The Swedes notched their first win on the season Sept. 11, punching in a late fourth-quarter touchdown to seal the game 15-12 against Broken Bow.
“We competed, we stayed in the fight,” said Swede head coach Craig Haake. “It was good to see. We grew a little bit, we gained some confidence, which allows you to do a lot more things. The guys weren’t scared of the moment.”
The Indians, who were also looking for their first win of the season, put up a hard fight.
Gothenburg got on the board first in the second quarter when Wes Geiken rolled out and picked up yardage to put the Swedes inside the Broken Bow 17 for a first and 10.
J. J. Smith picked up two yards on a rush up the middle for second and eight. Abe Mendez took the ball next and didn’t gain anything to put the Swedes at third and eight on the 16 when Geiken threw a pop-pass down the middle on an attempt to Mendez, drawing a pass interference call on Broken Bow.
On first and goal from the Broken Bow six-yard line, Geiken handed the ball off to Owen Geiken who took the ball to the two-yard line.
After no gain on the second down play, Wes Geiken handed the ball off to Owen Geiken to punch it in for six.
Bronson Long hit the point after to put the Swedes up 7-0 with 2:44 left in the first half.
Broken Bow’s offense came on the field to drive from the Gothenburg 23 yard line.
Riley Baker sacked Broken Bow quarterback Blake Denson bringing up second and 18 with 35 seconds remaining in the half.
On third and 12, Denson connected with Frazier Kaelin as the clock expired at the half.
The teams went to the locker room with a 7-0 Gothenburg lead.
Broken Bow kicked off to start the second half, and the Swedes got their start on their own 40-yard line.
The Swedes went three and out and Bronson Long sent the ball down the field to the Bow 5-yard line.
It was brought back to the 12-yard line where the Bow offense took over.
The Swede defense held and at fourth and two, the Indians punted.
Rain began to fall and the ball slid off the side of the foot of the Broken Bow punter, giving the Swedes great field position at the Broken Bow 24.
On second and 10, Wes Geiken rolled out and picked up a yard before he was hit by Bow’s Skeeter Campbell.
Wes Geiken connected with Jake Burge on third and nine for six yards, placing the Swedes short of the first down.
Gothenburg went for it on fourth and three, Wes Geiken rolled out and caught the corner before he was hit, but a block in the back penalty brought the ball back 10 yards, putting the Swedes at fourth and 12 at the Indians’ 25-yard line.
Wes Geiken connected with Jake Kozeal to get the first down on the Broken Bow 11-yard line.
On third and nine, Wes Geiken handed the ball off to Mendez who turned to hand off to Ty Bartels on the reverse and the ball was fumbled.
Bow’s Sawyer Baumgartner recovered the football to start the drive the other way.
The Indians drove to the Gothenburg 39-yard line as the third quarter drew to a close with the Swedes holding a 7-0 lead.
A motion penalty took Broken Bow back five yards, putting the Indians in a second-and-11 situation.
After a couple of run plays and a fourth-down conversion, Denson connected with Kaelin for a 34-yard touchdown.
On the two-point attempt, the Swede defense stood strong and kept the Indians out of the endzone.
With 10:17 left in the game, the score stood at 7-6 in favor of the Swedes.
The Swedes started the series at their own 27.
Two short runs brought up third down when Wes Geiken threw a pass intended for Kozeal, which tipped off his fingers and landed in the arms of Jake Burge.
Long came in to punt on fourth down.
The punt was blocked and due to wet conditions, the ball was batted around until it rested out of bounds.
The result was a personal foul penalty against Broken Bow, putting the ball at the Gothenburg 27-yard line with Broken Bow in possession of the ball.
On third-and-seven, Kaelin took the ball up the middle for a touchdown, giving Broken Bow the 12-7 lead with 5:41 left in the game.
The Indians went for another two-point conversion and the pass fell incomplete.
The Swedes drove to the Bow 31-yard line when on fourth and less than a yard Owen Geiken took the ball up the middle and came up short.
Bow took over on downs when Baker stopped the run short after a gain of one.
Baker hit Cyrus Wells in the backfield for a loss on second down.
Bartels made a big hit in open field on third down to stop the Bow run.
A block in the back penalty against Bow stopped the clock with 1:52 left in the game.
Bow set up to punt the ball with 1:27 in the game.
The ball was blocked by Gothenburg, the ball brushed off a Broken Bow player, was touched by a Gothenburg player then recovered by Broken Bow.
Gothenburg took possession of the football at the Indians’ 32-yard line with 1:18 left in the game.
A false-start penalty sent the Swedes back five yards and Wes Geiken lined the offense up for first and 15.
An incomplete pass brought up second-and-15.
Another false-start penalty sent the Swedes back another five yards and set up second and 20.
Wes Geiken rolled out and connected with Owen Geiken for a gain of 11 yards.
On third down with 50 seconds left in the game, Wes Geiken hit Jake Kozeal to down the ball at the Bow 15-yard line for first down.
With 30 seconds left in the game, Wes Geiken found Ty Bartels on a fade route for the touchdown.
Wes Geiken went for the two-point conversion and took the ball in himself to complete the two-point play.
With 24 seconds left in the game, Gothenburg led 15-12.
Long sent the ball to the Gothenburg 43-yard line on the kickoff.
The following pass was sent down the field and intercepted by Mendez.
Gothenburg went into victory formation to close the game.
The Swedes had 204 yards of total offense, 111 of those yards being passing yards.
“Bow kept running man coverage and that opened things up for us to run some pass plays,” Haake said. “Wes did a nice job in making decisions and just placing that ball where it needed to be.”
On his overall feeling about the game, Haake said he was happy with how his young team was progressing this season.
“I was proud of the boys,” he said. “Bow was big and physical and we kept stepping up for the next play. After our first game, I was a little concerned about the intensity of this team. Friday night, it was there.”
Next up for the Swedes is St. Paul, a tall order for Gothenburg.
Haake shared that he and his coaches were preparing the team for a physical matchup.
“We are talking about seeing a more physical team, a faster team,” he said. “More of what we have already seen, just better. We are going to have to step up and make plays.”
He went on to say that the game plan would be changing just a bit on both sides of the ball as they get ready for another ranked opponent.
“We are going to kind of twist the defense around a bit, put a wrinkle or two in the offense,” Haake said. “We just are focused on getting better every day.”
The game against St. Paul kicks off at 7 p.m. Sept. 18 at St. Paul High School. The game will be carried on KAMI 92.7, 101 FM and 1580 am, with pregame starting at 6:35 p.m.