“I'm sad to see the seniors go, but, I'm glad (about) what they did for the program.” That is what Coach Dan Hempel said after the Pioneers wrapped up it's four win season for the first time in 15 years.
The Pioneers defeated Lincoln Christian, 56-53, on Friday, October 19, at Lincoln.
Bryce Levy scored eight total touchdowns for the Pioneers, after delivering seven TD through the air, to four different receivers, and, added one rushing TD.
Nebraska City got the ball first on it’s own 20 yard line. After a 39 yard run by Manny Adame, Bryce Levy found Tyler Levy on a slant, and Tyler took it 33 yards for the TD. Eduardo Gonzalez would make the PAT and NC led 7-0.
Bryce would connect with Tyler, again, from the Lincoln Christian 33 yard line on a passing TD with 8:56 left in the first quarter. (PAT good. 14-0).
Lincoln Christian answered with a four yard TD run by Joe Dworak. (PAT no good. 14-6).
Still in the first, the Pioneers faced a fourth and three situation. Bryce Levy took off running for a 29 yard gain, and later hit Braden Thompson for a 12 yard TD pass. (PAT good. 21-6).
In the second quarter, Dworak scored for the second time on the Pioneer's two yard line with 9:29 left to play. (Two-point conversion no good. 21-12).
The Pioneers quickly answered when Bryce Levy ran through a big hole the offensive line provided, and took the ball 63 yards for the score. (PAT good. 28-12).
Lincoln had the ball on it’s own 43 yard line, when the Pioneer defense stopped them short of a first down on an attempted screen pass. Three plays later, Bryce found Skyler Self on a slant, and Self sped away for the 45 yard TD. (PAT no good. 34-12).
Nebraska City forced a fumble on the 37 yard line with :30 seconds left to play in the first half, and with the Pioneers taking control on it’s own 37, Tyler Levy drifted out of the back field and Bryce Levy made a nice touch pass to Tyler for the 60 yard TD. (Two-point conversion good. 42-12).
With :16 seconds left in the second quarter, Trent Lockard hauled in the Pioneer kick off and took off for the 80 yard TD return, and the Pioneers went into halftime with a 42-18 lead.
In the third quarter, the Pioneers put together an eight play drive. Jordan Moyer caught a pass from Levy, and ran for 34 yards. That set up a 25 yard TD pass to Skyler Self from Bryce Levy. (PAT good. 49-18).
Dworak scored on the following series for the Crusaders and NC led 49-24.
With 3:38 left in the third quarter, Bryce Levy found Eli Southard for the 14 yard TD pass. (PAT good. 56-24).
This is where things got crazy. Alex Koch scored on a run play and the Crusaders would follow up by getting the onside kick. With the score 56-31, in favor of NC, Koch scored again with 8:26 left in the game.
NC had the ball on it’s own 34, and failed to convert on a fourth and eight.
Hunter Hohlen got a big gain with a 49 yard run, and on the next play, Koch scored on a sweep play for the 17 yard TD. (PAT good. 56-45).
Nebraska City was forced to punt on the next series, and the Crusaders would later score on a seven yard run by Dworak with 2:47 left to play. (Two-point good. 56-53).
The Pioneers took control up front on it’s final series. Nebraska City ran three straight plays for first downs, and, with the chains showing third and twelve, and 1:29 on the clock, Bryce Levy fought his way for the first down and the Pioneers would go on to win 56-53.
Coach Hempel said that he was pleased with his teams performance this season and talked to his guys about what kind of mark they wanted to leave on the schools program. “We talked to the seniors the last three weeks on what they wanted their legacy to be, and, they took care of what they needed to take care of,” Hempel said.
Nebraska City has not had a four win season in 15 years and Hempel hopes that this team launches the programs future going forward.