” Platteview head coach Mark McLaughlin said. “Christensen getting hurt the first play of the game didn’t help us and we put the ball on the ground three times. Twice in the red zone. That’s not going to win many football games.”
Quarterback Braden Johnson completed 6 of 13 for 100 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Running back Tobius Nixon rushed 29 times for 59 yards and wide receiver Alex Draper caught three passes for 65 yards and a touchdown.
“Nixon was great tonight. That kid ran hard. Boys Town is just tremendously well coached and they’re tremendously athletic. They play hard, they’re physical and they’re fast,” McLaughlin said. “We just got beat tonight. We didn’t help ourselves and they made some plays.”
One of the advantages the Cowboys had was edge play. Boys Town used sweeps on offense to get running backs to the edge and the defense stopped most of the Trojans outside run plays.
“They were faster than us and at times, they were more physical than us. They had a great game plan. We got beat tonight and I’ll take that,” McLaughlin said.
After a scoreless first quarter, Platteview opened the second quarter with a 54-yard pass from Johnson to Draper. The senior to freshman connection has totaled six catches for 206 yards and four touchdowns this season.
“When I came here that was job No. 1 for me. Go get the athletes that haven’t been playing football,” McLaughlin said. “Draper played in middle school, but sometimes we lose those kids when they get into high school.
“He’s a three-sport kid. He will letter in three sports. Football is not his favorite and sometimes you lose those kids. They don’t come out and that was a big priority for us. Get those kids like Draper. I hope he’s having fun because I sure am having fun coaching him.”
The Cowboys responded with a rushing touchdown with 6:30 left in the second quarter to make the score 7-6 after a missed extra point.
Out of halftime, Boys Town connected on a 34-yard field goal to lead 9-7. Then in the fourth quarter, the Cowboys scored on a 36-yard field goal and then after a Platteview turnover, added a 31-yard field goal with under three minutes remaining in the game.
The Trojans had one last chance, but after a first-down scramble by Johnson, the Trojans turned the ball over on downs.
Boys Town took over possession and took a knee to end the game.
Injuries have mounted for Platteview, losing their starting quarterback and running back this season, but McLaughlin holds no excuses.
“It’s plug and play. Our quarterback is wearing No. 84, but does he say anything about it? No, he just goes and plays. Those are the kind of kids we want. Those who will do whatever is necessary for the team.”
Platteview is 3-3 on the season and go on the road to face Concordia Friday. In the C-1 District 2 standings, the Trojans are 1-1 with four other teams. Arlington leads the district with a 2-0 record.
“The thing is Boys Town has already lost in our district. They lost to Fort Calhoun last week. It’s not like we are eliminated,” McLaughlin said. “We can still win the district championship. We go win out and there’s a three-way tiebreaker. We don’t really control our own destiny anymore but we have the same amount of losses in districts as them, so we still control a lot.
“Life moves on. We are going to pick up the pieces and go play Concordia then go play Arlington and then go play Fort Calhoun.”