DENVER - Gladbrook-Reinbeck committed two of its four turnovers in the fourth quarter, hindering the Rebels' comeback attempt in a 17-13 loss to Denver in a Week Zero football opener Friday night.
The Rebels committed four turnovers to Denver's none, and the host Cyclones ran for 350 of their 359 yards of total offense for the season-opening win.
Denver quarterback Brayton Neuendorf ran for 223 yards and a touchdown and also had one of the Cyclones' two interceptions.
Still, the win wasn't sealed until Denver recovered G-R's onside kick with 59 seconds left. The Rebels scored on a 57-yard pass play from Cam Kickbush to Phil Zimmerman to get within 17-13 after the extra-point kick was missed.
The Rebels blocked a punt late in the third quarter and took over near midfield. Behind tailback Chase Clark, G-R began marching the ball until a fumbled exchange on the first play of the fourth period gave the ball back to Denver.
The Cyclones could not add to their 10-7 lead, but they held the Rebels off the scoreboard again on a James Sparkman interception. Neuendorf's 15-yard touchdown run followed on the ensuing play, putting Denver out of G-R's reach.
Clark finished with 137 yards rushing and a 2-yard TD plunge, while Kickbush was 8-for-19 passing for 134 yards.
Dustin and Colton Dinsdale had nine tackles apiece and Pete Meyers made seven stops to lead the G-R defense.
The Rebels will return home Friday to take on Hudson in non-district play.