YODER – Chase Lovercheck broke the Southeast single-game rushing record with 288 yards on the ground, guiding the Cyclones to a 48-32 Homecoming win Friday over Bayard, Neb.
Lovercheck got things started early, scoring on a 24-yard touchdown in the first quarter. The Tigers rebounded to score three minutes later. Southeast’s Brady Fullmer found the end zone with 0:45 left in the first, scoring on a 6-yard touchdown run. Bayard scored twice in the second quarter, including a 95-yard touchdown pass. Heading into halftime, the Cyclones trailed 18-14.
“If you have a slow second quarter, they come back and make a big game out of it,” Lovercheck said. “It makes you more motivated later in the game in the second half to pour it on.”
The third quarter proved to be the difference, with the Cyclones racking up 34 points, while allowing zero. Fullmer capped off the opening drive after the break with a 1-yard touchdown. Lovercheck again ripped off a big run, scoring on a 37-yard play less than three minutes after Fullmer’s score.
Dawson Beck got in on the scoring action, finding pay dirt on a 36-yard run. Lovercheck continued his big night, cashing in for two more scores to close out the third frame, scoring from 66 and 47 yards out.
In the fourth quarter, Bayard scored on two possessions, but it was too little too late, with Southeast holding on for the win.
On offense, 288 of Southeast’s 614 yards came from Lovercheck, who broke the school record set by Tim Williams in 1993. Beck also eclipsed the century mark, tallying 112 rushing yards. Mick Steinhausen contributed 86 yards, with Fullmer kicking in another 51. Fullmer also went 2-for-5 in the passing game for 33 yards, including a 29-yard pass to Brant Fullmer.
“With the option, you have to get it to the guy who is open,” coach Mark Bullington said of the different offensive options. “If you catch the defense not doing their assignments right every time, then you can get some big plays. It just depends on what the defense is keying on.”
Southeast gave up 85 yards on 10 penalties, but only had one turnover, a fumble in the second half.
“The nice thing about the game was we didn’t have a lot of turnovers and that was very encouraging,” Bullington said.
On defense, Sterling Werner had solid game, recording eight tackles, two sacks and three tackles for loss, all three of which were team-highs. Tanner Hort tied for the team lead in tackles for loss, with three, while chipping in seven tackles and a sack.
Lovercheck and Fullmer each added six tackles and Fullmer contributed two tackles for loss. Connor Smith and Bryan Baker each had a sack in the win, combining for seven tackles and four tackles for loss. Fourteen different Cyclones recorded tackles in the win, many of whom have little varsity experience on defense.
“We had a lot of new starters, but they’ll learn every game,” Bullington said. “You just have to get them game time.”
With a 1-0 record, the Cyclones host 2A’s defending state champions in Big Horn on Friday. The Rams are in 1A this year and are Southeast’s first conference foe of the fall. The game is slated for a 6 p.m. kickoff in Yoder.
“It’s kind of tough to think about the next week during Homecoming week,” Lovercheck said. “Next week we are going to be playing bigger dudes, faster dudes – the defending state champs. They’re going to be the real deal. We are going to have a good week of practice and come back next week and see what happens.”