Fort Calhoun sophomore Grayson Bouwman took off on a 33-yard fake-punt run to start Friday's second quarter, sparking the Pioneers' 43-20 district win at Douglas County West.
Coach Adolph Shepardson's team trailed 6-2 through one quarter, but put together a 21-0 second and comfortably improved to 4-2 after Bouwman's jaunt. The host Falcons, meanwhile, dropped to 3-3.
“Our strengths are that we are a veteran, senior-led team and adversity doesn't affect us,” Shepardson said. “We keep our heads down and play hard, and eventually we will break most teams physically.”
Clint Dierks — who ran for 110 yards — and Zane Schwarz — who caught six passes for 162 yards — combined to score five FCHS touchdowns during the second and third quarters. Dierks ran in three scores from 3, 5 and 13 yards out, while Schwarz wound up in the end zone on a pair of Ty Hallberg passes.
The Pioneers' Tristan Fuhrman added a 1-yard touchdown run during the fourth quarter well after Landon Miller recorded a Fort Calhoun safety during the first.
“We are playing really well on the offensive line,” Shepardson said before also crediting his victorious defense. “Our defense is playing well. We are very strong and in great shape. We wear teams down.
Weight room work has been key, he added.
The Pioneers' 23-point victory sets up a battle between 4-2 Washington County teams next Friday. FCHS plays host at 7 p.m.
“Next week is a big game for our program as we host our rivals from Arlington with the winner getting one step closer to a playoff bid,” Shepardson said. “We are looking forward to a great game with the Eagles.”
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