Second half surge helps Bluejays fly past Bulldogs
AUBURN, Neb. - Two Class C-1 juggernauts met on the gridiron Friday night in front of a packed house at Bulldog Stadium as Auburn hosted third-ranked Ashland-Greenwood.
With both teams coming off a loss, each appeared to not want to give an inch in the first half as the Bluejays led at the break 7-0 thanks to a 20-yard touchdown pass from Dane Jacobsen to Thomas Spears. Defense was the story in half number one, but the script flipped in the third quarter.
The Bluejays struck for 26 third quarter points in the blink of an eye, putting away the game in a 40-0 victory on the road.
After an Auburn punt to start the second half, Ashland-Greenwood marched down the field in just 2 minutes and 56 seconds, with a 7-play-61-yard drive that ended with Jacobsen's second touchdown toss of the day to Spears making it 14-0.
The Bulldogs fumbled on the ensuing kickoff and the Bluejays recovered the ball at the Auburn 25-yard line. Jacobsen then hit Spears again for a 24-yard completion down to the 1-yard line where Nate Upton plunged in for the touchdown to go up 20-0 at the 6:13 mark of the third quarter.
Bulldog quarterback Nixon Ligouri then tossed an interception on third-and-15 trying to make a play. Drake Zimmerman then joined in on the fun, scampering for runs of 13 and 22 yards before taking a handoff from 29 yards out into the endzone for another score with 3:24 remaining in the third.
Still in the third, the Bulldogs were forced to put from deep in their own territory. Travon Shaw's attempt to boot it away was deflected by a host of Bluejays, and Ty Beetison scooped it up another score to make it 33-0 late in the third.
From there, the reserve players would get into the game and add another late score for Ashland-Greenwood in the rout. Jacobsen delivered an efficient game through the air completing 12 of 16 passes for 172 yards and two scores. Spears hauled in a game-high 8 receptions for 124 yards and two touchdowns.
Spears also had a 48-yard punt return touchdown called back because of a block in the back that would've added to his already impressive performance. The teams combined for 180 penalty yards on 18 total penalties.
The Bulldogs couldn't get much going offensively, losing a fumble, throwing an interception and turning the ball over on downs three times. Auburn's best drive of the day came early in the second quarter, but the 11-play drive stalled when Ligouri couldn't find an open receiver on fourth down.
With the win, Ashland-Greenwood improves to 3-1 and Auburn falls to 2-2.
Bluejays (3-1): 0, 7, 26, 7 - 40
Bulldogs (2-2): 0, 0, 0, 0 - 0