Princeton takes advantage of turnovers to beat North Platte

Princeton took advantage of miscues and rolled to a 41-14 win against visiting North Platte on Friday, Sept. 6.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Panthers gave up two scores in the second quarter and then three in the fourth.

“It is frustrating for the kids and frustrating as the leader and head coach,” North Platte coach Reis Wright said. “We need to fix it. We need to take care of the ball.”

The Panthers (0-2) failed to convert on a fourth-down attempt early in the second quarter and that led to a 16-yard touchdown by the Tigers.

A blocked punt later in the quarter was picked up by Princeton at the goal line for seven more points and a 14-0 lead.

North Platte opened the third quarter by driving down to the 3-yard line, only to have a fumble kill that drive. Princeton then scored on a 61-yard touchdown to push the lead to 21-0.

Down by three scores, North Platte got a 16-yard touchdown run by Andrew Hernandez to get on the board.

BREANNA CHEADLE/Special to the Citizen  North Platte’s Caine Huffman (23) forces a fumble on his hit on the Princeton quarterback during the game on Friday, Sept. 6 in Princeton. The Tigers won the game 41-14 to keep North Platte winless.

BREANNA CHEADLE/Special to the Citizen

North Platte’s Caine Huffman (23) forces a fumble on his hit on the Princeton quarterback during the game on Friday, Sept. 6 in Princeton. The Tigers won the game 41-14 to keep North Platte winless.

Princeton boosted its lead in the final quarter. A 3-yard touchdown pass made it 28-6 and after North Platte failed to convert on another fourth-down attempt, Princeton scored again to make it 35-6.

Joel Smyser had a 79-yard catch from Hernandez to set up a 1-yard run by Hernandez, which made it 35-14.

Hernandez ran for 174 yards and threw for 192 yards. Smyer had four catches for 129 yards and led the team with 12 tackles. Aaron Thomas had 10 tackles and two TFLs.

North Platte returns home on Friday, Sept. 13 to face Plattsburg in the KCI Conference opener. 

Plattsburg is 2-0 with wins against Milan and Sumner (Kan.) Academy. The Tigers and Panthers have split the past 12 meetings, dating back to 2010.