The Ritzville Adams County Journal - Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

By Brandon Cline
Managing Editor 

Broncos continue slide after road loss to Reardan


Last updated 10/18/2019 at 2:19pm

Journal photo by Brandon Cline

Quarterback Drew Kelly hands the ball off to running back Spencer Gering. Gering had a 30-yard touchdown run in the team's 35-13 loss to Reardan.

The Lind-Ritzville/Sprague Broncos football team found themselves in a dogfight at the half against the Reardan Indians, but faded in the final two quarters to drop it's fourth consecutive game of the season, 35-13.

The loss dropped LRS' league record to 0-2 (1-5 overall), while Reardan improved to 1-1 in league play (4-2 overall).

The Indians got on the board first, as running back Cody Sprecher ran for a 70-yard touchdown run on the game's second play from scrimmage.

The Broncos would tie things up in the early moments of the second quarter, as its defense came up with a clutch play. A Reardan fumble at its own 31-yard line was recovered by senior linebacker Jay Harder, who scooped the ball up and ran it back for the touchdown.

Reardan would score in the waning moments of the first half to go up 14-7, as quarterback Zane Perleberg found wide receiver Rylan Anderson for a 17-yard touchdown pass with just over a minute left in the second quarter. Perleberg finished the game 4-4 passing for 104 yards and the one touchdown pass.

Sprecher made his presence felt again in the third quarter, scoring on a 90-yard touchdown run to put Reardan up by two scores. Sprecher would finish the game with just seven carries, but ended up rushing for 184 yards for an average of 26.3 yards per carry.

"He's good and fast, and when he gets free and runs in the open, we couldn't catch him," said LRS head coach Greg Whitmore. Whitmore added that his team hung in there alright in the first half, but that the defense allowed too many big plays in the game.

"We continue to just give up-probably more this year than ever-more big play touchdowns we've ever had," said Whitmore. "We analyze game film, and it's just missed assignments as far as what gap they're supposed to go to and what technique they're supposed to use. And quite honestly, sometimes we're just really young and inexperienced."

The Broncos managed to get themselves within striking distance again, thanks to a 30-yard touchdown run from senior running back Spencer Gering to pull them within one score, 21-13. Gering had his best rushing performance of the season in the loss, rushing nine times for 58 yards and the touchdown.

Reardan put the game away for good in its next two offensive possessions to go up 35-13. Both scoring drives were capped off by touchdown runs from running back Noah Landt, scoring on runs from 30 yards and one yard out, respectively.

Reardan finished the game with 368 yards of total offense, compared to 264 yards of offense for LRS. Both teams relied heavily on their ground game, with the Indians rushing for 264 yards and the Broncos rushing for 178 yards. The Broncos actually controlled the time of possession in the game by a wide margin, as they held the ball for 32 minutes compared to the Indians' 16 minutes.

"Time of possession is really misleading, because when you score on big plays [like Reardan did], you don't possess the ball really long," said Whitmore. "But we just can't make full field drives without making a mistake, it seems like, and that's what you have to do."

Senior running back Austin Thompson led the LRS rushing attack, finishing with 74 rushing yards on 21 attempts. LRS rushed the ball 43 times in the game, by far the most rushing attempts they've had in a single game on the season. Five Broncos had at least 10 rushing yards in the game.

LRS junior quarterback Drew Kelly finished the game 10-16 passing for 86 yards and two interceptions. Defensive backs Landt and Darius Curry had the two interceptions for Reardan.

Coming up tomorrow for the Broncos is another league road tilt, as they travel to take on the Liberty Lancers in Spangle. Liberty is 4-2 on the season, and lost its first league game of the season last week to Colfax, 33-20.

Whitmore said the focus for his team on tomorrow's game will be limiting big plays defensively, while trying to create big plays of their own on offense. By limiting big plays, Whitmore said, "you force them to grind out some first downs and make it an eight or 10 play drive, and then there's a chance of them making a mistake. That's kind of our focus and mentality [this week.]"

Kickoff for the game between Liberty and LRS is scheduled for 7 p.m.


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