STERLING, NE – The Sterling Jets (5-3) rushed for 329 yards, and flew past the Dorchester Longhorns 67-29 on Thursday night in the regular season finale for both teams.
Thursday marked the first meeting between Dorchester and Sterling since 2009.
The win was Sterling’s third straight, and the Jets secured their first playoff berth since 2015 and first winning season since 2013.
This year was Sterling’s first in six-man competition.
The Jets were led on the ground by senior running back Tristan Dirks. He finished with 182 total yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries. The effort put Dirks over 1,000 yards rushing on the season.
Dirks also had a 64-yard punt return for a touchdown late in the second quarter.
Sophomore Joel Rathe, playing in place of the injured senior Trace Dirks, finished with nine carries, 86 yards and two touchdowns. Rathe also had a 60-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the third quarter.
On the receiving end, senior Cameron VanGroningen caught three passes for 77 yards and two touchdowns.
After a competitive 13-8 first quarter, the Jets rattled off 24 unanswered points in the second quarter to take a 45-14 lead at halftime.
Sterling’s victory was also aided by four Dorchester turnovers. Sterling was also dominant on third down, converting on 5-of-6 chances. Dorchester was only 1-for-7.
Senior Cole Johnson led Dorchester on the ground with 10 carries, 53 yards and a touchdown. Fellow senior Jonathan Vielma had 14 carries, 47 yards and two touchdowns.
Dorchester, who fielded its first football team since 2012, ended the season with a three-game losing skid and 3-5 overall record.
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