YODER – The Southeast Cyclones committed five turnovers at home Friday against Upton-Sundance and once they fell behind 21-0, they were unable to recover, losing 28-14.
After both teams went three-and-out to open the game, the Cyclones drove the ball 85 yards before turning it over on the four-yard line. The stalled drive was a part of the stalemate in the first quarter.
“I think if we scored that first drive, the game would have been a lot different,” coach Mark Bullington said.
The Patriots really got things going in the second in the second quarter, scoring three touchdowns. They scored on a six-yard run, a three-yard run and a 28-yard pass, all within eight minutes. Upton-Sundance took a 21-0 lead into intermission.
With 3:57 to go in the third, Chase Lovercheck found the end zone on a 15-yard run, bringing the score to 21-6. Upton-Sundance scored again early in the fourth on an 18-yard run. Lovercheck scored again in the fourth on a 32-yard dash. Brady Fullmer completed the two-point conversion to Sterling Werner, putting the score at 28-14. In the second half, Southeast outscored Upton-Sundance 14-7.
“We started running some plays we have always run and they started working,” Bullington said. “We just had to settle down and get back into the game.”
Lovercheck had a solid night, accounting for 145 of Southeast’s 241 rushing yards and he had the two Cyclone touchdowns. Lovercheck also had one reception for 16 yards.
“He really reads defenses and blocks well,” Bullington said of his senior tailback. “When he’s hot, we are going to give him the ball.”
Mick Steinhausen was the second rusher for Southeast, accounting for 63 yards on 13 carries. Brady Fullmer toted the rock eight times for 30 yards. Dawson Beck suffered an injury in the game and his timetable to return is not set yet, so Bullington said Lovercheck, Steinhausen and Fullmer are going to have to step up in Beck’s absence.
In the passing game, Fullmer went 4-for-15 for 36 yards. Werner was Fullmer’s favorite target, hauling in two receptions for 18 yards.
Tanner Hort again topped the defensive stat sheet, recording seven solo tackles, three assisted tackles and two tackles for loss. Conner Smith also had seven unassisted tackles, paired with an assisted tackle and a tackle for loss. Hunter Woodruff was third in solo tackles, with six, followed by Lovercheck and Steinhausen, who each had four. Fullmer and Hayden Anderson each came away with an interception.
“Tanner is doing a really good job. He was a lot more physical this week,” Bullington said. “We were a lot more physical this week. That was the big thing.”
With the loss, the Cyclones sit at 2-2 with a 1-2 record in the conference. They return to action on the road Friday against Tongue River, who is also 1-2 against east opponents. The kickoff is slated for 6 p.m.
“We have to win. The east is really tough,” Bullington said of this week’s matchup. “We can’t lose anymore. It’s a playoff game. Our players know it and our coaches know it.”