YODER – The Southeast made quick work of the Riverside Rebels in the opening round of the Class 1A 9-Man playoffs on Friday afternoon at Teeters Memorial Field in Yoder.
Despite the 63-6 victory, there was one glaring issue for coach Mark Bullington – turnovers.
The Cyclones turned the ball over three times – two fumbles and one interception – but the defense still only managed to give up one score in the contest.
“The only disappointing part of it, we turned the ball over too many times,” Bullington said. “That wasn’t indicative of what we’ve played the last few games.”
It took the No. 1-ranked Cyclones nine plays, 80 yards and just under four minutes to put the first points of the game on the scoreboard.
“The rest of it – I thought we would probably put up a lot of yards,” Bullington said. “I thought we play really well. The kids knew what we were doing. They carried out their assignments.”
The game’s opening drive was capped off by senior running back Brant Fullmer running for an 18-yard score.
It was the first of two scores inside of a two-minute span for Fullmer, after the Southeast defense forced a quick three-and-out.
Fullmer’s second score was a six-yard run around the right side.
In all, Southeast piled on 32 points in the first quarter and an additional 22 points in the second to take a 54-0 lead into the half.
Junior running back Cord Herring, senior receiver Reece Robertson, junior running back Ryan Clapper also added scores before halftime.
In the second half, Grant Logsdon connected with junior split end Jacob Kramer on a 13-yard completion for what proved to be the final score of the game for Southeast.
With the running clock rolling in the second half, Riverside ended the Cyclones shutout in the closing seconds with an 11-yard run to the end zone.
Southeast racked up 479 yards of offense. However, the Cyclone defense limited the Rebels to only 177 yards despite running almost double the plays and having more than twice the time of possession.
One of the biggest take a ways for the Cyclones was the health of the team.
“We played a lot of kids,” Bullington said. “We didn’t get anyone banged up.”
Clapper led the team with rushing with 225 yards on eight carries, while Fullmer added 64 yards on seven attempts. Senior quarterback Hayden Anderson was 5-of-9 passing for 122 yards and a touchdown. Senior tight end Bodie Herring hauled in two catches for 51 yards.
Defensively, Robertson led the Cyclones with seven tackles, while senior linebacker Harrison Hall added 6.5 stops.
The Cyclones host the Shoshoni Wranglers on Friday with a trip to the 1A 9-Man championship game on the line. It will be the second meeting of the season between the teams as Southeast defeated the Wranglers 22-0 in week one.
“I don’t know with this crew if there are any playoff jitters, but I’m sure there may be some Friday,” Bullington said. “They are used to playing in pretty big games.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.