Roughriders squeak by Omaha in season opener
04/07/03 Bill Cornell Beef Press Release
The Civic Auditorium turned into a bloody battlefield before 4100 loyal fans as the Bismarck Roughriders squeaked by the Omaha Beef by a score or 39 to 38. The Beef’s season opener was a bitter loss for Coach Collins Sanders who coached last season for the Roughriders.
The two teams collided in a fierce offensive and defensive battle that was besieged by more flags than a Memorial Day parade with both teams fired by the desire to win and motivated by the crowds’ enthusiasm.
The Beef won the coin toss and elected to kickoff to the Roughriders to start the game. With only 2:45 into the game the Roughriders took the lead with a hard drive from the 25-yard line. The effort was there but the roughriders couldn’t put it through the uprights to score the extra point and ended up leading the Beef by a score of 6 to 0.
Fighting back with a second down completion to Clinton Childs, Quarterback, Troy Travis brought the game to a quick tie giving the Beef the momentum to follow up with the extra point by Beef’s Kicker, Chace Long bring the score 7 - 6, Beef.
Bismarck again attacked with a forth-down pass over the middle from Quarterback Chris Schwab to Wide Receiver, Chris Anderson, to bring the score to the Roughriders 12, the Beef 7.
With 4:59 left the Beefs Wide Receiver, Stephen Lovell ran a 54 yard kick return back to bring the score to 13 – 12 the Beef.
After a game of tug-of-war, Beef’s Wide Receiver, Stephen Lovell won the ball in a long pass attempt by the Roughriders Quarterback Chris Schwab, bring the ball to the one yard line where Beef’s Quarterback Troy Travis went over the middle to bring the score to 19-12 the Beef. With 2minutes and 17 seconds left the ball went through the uprights to bring the score to 20-12 and end the first quarter.
The madness continued as the flags flew and the Beef traded the ball with the Roughriders throughout the 2nd quarter. It wasn’t until the Beefs Kicker, Chace Long put a 32 yard field goal up to bring the score to 23-20 in favor of the Beef.
When the Beef hit the field in the third quarter of this mêlée, it looked like they had reinvented themselves. They began the second half stampede by rolling hard to come back and score in with less than 3 minutes into the quarter bringing the score to a 29-20 lead. Then Beefs Kicker, Chace Long put up the extra point to bring the score to a solid 30-20 lead.
The Roughriders fought back to a gain 6 and go for the 2-point conversion that was promptly broken up by the dynamic Beef defensive team of Spears, Veland, Stoval, Johnson, and Wetton as they fought hard to keep their footing.
Roughriders Drayton James returned a Beef fumble with 4:39 left in the 3rd quarter to bring the score to 32 to 30 tearing the lead from the Beef for the first time since the 1st quarter. Another 2-point conversion late in the quarter was squelched by the defense to hold the Roughriders lead down to only two points.
With only seconds left Omaha Beefs, Chace Long again put it up and through the uprights from 17 yards out to bring the score to 33 -32 in favor of the beef to end the 3rd quarter.
The start of fourth quarter mirrored much of the game with penalties being handed out like candy at Easter. With only three minutes into the forth quarter Wide Receiver, Chris Anderson from the Roughriders and Defensive Back, Lamar O’Neil from the Beef were ejected from the game for fighting.
With 7:32 left in the forth quarter Chace Long again kicked a long 25-yard field goal to bring the score to 36 – 32 the Beef.
Running the clock to less than 5 minutes in the game the Roughriders again took the lead by kicking a short field goal to bring the score to 39-36 Bismarck. With only seconds left in the game Beefs Defensive Lineman Dwayne Harris tackled Roughriders Quarterback, Chris Schwab in the end zone for a safety to bring the score to 39-38 in favor of the Roughriders.