WAYNE – A district champion was crowned during a chilly Friday evening northeast Nebraska football showdown.
From Bob Cunningham Field on the campus of Wayne State College, #8 in the Omaha World Herald and #9 in the Lincoln Journal Star Wayne High hosted #1 Pierce.
After Wayne held a three-point lead at the half, Pierce went to work with a late third quarter drive which led to points and later added a pick six to finish off a perfect regular season at 8-0. Final favored the Bluejays 19-9 as Wayne High fell to 6-3 with a good chance at a wild card.
Pierce scored on their opening drive when senior Tyler Race ran in from 48-yards but the extra-point was failed and the Bluejays led 6-0 two minutes into the game.
Wayne High then was forced to punt and then had a turnover on downs later in the first. Pierce also had to punt on back-to-back possessions as they struggled with their snaps which led to Wayne’s first points when the ball went through the hands of their punter out of the endzone for a Wayne safety. Pierce still remained ahead 6-2 with 48 seconds left in first quarter.
Following a third punt in the opening half from Pierce, senior Reese Jaqua of Wayne turned a reverse into a 12-yard score. Junior Yair Alcantara drove through the extra-point to give Wayne High the 9-6 lead with 5:29 left in the half.
Moving into the third quarter, Wayne was forced to punt and placed the ball at the Pierce one-yard line. The Bluejays then ate up the final 4:42 of the third quarter and 2:30 of the final quarter on a 99-yard drive which led to a passing touchdown. Sophomore Abram Scholting connected with sophomore Ben Brahmer from 12-yards out. The PAT was good which gave Pierce the lead back at 13-9 with 9:30 left in the game.
In the final nine minutes, both teams fumbled the ball, Pierce was forced to punt and Wayne also turned the ball over on downs for the second time on their side of the field. Senor Logan Moeller then recorded a pick-six to end the game in the final minute again favoring Pierce, 19-9.
The Class C1 playoffs begin on Friday, October 30 as the official brackets will be posted Saturday.
Area Friday results:
Battle Creek 46, North Bend Central 20
Norfolk Catholic 14, Hartington Cedar Catholic 10