Zimmerman took advantage of a couple of turnovers and used an efficient ground game to beat Litchfield 28-7 Friday at LHS field in the season-opening football game.

After a scoreless first quarter, Zimmerman got on the board with 8:23 to play in the first half when Nolan Spence hauled in a 5-yard pass from Carter McEachern on fourth-and-goal.

McEachern scored again, on a 1-yard run, with 1:07 to go in the half to put the Thunder up 14-0.

The touchdown followed a pass attempt by Litchfield quarterback Ben Alsleben that was tipped and intercepted by the Thunder at the 10-yard line.

The Dragons rebounded with their biggest play of the night to start the second half, however.

On the first play from scrimmage of the half, Alsleben hit Logan Graphenteen for a 60-yard touchdown to cut the deficit 14-7.

The Dragons got no closer.

Zimmerman's Tim Vorobyev scored on an 8-yard run with 10:30 to play in the fourth quarter, and Thunder freshman defensive back Rylan Rivers put the game out of reach with a 94-yard interception return with 3:48 to play.

Litchfield plays another home game next week, squaring off against Annandale at 7 p.m. Friday in the "Battle for the Paddle" rivalry game.

Brent Schacherer is publisher of the Hutchinson Leader and Litchfield Independent Review.

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