The Nebraska City defense showed off it's physical play by forcing three first half turnovers in the 14-9 victory over the Falls City Tigers on Friday, October 5, at Falls City.
In the first quarter, the Pioneers forced the Tigers to a fourth and two situation on the Pioneer 12 yard line, where the Tigers kicked a 29 yard field goal with 4:02 left, and Falls City took a 3-0 lead.
Nebraska City had to punt on it’s second possession of the game, but got the ball back when the Pioneer defense forced a fumble and Eli Southard was there to recover the ball, and the Pioneers took over on the Falls City 13 yard line. Three plays later, Bryce Levy would sneak the ball in from one yard out for the TD. Eduardo Gonzalez kicked the extra point to give NC a 7-3 lead with 10:35 left in the second quarter.
On Falls City’s next possession, the Pioneers forced another turnover that was scooped up by Brayden Betts, and with the ball on their own 41 yard line, Bryce Levy threw a pass to Tyler Levy, who then took the ball 59 yards for the TD with 10:06 remaining in the second quarter. (PAT good. 14-3 NC)
Still in the second quarter, Falls City worked the ball down to the Pioneer 18 yard line, where NC forced it's third fumble of the game, and the ball was recovered by Nick Burns. Nebraska City went into halftime with a 14-3 lead.
Fall City struck on it’s first possession in the third quarter, when Collin Cook found Trey McAfee for the 32 yard TD pass with 9:01 on the clock. (PAT no good. 14-9 NC)
After stopping the Pioneers on a fourth and two in the third quarter, the Tigers took over on it’s own 43 yard line. On a third and two, Jordan Moyer came away with a huge four yard sack, and the Tigers would eventually have to punt.
In the fourth quarter, Nebraska City was forced to punt, and Falls City took over on it’s own 11 yard line. Falls City worked the ball to the their own 40, and on a third and eleven, Jaden Aldana and Moyer shot in the back field and sacked the Tiger’s QB, forcing FC to punt.
Just over three minutes left in the fourth quarter, NC had the ball on it’s own 46 yard line, and on a third and nine, Bryce Levy rolled out to his right and launched the ball down field where Tyler Levy won the one-on-one battle to make the 30 yard catch and kept the clock moving.
With two minutes left in the game, running back, Landon Adams, who had 14 carries for 94 yards in this game, bullied his way through the Tigers D-line. On a third and four, and the Pioneers possessing the ball on the Tiger’s seven yard line, Adams took the hand off and fought his way down to the Fall City three yard line. The chain gang came out to measure the ball, and the Pioneers got the first down by half of the football, and NC went on to win 14-9.
Coach Dan Hempel said that he was really proud of his team and how the team bounced back from last week's loss, and took care of the ball. “We really did a great job protecting the ball, and to win the turnover battle is always huge,” Hempel said.
The Pioneers played smart and was able to manage the clock in their favor with limited mistakes. “We were able to eat some clock at the end,” Hempel said. “Landon Adams was a horse for us by running the ball hard and keeping the clock moving.”
Bryce Levy finished the game 16-24 passing for 191 yards and one TD. Tyler Levy caught 10 passes for 152 yards and one TD.
Nebraska City is 3-4 on the year, and will host Ashland-Greenwood (6-1) on Friday, October 12, at the Pioneer Field.