Plainsmen defensemen score three touchdowns
The Kansas Plainsmen had a record-setting outing Saturday in McLouth when they returned three interceptions for touchdowns in their 40-0 home win over the Nebraska Trailblazers.
Not only that, but they did it before halftime.
The first interception for a touchdown took place late in the first quarter when Plainsman defender Charles Smiley picked off a sideline pass and ran it back 33 yards for the game's first score.
Speed-demon free safety Alverez McCullough was responsible for the second interception-touchdown.
In the second period, McCullough, the fastest of the Plainsmen, came out of nowhere and snatched a just-caught ball out of the hands of a surprised Trailblazer.
He then ran untouched 45 yards for a touchdown.
Late in the second quarter, linebacker Derrick Taylor stepped in front of a Nebraska receiver and netted the final score for the Plainsmen defense, when he just slipped past a gang of Nebraska defenders for the touchdown.
But the offense also scored some points.
Its first score was early in the second quarter when place-kicker Scott Collins hit a 38-yarder after the Plainsmen had advanced the ball the length of the field to the 20-yard line.
But, despite the field goal and three defensive touchdowns the Plainsmen scored in the first half, they remained focused and came out of the locker room ready to put in another good half.
Coach John Howell said that he had fired up the offense by pointing to the success of the defense in the first quarter. He said it was important to set the tone for the second half early in the third quarter to quash any potential comebacks.
"I told them that they hadn't executed on offense," Howell said. "It was crucial to set the pace on the first possession because I didn't want the team to stage any rallies."
The team responded by scoring on its first and last possessions of the third quarter. At that point, the score had reached 40-0.
There were no scores in the fourth quarter, just trash-talking and scuffles between the frustrated Trailblazers and the confident Plainsmen.
"At that point all they could do was talk," Howell said. "They had no chance to get back in the game, but I'm disappointed the team got involved with that."
The Plainsmen are ranked number 12 in the 350-team western conference.
The 2-1 Plainsmen begin league play 7 p.m. Saturday at McLouth against Dodge City's team, the Kansas Rough Riders.