YODER – Coming into Friday’s Class 1A showdown between ranked opponents, the No. 4-ranked Southeast High School football team knew exactly what the No. 2-ranked Upton-Sundance Patriots brought to the table, but in the end of the day, the Cyclones were handed their second loss of the season.
The visiting Patriots scored 27 unanswered points in a 27-0 win over Southeast.
For Southeast coach Mark Bullington, it all came down to two key words – attack and intensity.
“We didn’t play with intensity. We didn’t attack. We sat back and caught everything. We have a lot of work to do,” he said. “They didn’t run anything different than we knew. They ran exactly what we practiced all week. Sometimes you get in that catching mode and don’t want to make a mistake or over-pursue.”
Southeast looked to get things going on the defensive side of the ball early with an interception from senior Greg Logsdon.
After a quick three-and-out on the Cyclone’s first offensive possession, the Patriots were slowed once again, but going for it on 4th-and-8, Upton-Sundance completed a pass down to the Southeast 1-yard line.
On the ensuing play, the Patriots punched it in the end zone for a score.
In the second quarter, the Cyclones turned to the passing game due to an ineffective running game.
“We thought we could run the ball, but we couldn’t do anything up front to move the ball,” Bullington said. “We had to throw the ball.”
It’s something Bullington doesn’t like doing.
In the end, junior quarterback Hayden Anderson was 5-of-24 passing for 62 yards.
Upton-Sundance scored twice more in the quarter to take a 20-0 lead into the break.
After a scoreless third, the visitors found their way back into the end zone for the third time off a Southeast turnover with 9:23 left in the game.
It proved to be the final score of the game.
“We didn’t play well. I’m disappointed in the way we didn’t attack. We didn’t play the way we did against Lusk or Tongue River,” Bullington said. “We have to move on. We have to refocus.”
Sophomore Cord Herring led the Cyclones with 50 yards rushing on five attempts, while senior Tate Carson caught three passes for 41 yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, junior Harrison Hall led the team with seven tackles, including one for loss.
The Cyclones face a must-win match up on Friday in Wright. A win would lock up the No. 3 seed, while a loss would tighten the race for the final two playoff spots in the 1A East Conference.
“They are big up front. They have a good quarterback who can run all over the place,” Bullington said. “They are beatable, but it’s a big one for us.”
If Southeast wins that one, the Cyclones will be a three seed, locked into the playoffs, but with a loss, the team could be looking at a coin toss tie breaker to get into the playoffs, according to Bullington.
Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.