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Bombers Beat Haymakers, Clinch Playoff Spot

Todd Pittenger - May 23, 2014 9:47 pm

The Salina Bombers earned new head coach Bob Ray a big win in his first game on the sideline Friday night at the Bicentennial Center, and at the same time clinched a playoff spot.

The Bombers received the opening kickoff. After taking over at their own 18 yard line, the offense marched down the field. It appeared that they would take an eary lead, but quarterback Dane Simoneau threw an interception in the end zone. 

Lincoln took over on their own 5 yeard line and went for it all on first down. Quarterback Chuck Wright threw a pass deep down field. Bombers defensive back DeWayne Autry made an athletic interception, giving the ball right back to his offense.

Taking over at his own 9 yard line Simoneau put together another long drive. This time the Bombers offense wouldn’t be denied. The drive ended with Quentin Benning plowing over a Haymaker defender to get into the end zone on 4th and goal from the 1 yard line. The extra point was blocked. With 5:06 left int eh first quarter, Salina led 6 – 0.

The ensuing kickoff went out of bounds, giving Lincoln the ball at midfield. Two plays later, Meshak Williams put a big hit on the quarterback, forcing a fumble. Nate Carter scooped it up, and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown. The extra point was no good. Salina led 12 – 0 with 4:03 left in the 1st quarter.

After the kickoff again went out of bounds, the Lincoln offense finally began to click. The drive stalled at the Bomber 11 yard line. Facing a 4th and 1, Lincoln elected to try a fieldgoal. Kicker Benny Hanaphy kicked it down the middle from 27 yards out. With 14:09 left in the half, Salina led 12 – 3 with 13:54 left in the half. 

Lightning struck for the Bombers on the ensuing kickoff. Ira Autry picked up a squib kick, and appeared hemmed in at the 16. He lateraled the ball to Brandon McKinney, who rumbled down the field with it, running over the kicker to get into the end zone for a touchdown. This time the extra point was good. Salina led 19 – 3 with 13:44 ;eft in the half.

On their next drive, the Haymakers drove down the field. Twice, they had first and goal at the Bomber 1 yard line. The first time Ira Autry intercepted a pass in the endzone, and returned it for a touchdown. The play was called back because of a pass interference penalty, though, and Lincoln again had 1st and goal inside the 1 yard. Facing a third and goal fomr the 10 yard line,  Lincoln completed a pass inside the 5. After the catch the ball was jarred loose, and Salina recovered it.

The Salina offense took over at its own 5 yard line. When the drive stalled, the Bombers attempted a long fieldgoal. The kick was no good.

After the missed field goal, Lincoln took over at its own 5 yard line. The Haymaker offensive started to click again, putting together a drive as time was winding down in the half. The drive stalled at the Bomber 11, though. On 4th and 14 Lincoln opted to try a fieldgoal. The kick was good from 29 ayrds out. With :42 left in the half, Salina led 19 – 6.

It didn’t take Salina long to score again. Ira Autry took the ensuing kickoff a yard deep in the end zone. After breaking a couple of tackles, he got behind a wall of blockers and returned the kick all the way for a touchdown. The extra point was good. Salina led 26 – 6 with :32 left in the half.

Lincoln would try to score again before the half ended, driving down to the Salina 6 yard line.The Haymakers had 4th and 2 from the 6 yard line, with time for one play. The half ended with an incomplete pass in the endzone.  Salina led at the break 26 – 6.

Lincoln got the ball to start the second half. The Haymaker drive stalled, and they faced 4th and 11 at the Bomber 17 yard line.  They initially lined up to go for it, but after calling timeout instead opted for a 35 yard field goal attempt. The kick was good. With 9:28 left in the 3rd quarter Salina led 26 – 9.

It didn’t take the Bombers long to answer. On their second play after the kickoff Simoneau hit Attrail Snipes with a 42-yard touchdown pass. The extra point was good, and Salina led 33 – 9 with 8:22 left in the thrid quarter.

On the Haymakers next possesion, Jarard Milo returned a intercption for a touchdown for the Bombers. A block in the back nullified the touchdown, but the Bombers still kept the ball, taking over at their own 15 yard line. 

The Bombers offense took its time, and ran a little clock. When the drive stalled, Austin Ledy nailed a 36 yard field goal. Salina led 36 – 9 at the end of the third quarter.

Lincoln scored its first touchdown of the game late in the 4th quarter on a 14 yard touchdown pass. The Haymakers, trailing 36 – 15, recovered an onside kick. Lincoln then drove deep into Bomber territory. The drive ended on downs.

The final score was Salina 36 – Lincoln 15.

Salina improves to 7 – 3 on the season, and clinches a playoff spot. The top four teams in the league advance to the playoffs. With the win, Salina can finish no worse than 4th.

The Bombers are back home next week for their final home game, hosting Omaha.