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’Cats come up short against Falcons

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TILDEN — Hartington-Newcastle football traveled Sept. 8 to Tilden, still searching for its first win of 2023.

The Wildcats put up their highest point total of the season, but came up a little short, dropping the game to Elkhorn Valley 42-30.

“We had two kick returns for touchdowns called back in the game for penalties,” HNS coach Rusty Fuller said. “We got into the red zone three times and didn’t score after putting together some nice drives — we need to finish drives.”

The Falcons went up 16-0 at the end of the first 12 minutes, when the Wildcats couldn’t get out of their own way with mistakes and penalties, despite moving the ball.

In the second quarter, Hartington-Newcastle made some headway with a couple of touchdowns, but missed both conversion chances. After Elkhorn Valley put up another score and converted a conversion play, the teams went to the locker room with the Wildcats trailing, 24-12.

“We really need to capitalize on two-point conversions,” Fuller said. “That really hurt us down the stretch.”

The Falcons scored three times in the half and added two points after each score to establish the advantage.

HNS scored twice in the third quarter, but again failed to convert the two-point attempts. After an Elkhorn Valley touchdown, the teams went to the final quarter with the Falcons leading by a touchdown.

Elkhorn Valley scored twice in the final period and HNS answered once to get to the 42-30 final score.

Riley Sudbeck had a monster game on both sides of the football.

He completed 22-of-38 passes for 222 yards on the night, including two touchdowns, and also ran for 90 yards and a couple of scores on 17 carries. Defensively, he was in on 22 tackles, including 10 solo stops, and he averaged 46.5 yards per kick on two punts.

Cole Heimes caught eight passes from Riley Sudbeck for 76 yards and two touchdowns. Will Feilmeier caught seven passes for 47 yards, Dayton Sudbeck latched on to five aerials for 51 yards and Kale Korth got 47 yards out of two catches.

Heimes also contributed 19 tackles, Dayton Sudbeck and Korth each had a dozen, and Ayden Rosener had 10 stops and rambled 40 yards for a touchdown after he intercepted the Falcons’ quarterback at midfield.

“We are improving and are due to put a full three-phase game together,” Fuller said. “We haven’t put together a clean game yet in terms of penalties and mental mistakes.”

The Wildcats are on the road again Sept. 15 when they will travel to Crofton to take on the undefeated Warriors in district action.

“It’s district time, so we need to start with a clean slate,” Fuller said.

H-N (0-3) 0 12 12 6 — 30 EV (2-1) 16 8 6 12 — 42 HNS EV Passing 22-38-222 9-14-151 Rushing 27-112 49-303 Total 334 454

Passing: Riley Sudbeck 22-38 - 222 2TD; Cole Heimes 0-1 - 0.

Receiving: Cole Heimes 8-76 2TD; Will Feilmeier 7-48; Dayton Sudbeck 5-51; Kale Korth 2-47.

Rushing: Riley Sudbeck 17-90 2TD; Cole Heimes 7-15; Will Feilmeier 2-5; Kale Korth 1-2.

Tackles: Riley Sudbeck 22; Ty Opfer 5; Cole Heimes 19; Will Feilmeier 3; Dayton Sudbeck 12; Kale Korth 12; Carter Kelly 2; Brayden Lammers 6; Tyler Hutchinson 1; Jason Heimes 5; Logan Opfer 3; Aiden Collier 1; Ayden Rosener 10, 1 TFL; Lincoln Grutsch 3.