WACO – In a terrific small-school football game Friday night in Waco, the home-standing Nebraska Lutheran Knights handed Heartland its first defeat of the season, 42-28.
Touchdowns rained down all night, especially in the second half, beginning at 8:48 of the first period when the host Knights marched the opening kickoff to a 6-0 lead on a 10-yard scoring scamper from senior Zach Richert. The PAT pass from Lutheran quarterback Brian Seaberg to Drake Tharp added 2 and made it 8-0.
The Huskies returned the favor on their opening possession of the game, scored on a plunge from close range but missed the 2-point try.
The score stood 8-6 after just two possessions and the die was cast for an entertaining evening of hustling offensive thrust and defensive parry on both sides of the ball.
Huskie Nolan Boehr stepped in front of a Knight pass and Heartland converted the extra chance via a 3-yard TD run by Kale Wetjen at 2:47 of the first, 14-8 Heartland.
The Knights answered with a 4-yard keeper by Seaberg with 36 ticks left on the first period clock and quarter number one ended 16-14 favoring the hometown boys.
In the waning moments of the second period the teams both quashed each other’s drives with subsequent interceptions and the score remained 16-14 Lutheran at halftime.
The Huskies struck the next blow when Knight Will Costin, a 5-10, 205-pound senior, chased down and covered a long, errant, backward Heartland snap, stuffing a promising Huskie drive in one fell swoop.
The score mounted from there to a 28-28 tie at the end of a dynamic third quarter when
Lutheran and the Huskies both began to find more pay dirt in the third.
The game took on a decided Knights flavor in the fourth, especially in the late going when turnovers snatched away Heartland’s last, best efforts.
Scoring ended at 42-28 Lutheran when the Knights wedged in from the 1, then tacked on a PAT keeper by Seaberg.
Heartland falls to 2-1 ahead of next Friday’s outing at Palmer. The Knights, now 2-2, host East Butler that same evening.