A malfunctioning scoreboard that forced the time and score to be kept by officials on the field was the least of Heartland Lutheran’s concerns Friday night against Lincoln Parkview Christian.
The Patriots, whose roster includes five players weighing between 230 and 280 pounds, dominated the line of scrimmage on their way to a 52-6 road victory in the Red Hornets’ season opener. Parkview Christian improved to 2-0 after beating Deshler 62-24 in its first game on Aug. 30.
“We’re young and inexperienced,” said first-year Heartland Lutheran coach Preston Gehle said. “We’re putting in a whole new offense and a whole new defense. The main thing is that it’s just little fundamental things that we’re making mistakes on.
“Yes, we played a great team tonight, but there were a lot of little fundamental things we did wrong. It’s all stuff we can fix.”
Parkview Christian outgained the Red Hornets (0-1) by a 330-39 margin in total offense. The Patriots led 38-0 at halftime, limiting Heartland Lutheran to minus-19 yards of total offense.
Nathan Davenport rushed for 100 yards on 14 carries to lead Parkview Christian. Quarterback Trevor Polivka completed 5-of-8 pass attempts for 90 yards and a touchdown and also rushed for a score for the Patriots.
“We were more consistent than we were last week,” said Parkview Christian coach Larry Frost, who formerly coached at Wood River High School. “Heartland Lutheran is a good, young football team and played us a lot better this year.
“We passed the football better than we did last week and we have three or four running backs, plus our quarterback, who all do a good job of running the ball.”
The highlight for Heartland Lutheran came with 1:54 left in the third quarter when quarterback Jake Sanders completed a 44-yard TD pass to Jonny Simonson. The Red Hornets’ wide receiver tipped the ball to himself and then bobbled it before regaining control and sprinting into the end zone, cutting Parkview Christian’s lead to 44-6.
“At halftime we put that play in because we thought we could get them on the corner (route) with Jonny — he’s fast and has great hands,” Gehle said. “We were able to get them on the route. He bobbled it a couple of times and I didn’t know if he was going to get to the end zone, but he did.
“Sanders has got a good arm and he showed it there.”
Otherwise, mistakes plagued Heartland Lutheran on offense. The Red Hornets had four first downs — two coming via penalty — and fumbled seven times, although they only lost possession once.
However, Gehle said he liked his team’s overall effort from start to finish.
“The passion these guys have is amazing,” Gehle said. “They’ll keep fighting and we’ll just keep working on the little things.
“Parkview is a very big team, so for our boys to line up and play smash-mouth football with them and accomplish what we did — besides the mental errors — I’m proud of these guys. They left it all out on the field.”
Parkview Christian (2-0) .......................... 24 14 6 8—52
Heartland Lutheran (0-1) ......................... 0 0 6 0—6
PC—Isaac Branding 6 run (Branding run), 9:20.
PC—Jeff Riesenberg 1 run (Trevor Polvka run), 2:32.
PC—Nathan Davenport 2 run (Riesenberg run), 1:05.
PC—Riesenberg 17 pass from Polivka (run failed), 11:27.
PC—Polivka 16 run (Polivka run), 4:50.
PC—Davenport 35 run (pass failed), 6:00
HL—Jonny Simonson 44 pass from Jake Sanders (kick failed), 1:54..
PC—Branding 33 run (Ruben Ngoyi run), 9:40.
Rushing—Parkview Christian, Davenport 14-100, Branding 3-45, Polivka 4-25, Ngoyi 4-25, Morris 1-22, Riesenberg 3-16, Nutter 1-minus 1. Heartland Lutheran, Jo.Simonson 7-12, Ja.Simonson 2-9, Warneke 9-5, Messersmith 1-1, Sanders 11-minus 32.
Passing—Parkview Christian, Polivka 4-7-0 90, Sotnikov 1-1-0 8. Heartland Lutheran, Sanders 1-7-0 44.
Receiving—Parkview Christian, Riesenberg 2-47, Morris 2-43, Tanksley 1-14.