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Cedar earns playoff shutout win

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BRIDGEPORT— Cedar Catholic picked a great time to toss its first shutout of the season.

The Trojans used a choking defense and a solid running attack to shut donw Bridgeport and earn a 21-0 first-round playoff win here Friday.

Cedar held Bridgeport to only 59 yards of total offense and eight first downs.

Cedar (8-2) earned the big win after a seven-hour bus trip to Bridgeport to play on a balmy late October day in western Nebraska. Myles Thoene scored on a 14-yard

Myles Thoene scored on a 14-yard run and Easton Becker followed suit with a two-yard plunge to put Cedar up 14-0 at halftime.

Becker added the clincher with 11 minutes left in the game when he scored on a four-yard run.

As he has all season long, Becker was the workhorse, finishing with 149 yards rushing on 29 carries while Thoene ended up with 73 yards on five totes.

Quarterback Tate Thoene threw for 46 yards and rushed for another 39 yards.

“We felt all week that we were going to get a physical game from Bridgeport so we knew we would have to be ready to go from the beginning,” Cedar coach Chad Cattau said. “I thought we got off to a good start. We moved the ball well on the ground and through the air on the first series, but we weren’t able to score. That drive let the kids know we would be able to move the ball on them and we would eventually get our points.”

As the game progressed, Cedar found a few things that worked.

“We had some very good balance in our run game from Easton, Myles, and Tate so it made things difficult to defend as the game moved along,” Cattau said. “You could see our conditioning was a major factor as well.” Cattau attributed much of the

Cattau attributed much of the win to his team’s ability to establish physical dominance and wear their hosts out.

“Our defense had a great team effort,” Cattau said. “We had a lot of kids make plays throughout the game. We tackled pretty well overall and I felt our pursuit to the ball carrier was as good as it’s been all season. They had some athletic kids on the field, but our overall gang tackling made a huge difference in the outcome.”

So, what about that sevenhour trip? “No one looked at it as a seven

“No one looked at it as a sevenhour trip and were just focused on the game,” Tate Thoene said. “It’s a fun team to be around.”

Coach Cattau said the team wasn’t phased by the long trip.

“We knew we were going to have a long trip for the game and the kids had great attitudes about it and they embraced the opportunity to spend that time with each other, and to play an opponent we have never seen before,” Cattau said. “It was a fun chance to stay the night in a hotel together, practice and/ or play on three fields that we have never seen before, so it was a great experience for them and something they will remember forever.”

Friday’s win sets up another showdown with top-rated Oakland-Craig, who defeated the Trojans earlier this year and eliminated them from last year’s playoffs.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday in Hartington.

What could make an impact for a long time to come would be a chance to beat O-C and do so at home, a place the teams haven’t played at, according to Tate Thoene.

“Our defense is going to have to step up and we are going to have to move the ball better on offense,” he said. “We can’t turn the ball over because we turned it over a lot the last few times, we played them. Obviously, they are a really good team. They have an awesome offensive line, and their blocking scheme makes them hard to stop. Offensively, I think we can move the ball.

“We will give them our best and see how it turns out.” Thoene said the team is full

Thoene said the team is full of players who care more about winning than individual stats.

Cattau is optimistic heading into the game against an old foil.

“I felt like last time we played them, we had to face some adversity for the first time all season, and we didn’t handle it very well,” Cattau said. “I feel we are a stronger team mentally now and we will be better prepared this time around. They play a very physical style of football and so we have to be ready to match that intensity.” “I know our kids will look for

“I know our kids will look forward to the chance to play them again and to give them our best efforts. We will know what their speed is like and how they play up front so that should help us prepare for them. It’s going to be a great challenge and I know our players will be ready to accept it.”

PASSING Cedar - Tate Thoene, 7-12-46.

RUSHING Cedar - Easton Becker, 29-149; Myles Thoene, 5-73; Tate Thoene, 13-39; Kerby Hochstein, 3-5.

RECEIVING Cedar - Myles Thoene, 4-21; Carter Arens, 2-12; Connor Vlach, 1-13;

TACKLES Cedar - Owen Heimes, 12; Kerby Hochstein, 7; Grant Arens, 5; Hunter Thoene, 4; Noah Arens, 4; Blake Arens, 3; Brandon Rohan, 3; Myles Thoene, 3; Carter Arens, 3; Connor Vlach, 2; Easton Becker, 2; Ethan Becker, 2; Carsen Becker, 2; Jay Steffen, 2; Jaxson Bernecker, 1; Charlie Schroeder, 1; James Fischer, 1.

KICKING Cedar - Blake Arens, 3-3 extra points.

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