HARTINGTON — Admittedly, the Hartington-Newcastle football team was feeling pretty optimistic heading into Friday’s home game against West Holt.
However, a rough first half saw the host Wildcats fall into a 22-0 hol by the intermission, and West Holt escaped Hartington with a 40-13 win.
Riley Sudbeck led the Wildcat attack with 12-for-19 passing for 133 yards and a touchdown. He added four tackles on the defensive side of the ball.
Lane Heimes added a touchdown run and four catches for 60 yards for the lone score via the air route. He also threw in seven tackles.
Seth Pinkelman (eight tackles), Dayton Sudbeck (seven tackles) and Carson Sudbeck (seven tackles) also had notable performances on defense.
“We lacked execution as a team this week, especially in some really big moments of the game,” HNS head coach Corey Uldrich said. “As coaches, we are going to have to do a better job of preparing the kids for games like this one, where we believe we should have competed and won this one. It is good to see some of our young sophomores (Pinkelman and Dayton Sudbeck) stepping up and making plays defensively. We will continue to work to find our most consistent contributors and get them on the field.”
Riley Sudbeck was pretty quick to say the big key to the team fixing some of its ails would be to start winning the physical battles against the opposition.
“They were definitely more physical than us and got off the ball pretty fast and played really hard,” he said about West Holt said. “Some people were scared because they were a lot more physical. We still have a chance to make it to the playoffs and we just need to keep our heads up.
“We have to get a lot more physical in practice and we should be fine and win some more games.”
Riley Sudbeck said the Wildcats may have been a bit guilty of overlooking West Holt somewhat in part to them coming in at 0-2.
“They played a lot harder than us, and we didn’t know what to do after that and got down,” Riley Sudbeck said. “I thought we had a good chance to win. We were evenly matched up, but their running back is pretty big.”
A year ago, the Wildcats dealt with so many interruptions to their season due to COVID-19 related issues and could never get into a rhythm, and they are still trying to find that again.
It didn’t help having a few key players out again this week according to Riley Sudbeck and the problems tend to compound.
But he holds plenty of hope going forward.
“Our defense needs to get more stops and our offense needs to work out more scores on the board to keep us in these games,” he said. “We always go hard in practice and listen to the coaches and do what we’re told so that’s pretty good. We just need to continue that to the games.”
The Wildcats (1-2) will travel to Plainview hoping to finish the first half of the season with a .500 record.
“They have a tremendous quarterback who has thrown for a ton of yards early in the year,” Uldrich said. “They have put up a lot of points in each of their games, so we’ll have to clean up some defensive items to slow him down.
“We do believe that we have the opportunity to score some points ourselves this week, but we need to be more physical at the point of attack and clean up our mistakes. We will continue to look at our season on a game by game basis, as looking too far ahead into the future isn’t something we can afford to do at 1-2.”
Hart-Newcastle 0 0 6 7 — 13
West Holt 6 16 12 6 — 40
PASSING - HNS - Riley Sudbeck, 12-19-133.
RUSHING: HNS - Carson Sudbeck, 8-26; Riley Sudbeck, 17-22; Lane Heimes, 4-13; Kale Korth, 1-1.
RECEIVING - HNS - Jake Peitz, 7-66; Lane Heimes, 4-60; Shay Dickes, 1-7.
TACKLES HNS - Seth Pinkelman, 8; Lane Heimes, 7; Dayton Sudbeck, 7; Carson Sudbeck, 7; Shay Dickes, 5; Riley Sudbeck, 4; Reece Morten, 4; Aiden Rosener, 4; Turner Dendinger, 2; Jake Peitz, 2; Daniel Steffen,2; C Jones, 1; Cole Heimes, 1.
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