LENOX — The Sidney Cowboys marched into Lenox Friday night and promptly roped the Tigers, leaving Lenox unable to get anything going as the Cowboys ran away with a 43-8 win in a battle of unbeatens.
Sidney improved to 4-0 for the season and 3-0 in Eight-Man District 8, while Lenox drops to 3-1 and 2-1.
Lenox got off to a rocky start when the first play of the game resulted in a fumbled snap for a loss of seven yards. The Tigers went three-and-out and the ensuing punt quickly went out of bounds.
Sidney speedster Chris Osborne ran in virtually untouched from 28 yards out on the first play of the Cowboy drive to put Sidney up 7-0 after the kick.
“For us to come out and get a three-and-out and then score on the first play of the drive probably took a lot of that home game momentum out of them,” said Sidney head coach Donnie Sears. “Then we were able to relax and make the right reads.”
“You could just see it in the kids,” Lenox head coach Allen Dukes said. “It was like, ‘oh my God, it just happened!’ And then the second drive, we go three-and-out and they score again. The first three times they touched the ball on offense, they score and we’re down 21-0 before the first quarter is over. The confidence was just gone.”
Osborne scored the first three touchdowns of the game for Sidney, adding scores of 47 yards and 21 yards in the first quarter. Fullback Erick Rodriguez added a 13-yard touchdown run with :51 remaining in the opening quarter to put the Cowboys up 28-0.
“Sidney, they are a very good football team,” Dukes said. “They came in and did everything right. Whatever we did, whatever we attempted to do was wrong. We had a lot of turnovers in crucial times. First quarter, it seemed like it took forever. We couldn’t get off our 15-yard line. They just stuffed everything we tried to do.”
Lenox spent the majority of the first half backed up in its own zone, only crossing midfield once in the first half.
Meanwhile, the Cowboys kept marching along in the first half. Michael Coates connected with Jacob Cain for an 11-yard touchdown midway through the second quarter and Rodriguez scored his second touchdown of the game when he broke a host of tackles en route to a 61-yard touchdown with 2:46 remaining in the half.
“Our kids finally put together what I thought was the type of football we’re capable of playing,” Sears said. “We’ve played some good games and good quarters and good halves, but never put together a complete game.
“You’re not going to find a better coach than coach Dukes and the program he’s got going over here,” Sears continued. “They’re big and they’re lanky and they run a great scheme. Tonight, our kids just came out and really played well. I’m a little surprised at the score, and that’s just because our kids played well, I think.”
The lone Lenox touchdown came with 3:52 remaining in the game when Josh Mitchell punched it into the end zone from 2 yards out. Mitchell added the 2-point conversion to make the score 43-8.
Mitchell led the Tigers in rushing with 44 yards on four attempts. Frank Hoffman ran the ball once, but picked up 37 yards to help set up the Mitchell touchdown.
“Sidney took us completely out of the game by being more physical than we were,” Dukes said. “They controlled the line on both sides of the ball. We have to improve our line play on both sides and become more physical.”
Lenox hits the road to take on 0-4 Nishnabotna on Friday at Hamburg.
Sidney 43, Lenox 8
Sidney 28 15 0 0 - 43
Lenox 0 0 0 8 - 8
S — Chris Osborne 28 run (Erick Rodriguez kick), 10:09
S — Osborne 42 run (Rodriguez kick), 7:36
S — Osborne 21 run (Rodriguez kick), 2:55
S — Rodriguez 13 run (Rodriguez kick), :51
S — Jacob Cain 11 pass from Michael Coates (Blane Moreland pass from Coates), 8:33
S — Rodriguez 61 run (Rodriguez kick), 2:46
L — Josh Mitchell 7 run (Mitchell run), 3:52
Rushing: S - Chris Osborne 10-132, Erick Rodriguez 7-124, Blane Moreland 7-23. L - Josh Mitchell 4-44, Frank Hoffman 1-37, Hugo Montiel 4-27, Dustyn Rauch 8-7, Dustin Gordon 10-7.
Passing: S - Michael Coates 1-4-0 for 11 yards. L - Dustin Gordon 7-15-0 for 53 yards.
Receiving: S - Jacob Cain 1-11. L - Caleb Lange 4-29, Montiel 2-19, Rauch 1-5.
Tackles (solo-assists): L - Chase Maynes (3-5), Caleb Lange (6-1), Hugo Montiel (2-4), Spencer Brown (2-4), Todd Stoaks (1-3).