North Bend Central didn't just land the first punch of the 2020 football season.
The Tigers landed a whole combo.
Fort Calhoun's host turned a double-pass trick play into an 85-yard touchdown on the game's first play, recovered a pooch kick and scored for a second time just 2 minutes into Friday's season opener.
“We played very well after that and it was good, competitive game,” first-year Pioneers coach Adolph Shepardson said.
The final score, 37-13 North Bend Central.
“Their senior experience, and familiarity with the program, have them a leg up on us in the season opener,” Shepardson added.
The Tigers led 21-0 through one half before the Pioneers got on the scoreboard twice during the second. First, Dillon Dierks ripped off a 49-yard touchdown run to start the third quarter. The senior finished with seven carries for 58 yards, and 15 tackles and a forced fumble on defense.
“Dillon Dierks had a fantastic game,” Shepardson said. “He was all over the field for us.”
Harrison Schmitt then tallied Fort Calhoun's second score on a 7-yard run during the fourth quarter. He finished with 35 rushing yards before a late injury. Quarterback Austin Welchert — who threw for 54 yards — was also injured in North Bend, Shepardson said.
The Pioneers coach was pleased with the efforts of several players during his FCHS debut. Among them was lineman Jayce Douchey, who Shepardson named specifically.
“We have a good core of football players,” the coach said. “I truly think we will go on and win a bunch of games this year. (There's) just a lot of little things to clean up from film, and week two is always your biggest improvement during a season.”
The Pioneers and Shepardson travel to Auburn on Friday for game No. 2.