The 2019 edition of the Hoehne Farmers couldn’t fend off an aggressive band of Cougars from No.1 ranked Sedgewick County at Jasper Butero Field last Friday, falling in their opener 34-0.
Intermittent rain and a ferocious Cougar defense contained the historically potent Farmers who failed to prevent the progression of the visitors in their journey to a fifth consecutive state championship in class A 8-man football. Hoehne, with limited resources and battling a cold, blustery rain, could not stay with Sedgewick County from the far off high plains of northeastern Colorado. The Cougars, on the road, dominated on both sides of the football.
“They’re a good football team,” said Coach Gabe Dasko. “We just have to get better. We couldn’t sustain any drives. We couldn’t make first downs on third and one. They were stronger than us. We played a heck of a first half, but it was not enough. We lost four starters, two tight ends and two defense backs to graduation, and it showed. And our kids did not appear to be in game shape.”
Hoehne, with the starters playing most of the game on both offense and defense, tired, and struggling to contain the Cougars on both sides of the football the entire second half. Rested and fired up, the Farmers held Sedgewick to a mere six points in the first two periods. Then the sky opened, rain was omnipresent, and the weary kids in red just plain ran out of gas. The perpetual rain demolished even the statistical charts during the entirety of the game.
“They play a power game,” added Assistant Offensive Coordinator Mike Dasko. “They are just plain good football players. We have to have more discipline. And our guys got tired and we have very little depth. We have no excuses. We just got beat, but we’ll be all right. We have to find a way to throw the football more efficiently.”
The Cougars stampeded to 28 unanswered points, tacking on 22 in the third period and another six in the final quarter. The second half was not good experience for the weary group from Hoehne.
“They were big,” explained quarterback Weston Hill in a post-game interview. “This was just our first game, and we have a long way to go. I have to execute better with my passing, and we have to block better. We got tired and dehydrated in the second half. Our starters have to keep their heads up. We’ll rebound from this. We’ll practice hard and keep our heads high.”
Jr. Lineman Antonio Moltrer was disappointed, but not undeterred. Moltrer, another of the family clan (Trystan, Tyler) of athletes who have contributed significantly to the unprecedented 8-man football program at Hoehne High, was optimistic.
“I think our blocking offensively could have been more disciplined,” said lineman Antonio Moltrer, a starter who played both ways for the entirety of the game. “Our defense was the same way. It wasn’t good in the second half. After they scored the first touchdown, it seemed to change the game. That score set us back a little bit. We needed to move forward and we put ourselves back in the game. We let them score like they did in the second half, and we could have done better. Things weren’t corrected. We will work on everything. Offensively we have to have better blocking. Defensively, we have to work hard on getting to the ball better. We have some pretty good competition next week against Daysprings Christian in Greeley. Offensively and defensively we’ll just have to improve. We’ll be working hard this week to get ready for this one. I think everybody knows that we need to work hard to improve and get better as a team. We’re keeping our heads up.”
The Farmers will sojourn to Greeley for their second match of the young season. The red clad warriors from Hoehne, with the expectation that the result of this one will result in a better conclusion, are, not surprisingly, looking forward to the challenge.
Kickoff is slated for Noon on Saturday.
Hoehne 0 0 0 0 — 0
Sedgewick County 6 0 22 6 — 34