Nebraska City's night, which began with the revving of motorcycle engines to welcome the Pioneer team to the field, ended up with a win in heart-stopping fashion. In short, it was a perfect night for the home team.
Nebraska City trailed for all but 23 seconds on Friday night, but those were the only seconds that mattered as the Pioneers won a heart-stopping home decision over the Platteview Trojans by the final score of 45-44.
The Pioneers trailed 23-7 at one point in the first half and then trailed by two scores late in the game before putting on a rally to claim an unlikely win.
Platteview had the first two scores of the game by hitting a short field goal and then scoring on a 10-yard run that capped a short 36-yard drive. It was 9-0 in favor of the visitors.
Nebraska City struck back by posting a 29-yard touchdown run by quarterback Bryce Levy on a 4th-and-2 call. The PAT was good and the score was 9-7.
Platteview again struck twice, first with a 65-yard kick off return for a score and later with an 80-yard drive marked by passes of 17 and 22 yards and culminating with a nine yard run. The score was 23-7.
Eli Southard helped Nebraska City get back into the game with big plays on both sides of the halftime break. His 50-yard pass reception set up a short run to make the score 23-13 before half. And his 39-yard highlight reel grab against heavy defensive resistance allowed Nebraska City to pull within 23-20 at the 10:58 mark of the third quarter.
Another kick return by the visitors, this one 75 yards, made it 30-20 in favor of Platteview.
Nebraska City struck right back. A 20-yard Levy to Southard pass play converted a third down and a 17-yard Bryce to Tyler touchdown made it 30-26.
Platteview struck again with another kick off return and took a 37-26 lead.
The Pioneers were not detered. They just kept on fighting. A 52-yard scoring strike from Bryce to Tyler made the score 37-33 with 6:45 left in the third quarter.
Nebraska City forced a punt and looked primed for a drive to take the lead, but that march stalled and the Pioneers punted.
A 69-yard Platteview drive culminated with a two-yard touchdown run that made it 44-33 and when Nebraska City turned it over on downs on its next possession, it looked like the game might be going into the win column for the Trojans.
Platteview was forced to punt, however. And Nebraska City proved it still had plenty of fight left.
Bryce and Tyler hooked up again, this time on a 72-yard touchdown at the 6:17 mark of the fourth quarter. It was 44-39.
The Nebraska City defense still had to find a way to get the ball back from Platteview. The Trojans ran as much clock as they could but ended up getting caught for holding and, facing a 4th-and-19, they punted.
Nebraska City got the ball on its own 23 with 1:55 to go and got behind the sticks. It was third and long when Levy found Southard for a jail break screen that turned into a big play and a first down. Moments later, Levy scrambled, bought time, and then found Skyler Self on a 42 yard pass that would eventually set up a short Tyler Levy run that put Nebraska City ahead with 23 seconds left.
An onside kick and a pass play gave Platteview one last shot. The Trojans attempted a 35-yard field goal that fell well short.
Nebraska City’s bench exploded and the Pioneers began celebrating an unlikely victory.
A perfect Pioneer night began with the players entering the field to the revving of motorcycle engines, a new practice that Pioneer fans hope will become a long standing tradition. And it ended with a thrilling victory.