An early miscue put North Platte behind big, and the Panthers couldn’t recover in their season-opener.
Gallatin scored back-to-back touchdowns in the first quarter and led by two or more possessions for most of the way in a 42-13 victory Friday, Aug. 18 in Gallatin, Mo. North Platte dropped the opener in the first of two nonconference games to start the season.
An early fumble caused big problems.
Gallatin (1-0) marched down the field for a score in the first quarter behind a big third-and-long conversion on a scramble for quarterback Cole McBee, who finished off the drive with a 2-yard run. North Platte quickly gave the ball back on a fumbled exchanged between quarterback Austin Snook and running back Remington Wilson.
Off the turnover, Gallatin extended the lead to 14-0 on a 7-yard run for Corbin Toney on a sweep left.
North Platte ended up having Snook, a senior, throw 25 times in the game, but he completed just eight passes. One of those went 43 yards to sophomore Joel Smyser for a touchdown to cut the deficit in half early in the second quarter.
Gallatin scored twice more before halftime to take a 28-7 lead. McBee and Toney ended up running for two touchdowns apiece, while McBee threw for two more totaling more than 150 yards of offense.
Wilson, another senior for North Platte, rumbled 55 yards for a touchdown to open the scoring in the third quarter, but the Panthers allowed the next 14 points and were never back within a single score. Wilson led North Platte with 87 yards rushing on nine carries to go with 16 tackles from his linebacker spot.
Will Morse, a senior wide receiver for North Platte, caught four passes for a team-high 63 yards in his return after missing most of last season with a broken leg. Snook finished with 162 yards passing.
North Platte recorded five sacks — one each for Wilson, Snook, Caine Huffman, Ty French and Chase Chsenut — and allowed under 250 yards of offense. Chance Chesnut also had an interception.
After going 2-8 last season, North Platte travels to Princeton this week hoping to beat the Tigers for a second straight season. The Panthers won big in last year’s nonconference matchup for the first of two victories on the season.
After Princeton, North Platte travels to Mid-Buchanan for the KCI Conference opener Friday, Sept. 2 in Faucett, Mo.