December 9, 2022

Dawson County Journal

Dawson County, Nebraska

Elm Creek cruises past Mullen in playoff opener

ELM CREEK – The Elm Creek Buffaloes used their explosive offense and lethal defense to stampede past Mullen 52-8 in the first round of the D2 playoffs Thursday night.

The Buffaloes found success on the ground, rushing for 303 yards and scoring six of their seven touchdowns on the ground. Elm Creek scored on every drive in the first half, except their final drive in the second quarter as time ran out. Isaiah Quintana started the scoring barrage as he ran in for a two yard touchdown. The next Buffalo drive saw Carter Erickson score on a 68 yard run. Following a fumble by Mullen, Elm Creek quarterback Beau Knapp finished the first quarter on a 31 yard touchdown run. Knapp would toss a 37 yard touchdown pass to Erickson to start the second quarter. Knapp would score one final time late in the quarter from 43 yards out on a rushing play. Mullen would get on the board as Knapp was sacked in the endzone for a safety. Kade Sindt would pick off Chase Gracey in the period. Elm Creek led at the half 38-2.

The third quarter would see Mullen score their only touchdown after the Broncos recovered a muffed kickoff return by Elm Creek. Taking advantage of good field position, Mullen scored on a two yard run from Gracey. The Buffaloes would answer on their next drive on a four yard rushing touchdown from Jaxon Smith. Elm Creek would score one final time on a 37 yard run to start the fourth quarter from Erickson. Sindt would snatch another interception in the fourth quarter.

Erickson led Elm Creek with 171 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Knapp was 7-10 through the air, a touchdown and ran for 82 yards and two scores. The Buffaloes accounted for 386 total yards. Penalties plagued the Buffaloes, committing 11 for 95 yards. Justin French led Mullen for 64 yards in the losing effort. Gracey was 4-11 for 38 yards and two interceptions. He also ran for 43 yards, one touchdown and a fumble. The Mustangs only mustered 212 total yards of offense.

Elm Creek will advance to the second round of the D2 playoffs against a team to be announced next Friday. Mullen ends the year at 4-5.

Listen to the game here.