HASTINGS — The defense helped the Adams Central football team pick up its third victory of the season.
The Patriots scored two defensive touchdowns to help them pull out a 28-12 victory over Gibbon Friday at Adams Central High School.
Kendall Oberheide set the tone on the second play of the game as he picked up a Buffalo fumble and returned it 26 yards for the game’s opening score. The second touchdown came in the third quarter when Logan Bowen had a 33-yard interception return.
"I thought our defense played very well and those were big plays for us," Adams Central coach Bill Carlin said. "It was great for us."
Patriot running Buzz Neiderklein also carried the load. The Adams Central senior running back had 31 carries for 153 yards and two touchdowns. His first touchdown came on the Patriots first offensive series as he scored on a 10-yard run for a 14-0 lead.
Carlin said the reason for his yards was the job the offensive line did. In all, the Patriots rolled up 256 yards rushing.
"He did a great job tonight but I thought the reason for that is our line got really physical," Carlin said. "But he’s definitely the workhorse for us."
Gibbon did work its way back into the ballgame, thanks for a 14-play, 80-yard drive that was capped by Quentin Rockefeller’s 5-yard run as the Buffaloes trailed 14-6 at the half.
However, Adams Central got the momentum right back on its first series of the second half. The Patriots used a nine-play drive that all came on the ground as Neiderklein scored his second touchdown on a 19-yard run.
Carlin said that drive was a huge momentum swing.
"We wanted to control the third quarter as well as the line of scrimmage," Carlin said. "We gave up a little bit there at the end of the first half and wanted to get that back under control. That was big that we marched the ball down the field to start the second half."
Gibbon coach Mark McLaughlin agreed.
"Football is a big momentum game and we had them on the ropes before the half," McLaughlin said. "As an established program, that’s what they do. When they are on the ropes, they come back swinging. We stood up to them but we couldn’t get the stop that we needed to."
The Patriot defense got pressure on Stroh on the next series. He got hit as he released the ball, which led to the Bowen interception touchdown return.
Gibbon completed the game scoring as Jeff Hall found a seam and broke loose for a 76-yard touchdown run.
The Buffaloes had success running the ball as they had 35 carries for 227 yards. Hall was the team leader with seven carries for 117 yards.
McLaughlin said that the defensive plays Adams Central were big plays, but there was more to it than that. Gibbon was penalized nine times for 75 yards.
"We did some things right and wrong. People talk about if you take those two plays away, it’s 14-12. That’s true but in football, you can’t just take two plays from all of that," McLaughlin said. "Their kids made good plays on defense. That’s part of football but I thought our kids played hard."
The Patriots had linemen Jesse Lincoln go down to an injury. Carlin said that’s a blow because they have four starters on the line with injuries.
"We got a ways to go yet," Carlin said. "We’ve got some injuries as we lost another lineman tonight and four of our starting linemen are standing on the sidelines with me. That’s tough and we need to get them healthy. They want to play."
Adams Central plays at Central City, while Gibbon will host Grand Island Central Catholic. Both games are Friday.
Gibbon (2-2) ............................... 0 6 0 6—12
Adams Central (3-1) ................... 14 0 14 0—28
AC — Oberheide 26-yard fumble return (Weiss kick), 11:30.
AC — Neiderklein 10 run (Weiss kick), 3:26.
GIB —Rockefeller 5 run (pass failed), 0:37.
AC — Neiderklein 19 run (Weiss kick), 7:18.
AC — Bowen 33 interception return (Weiss kick), 6:07.
GIB — Hall 76 run (run field)
RUSHING — GIB: Hall 7-117, Stroh 13-57, Kenton 6-27, Rockefeller 6-10, Snell 1-7, Alvarado 2-9. AC — Neiderklein 31-153, Lonowski 5-47, Steinkruger 8-33, Barry 5-23,
PASSING — GIB: Stroh 5-12-2 19, Snell 1-1-0 20. AC: Steinkruger 3-5-0 8.
RECEIVING — GIB: Stroh 1-20, Milks 2-8, Hynes 1-6, Cuellar 1-5. AC: Halsey 1-10, Lonowski 1-(minus 2).