WAYNE – Although Wayne High and Norfolk Catholic now compete one class a part, both teams were still able to meet on a Friday night in northeast Nebraska.
From Bob Cunningham Field on the campus of Wayne State College, Class C1 Wayne High welcomed in Class C2 Norfolk Catholic. WHS entered the weekend rated #6 in the Lincoln Journal Star and #7 in the Omaha World Herald while Norfolk Catholic was rated #2 in the LJS and #3 in the OWH.
A back-and-forth outing saw three lead changes and some big offensive scores which allowed Norfolk Catholic to hold off Wayne High for a final of 18-14. The Knights have now won five straight to improve to 5-1 as WHS dropped their first home game of the season and are now to 4-2.
Wayne High had an opening drive touchdown called back due to a penalty and after a second penalty on the drive, WHS put points on the board. Senior quarterback Tanner Walling found junior wide receiver Alex Phelps on a 55-yard pitch and catch. Senior Yair Alcantara knocked through the extra-point to put Wayne up 7-0 with 10:08 left in the first quarter.
Following a punt from each team, Norfolk Catholic then used a six-yard rushing touchdown from junior Karter Kerkman (extra point missed) with 11:11 to play in the second quarter, trailing 7-6.
Wayne High marched the ball down to the two-yard line on back-to-back drives but were unable to score. Late in the first quarter, a penalty took points off the board on a fourth and goal before an unsportsmanlike like penalty call moved Wayne High out of field goal position. Then, early in the second quarter, the Blue Devils were stopped on the Norfolk Catholic two.
The Knights then closed out the first half when sophomore Carter Janssen connected with senior Preston Burbach from 14-yards out. Norfolk Catholic failed the two-point conversion with under 30 seconds left in the first half and then took a 12-7 lead into the break.
Senior James Dorcey then recorded an interception for Wayne off the tip from Walling early in the third. Walling closed out the drive with a 14-yard rushing touchdown with 8:48 left in the third. Following an Alcantara PAT, Wayne regained the lead at 14-12.
Both teams then had to punt twice late in the third and early in the fourth before each team had a turnover. Janssen fumbled the ball in Wayne territory where senior Tyler Reinhardt recovered and then senior Brennen Kelley picked off a Walling pass to give the ball back to Norfolk Catholic.
The Knights scored quickly on a 54-yard rushing touchdown from Kerkman with 3:25 left in the game. The two-point conversion was failed again as Norfolk Catholic held on for the 18-14 victory with Wayne turning the ball over on downs and the Knights running out the clock.
1st 2nd Half 3rd 4th Final:
0 12 12 0 6 18 – Norfolk Catholic
7 0 7 7 0 14 – Wayne
The Wayne High football team will next visit Boone Central on Friday, October 8 at 7 p.m.
Friday area football results:
Wynot 41, Allen 0
Homer 48, Emerson-Hubbard 16
Wisner-Pilger 34, Guardian Angels Central Catholic 32
Hartington Cedar Catholic 20, Crofton 6
Lutheran High Northeast 41, Hartington-Newcastle 8
Laurel-Concord-Coleridge 58, Plainview 8 – Big Red Country ‘KTCH’ 104.9 and waynedailynews.com
Norfolk 35, Omaha Bryan 6
Pender 42, Walthill 0
Pierce 59, O’Neill 6
Ponca 27, BRLD 7
Columbus Lakeview 48, West Point-Beemer 9