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FOOTBALL: Dragons overcome mistakes in comfortable 49-26 win over Millard South

From the Inside this week's Gretna Breeze: Sept. 21 series
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Caleb Schnell

Gretna tight end Caleb Schnell (No. 86 wearing white) secures a catch during the Dragons’ 49-26 win over Millard South on Thursday, Sept. 15.

Gretna battled ball security issues but not much else in a 49-26 win over Millard South at Buell Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 15.

On the opening drive, Dragons quarterback Zane Flores passed to Tyson Boganowski, who fumbled just a few yards short of the goal line. But the ball took a fortunate bounce into the end zone, where it was picked up by Michael Scheef for a touchdown.

The Dragons defense forced their second three-and-out to start the game, and quickly scored on a pass from Flores to Colin Sims in the back corner of the end zone.

Zane Flores

Gretna quarterback Zane Flores runs with the ball during the Dragons’ 49-26 win over Millard South on Thursday, Sept. 15.

By the beginning of the second quarter, Flores had fumbled once and recovered the ball on a miscommunicated handoff.

“(It was) basically just a miscommunication between Zane and the tailback on who had the ball and (who did) not,” Kayl said. “Just stuff we need to correct in practice. So, yeah, we’re fortunate on the one in the end zone. We just got to tuck the ball away when we’re about to get tackled. Those are the details that we need to work on in practice and stuff that we need to get better on as we move down the road.”

Flores said the Dragons approached the game with a next-play mentality and “can’t hang on those mistakes.”

“You just got to have a short-term memory and attack the next play,” Flores said.

“We had some small mistakes early in the beginning, but obviously we talked about it at halftime and cleared things up,” added Isaiah Weber, who finished with two touchdown runs and a sack.

The Dragons had two more scores on a Weber run and Flores took a hard hit but scored on a keeper to extend the lead to 28-0 with 11:03 left in the first half.

Alex Runge

Gretna defensive back Alex Runge (No. 8, wearing white) intercepts a pass during the Dragons’ 49-26 win over Millard South on Thursday, Sept. 15.

“I knew I might have to use my legs a little bit, and that I might have to do that throughout the season and yeah, I’m gonna take some hits, but it’s the same next-play mentality,” Flores said.

“You got to pick your poison between the two,” Kayl added. “Zane is gonna hurt you in the air and if you start sinking (he can run). And then our line — which again I credited them before — and they’ve just done a great job for us and Isaiah is running really hard and seeing the holes, hitting the holes and then getting the yards after contact.”

A second Flores fumble was recovered by the Patriots at their own 20 after a Millard South field goal. But on the next play, a Jett Thomalla pass was picked off in the middle of the field by Alex Runge.

“Those are the details that we need to work on in practice and stuff that we need to get better on as we move down the road,” Gretna head coach Mike Kayl said. “You got to be able to react in those situations when things don’t go your way and then you turn around and just make plays on the other side of the ball, and defense has been solid and done that for us and they did it again tonight.”

Isaiah Weber and Colin Sims

Gretna running back Isaiah Weber (No. 33) celebrates a touchdown run with Colin Sims during the Dragons' 49-26 win over Millard South on Thursday, Sept. 15.

Up 35-6 at the break after a Flores-Blayke Moore touchdown pass following the INT, the Dragons cruised in the second half on the way to a 49-26 win to improve to 4-0, while the Patriots fell to 1-3 after finishing 9-1 last year.

Next up, the Dragons travel to face Bellevue East, while the Patriots go to Lincoln North Star on Friday, Sept. 23. The Dragons won 77-0 over the Chieftains last year, but are focused on going 1-0.

“It doesn’t matter what happened last year,” Kayl said. “It’s a new team, they’re playing pretty well right now. And so we’re gonna go into that environment and just try to improve on some things that we need to improve on from this week and build on what worked.”

Gretna (4-0) 21 14 14 0 — 49

At Millard South (1-3) 0 6 6 7 — 19

G: Michael Scheef fumble recovery in end zone (Cameron Bothwell kick)

G: Colin Sims 4 pass from Zane Flores (Bothwell kick)

G: Isaiah Weber 12 run (Bothwell kick)

G: Flores 6 run (Bothwell kick)

MS: FG Simon McClannan 47

G: Blayke Moore 8 pass from Flores (Bothwell kick)

MS: FG McClannan 37

G: Isaiah Weber 30 run (Bothwell kick)

MS: Austin Trotter 55 pass from Jett Thomalla (PAT failed)

MS: Nolan Feller 4 run (McClannan kick)

G: Justin Myers 7 run (Bothwell kick)

MS: Amarion Jackson 10 pass from Thomalla (McClannan kick)

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