In a matchup of the two best scoring defenses in all of Class 3A, it was no surprise that defense would be the story when Colby hosted fourth-ranked Southeast of Saline Friday night at Dennen Field. And while the Eagle defense held firm much of the night against the experienced and explosive Trojan offense, it was the Southeast of Saline defense putting points on the board that proved to be the difference. A pair of defensive touchdowns for the Trojans, one in each half, helped them stay unbeaten while handing Colby their first loss of the season by a 32-8 score.
Chase Poague fell on a fumble in the end zone for Southeast of Saline’s second touchdown of the night, and Jaxson Gebhardt returned an interception 31 yards for a touchdown for the back-breaking final score of the game late in the third quarter. The Eagles, who had turned the ball over twice in the season’s first four games, turned it over three times in the loss, and fell to regular season defeat for the first time since October 12th, 2018.
Southeast of Saline opened the scoring on a 21-yard pass from Gebhardt to Poague with 8:01 to play in the first quarter. Gebhardt completed a pass to Bryant Banks for the two-point conversion. The Colby defense came up huge with a fourth-and-one stop inside their own five yard line early in the second quarter, but two plays later, Zane Betz fumbled and Poague dove on it in the end zone. Gebhardt ran in the two pointer himself to make it 16-0, and that score stood until halftime.
The Trojans started the second half with the ball and added to their lead on a 22-yard run by Gebhardt, plus his two-point pass to Eli Harris. Down 24-0, the Eagles got a spark from their defense, with sacks by Hagan Booi and Ian Rosales forcing a punt that gave Colby the ball at the Trojan 47 yard line halfway through the quarter. Four plays later, Colby became the first team to score on the Southeast of Saline defense since the second quarter of Week 1 when Betz crossed the plane on a five-yard run. Booi rumbled in for the two-point conversion to cut the deficit to 24-8. Colby’s defense forced a three-and-out, but on the first play of their next drive, Ryan Myers was intercepted by Gebhardt, who ran past the shellshocked Eagles to the end zone to restore the Trojans’ three-score lead.
Colby falls to 4-1 on the season and 1-1 in 3A District 6 play. They’re back on the Dennen Field grass next Friday night for a district contest against the Russell Broncos.
Hear the postgame comments from head coach Rees McKinney:
And check out the game’s highlight reel: