The Fort Calhoun football team answered the bell.
After a 28-6 loss to Auburn on Sept. 3, the Pioneers got back to work and arrived at Lincoln Christian prepared to leave with a win. The result was a Friday night victory, 28-19.
“We had a great week of practice, our best of the first month, and I felt very confident going in that we would win this game,” FCHS coach Adolph Shepardson said. “We just wore them out tonight. We ran the ball right at them over and over again, and they were tired and beaten.”
The win pushed the Pioneers' record to 2-1 this season.
“We played a rugged game tonight and both teams will feel this one tomorrow,” the coach added.
Fort Calhoun sealed-up the win with a late, fourth-quarter touchdown pass inside Lincoln Christian's 10-yard line. Ahead 22-19 and playing off of their success running the ball all game, Austin Welchert switched it up and threw an on-target ball to Zane Schwarz.
“We went with a condensed formation and ran a boot to the left with Zane in the flats from his wing position,” Shepardson explained. “It was wide open and Austin Welchert put it on him. It was a little package we put in this week, and it came in handy at the end.”
The touchdown capped a strong offensive performance for the Pioneers, who struggled the week prior against Auburn. They built a 22-7 halftime lead behind the offensive line, which Shepardson called the “difference.”
Schwarz made highlight plays during the first and second quarters, taking off on a long run and making a “spectacular catch,” according to his coach. He scored two touchdowns, including on 25-yard pass catch from Ty Hallberg in the first half.
Clint Dierks, meanwhile, cleared the 100-yard mark in the running game. The senior carried the load during the game-clinching drive of the fourth quarter, and finished with 122 yards and two scores.
“What a battle and what a win,” Shepardson said.
Fort Calhoun next plays Raymond Central on Friday with the opportunity to move to 3-1 before the district schedule begins Sept. 24.