The Fort Calhoun football team lost Oct. 4.
Seven days later, the Pioneers responded with a 47-6 homecoming victory against Douglas County West.
“Our team was extremely motivated after our overtime loss last week,” FCHS coach Andrew Christensen said. “They did a great job coming to work everyday and staying locked in.”
After falling to 3-3 with a 26-21 heartbreaker at Arlington, the Pioneers decisively moved to 4-3 Friday.
“It says a lot about our senior and captain leadership,” Christensen added. “They kept the team on track and challenged them this week.”
The home squad dominated from the start, scoring 13 points during the first quarter and 20 more during the second. Quarterback Grant Halford connected with Michael Shirley on a touchdown pass just before the half to put Fort Calhoun ahead 33-6.
“It was great to see our guys get off to a fast start,” Christensen said. “We've had slow starts all season long and it's taken a couple drives to lock in, but tonight they came out and executed.”
In total, six Pioneers scored touchdowns. Clint Dierks ran for 150 yards on just seven carries and had two scores, while another Dierks, Dillon, also crossed the goal line on a run.
Harrison Schmitt, Shirley, Zane Schwarz and Kaden Therkildsen, meanwhile, scored on Fort Calhoun pass receptions. Schmitt's covered 61 yards, while Schwarz totaled four catches for 83 yards.
Both Halford and Tyler Strauss threw eight passes for the Pioneers at quarterback. Both completed five and had two touchdown passes. Together, they totaled 233 yards through the air.
“We plan to go with a dual-QB system the rest of the way,” Christensen said. Halford was the season's original starter before an injury pushed Strauss into the position. “Both Grant and Tyler do really nice things and deserve to call the shots on offense, and they both bring different things to the table. They both did a nice job of commanding the offense and moving the ball.”
It helps that both Halford and Strauss can play multiple positions. The latter was Halford's top target as a receiver before the injury.
“(Tyler) can play almost any position,” Christensen said.
Halford added seven total tackles on defense, which was tied for second on the team with Clint Dierks. Therkildsen had 10.
Justin Myer notched three tackles for a loss of yardage, while Jayce Douchey had a quarterback sack for Fort Calhoun.
Jake Seina made five extra-point kicks as the Pioneers responded to a loss with a rout.