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Nebraska City News-Press - Nebraska City, NE
  • Pioneers score late TD, win on homecoming

  • Nebraska City scored 27 points in the second half, the last of it coming on a touchdown rush with 20 seconds left to go to edge Elkhorn Mount Michael 27-20 and send the homecoming crowd home happy on Friday night.
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  • Nebraska City scored 27 points in the second half, the last of it coming on a touchdown rush with 20 seconds left to go to edge Elkhorn Mount Michael 27-20 and send the homecoming crowd home happy on Friday night.
    Mount Michael had the lone score of the first half with a 61-yard touchdown pass on the game's first offensive play.
    Nebraska City struck back quickly in the second half.
    Andrew Christiansen ran the opening kick of the third quarter back for 52 yards and set the Pioneers up at the Elkhorn Mount Michael 29-yard line. Jake Pierce converted the field position into a touchdown with a 22-yard rush.
    The point after failed and Nebraska City trailed 7-6.
    A Rique Aldana interception set the Pioneers up to take the lead.
    Jay Sornson made the most of that scoring chance by finding Kestyn Lee on a 20-yard scoring pass. The point after failed and Nebraska City led 12-7 with 4:02 left in the third quarter.
    Elkhorn Mount Michael struck back on defense by returning a fumble 22 yards for a touchdown. The point after failed and Mount Michael led 13-12.
    Another solid kick return by Christiansen allowed the Pioneers to punch back quickly before the end of the third quarter.
    Operating from their own 40 yard line, the Pioneers scored on a 60-yard scoring pass from Sornson to Andrew Connell. A two-point pass from Sornson to Lee made the score 20-13 in favor of the Pioneers.
    A one-yard scoring plunge by Elkhorn Mount Michael and a point after kick made the score 20-20 in the fourth quarter.
    Christiansen again returned the ball out to the 40-yard line, setting up the Pioneers for their game-winning drive.
    D.J. Marco scored on a one-yard run and Clayton Patton added the point after kick to put Nebraska City ahead 27-20 with 20 seconds left in the contest.
    Marco, whose quarterback sack prevented Elkhorn Mount Michael from throwing a Hail Mary pass at the end of the first half, ended up making the final tackle of the game on Elkhorn Mount Michael's last gasp offensive attempt as Nebraska City cemented a 27-20 win.
    Turning to the statistics, Nebraska City was led in passing by Jay Sornson who threw for 111 yards and two scores.
    Pierce rushed for 50 yards and a touchdown.
    Christiansen returned four kicks for an average of 26.5 yards. He rushed for 37 yards and was the team's tackle leader with seven solos and two assists.
    Coach B.T. Kracl said the defense led the way for Nebraska City after a shaky start.
    "We gave up one play and then we stiffened up," said Kracl. "Our offense decided to take over the game and that was because the defense took it over first."
    Page 2 of 2 - As the lead and momentum changed hands in the second half, Nebraska City was able to hang tough. The fumble return for a touchdown by Mount Michael had the potential of being the game's defining moment.
    Nebraska City defined it as a success for its side.
    "They took it and we came right back and took it away from them," said Coach Kracl in regard to the momentum factor.
    Part of the reason Nebraska City was able to come back was because they had a feeling the job could be done.
    "We felt confident coming into the game," said Kracl. "We just got some tough kids."
    Christiansen exemplified that toughness by playing much bigger than his 5'6" and 145 pound frame and contributing in all three phases of the game on Friday.
    "Andrew Christiansen has come with so much intensity this year," said Kracl. "He is the kind of kid you want on your football team.
    "What he has, he gets the most out of."
    With the win, Nebraska City moves to 2-3 on the season. The Pioneers will travel to play Norris next week. Elkhorn Mount Michael fell to 1-4 and will play host to Bennington next week.
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