The Swedes traveled way out west to Alliance Friday night, Sept. 16, looking for their first gridiron win of the season - and they found it.

Both teams had yet to earn a W this year, but Gothenburg fought the hardest to earn it and came out on top when the clock hit zero by a final score of 35-20.

“We came out and played pretty well for about three quarters, then we kinda coasted in,” said Swede Head Coach Craig Haake.

Coach Haake said while he was pleased with the outcome of Friday’s game, the coaching staff still has a few things they are working hard with the players on this week.

“We are going to continue to work on being physical. At times I felt like we really controlled the line of scrimmage both ways, then at times we didn’t have such a firm grasp on it,” said Coach Haake. “We need to improve our tackling and we are working on that this week. “Our throwing game kind of opened some things up for us to run the ball. I thought we threw the ball well the other night. We got into a situation where we had to hurry up and go fast, and I thought the kids responded well and moved down the field. We didn’t score, but they responded well to it.”

Haake noted some key players in the game who contributed to the win. One of them is Caleb Thomalla. “He’s been playing pretty consistent for us and played a pretty solid game. We seem to be able to run the ball pretty well on that side with Caleb and Tucker Keith. Jake Burge had an excellent game, rushing for 120 yards and scoring twice. Jackson Daum played well in the middle of the defense and offensively. Honestly, the whole offensive line played well - Kai Jorgenson, Zac Smith - Cole Atkinson came in and did a nice job for us. He didn’t get as many snaps as some of the other players, but he might have earned a few more this week.”

For the Swedes, Jake Burge was the leading rusher against the Bulldogs with 17 carries for 125 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 extra points. Jackson Daum carried the ball 8 times for 39 yards and 2 touchdowns. Other offensive stats include Wes Geiken, who had 7 completions on 16 attempts for a total of 119 passing yards. Geiken’s main target was Kooper Koehn who had 3 receptions for 39 yards, while Tra Rossell caught 1 pass for a 44-yard gain. Rossell also returned two kickoffs for 42 yards, and made 3 of 4 PATs for the Swedes.

Defensively, Geiken had 8 solo tackles and 7 assists, Daum had 6 solos and 3 assists, and Kade Cox had 1 solo and 6 assists, 3 of which resulted in lost yardage.

The Swedes host Chadron Friday in a rare afternoon game, with kickoff set for 3 p.m. Chadron looks to be a tough opponent with only one loss so far on the season. “They are a solid team. I’m not sure that they have played the competition that we have played, but last year they were a big physical group,” said Haake. “They are going to try to run at us, and they’ve got speed that we are going to have to be aware of and keep hemmed in. That’s why we’re going to work on tackling and try to keep these guys on the ground.”

Contact Ellen Mortensen at ellen@syndicatepub.com or call 308.537.9498