After furious first half finish, Auburn pulls way at NC

Kirt Manion
Nebraska City News-Press

After a furious finish to the first half had Nebraska City down 24-14, the visitors from Auburn captured second half momentum and picked up a 41-14 win in football action on Pioneer Field on Friday, Oct. 8.

Auburn opened the scoring on a short field after a squib kick and a penalty on the Pioneers gave the Bulldogs possesion at the NC 49 yard line.

A six-yard scoring run on the 10th play of the drive and a point after miss made the score 6-0 in favor of Auburn with 7:44 left in the opening period.

Nebraska City responded with a scoring drive of 68 yards, all on rushes by MJ Nelson, who capped the march with a 21-yard rush. A point after by Eddie Gonzalez made it 7-6 in favor of the home team.

A squib kick on the subsequent kick off gave Nebraska City a recovery and a chance to add to its lead, but the Pioneers were not able to take advantage.

Auburn returned a Pioneer punt for 53 yards to th Pioneer 36 and a three-yard scoring rush ended a short-field posseison. The point after failed. Auburn led 12-7 with just a few seconds left in the first quarter.

After forcing a Pioneer punt, Auburn went on a 54-yard scoring drive capped by a 10-yard rush. Again, the point after failed. It was 18-7 with 6:41 left in the half.

The teams exchanged possesions until Auburn got the ball at its own 11 yard line and went on an 89-yard scoring drive which featured a 20 yard pass and a 22 yard run. A short touchdown run and a point after miss had the score at 24-7.

Nebraska City only had a half a minute to get points before half. And the Pioneer team came through. Nelson returned the kick off to the Auburn 14 yard line. On the first and only play of the scoring drive, Nelson threw 14 yards to Nyuon Thuokok. Gonzalez added the point after. It was 24-14 at half.

Auburn got the momentum back in the third quarter by forcing a Pioneer punt and then going on a 59-yard scoring drive capped by a short touchdown run and point after kick. It was 31-14.

Nebraska City’s offense advanced the ball into Bulldog territory on its next possession, but turned the ball over on downs. And Auburn scored quickly on a 62-yard touchdown run. The point after kick had the score at 38-14.

The only other points of the game came when Auburn attempted a 39-yard field goal. Auburn’s holder didn’t get the ball on the tee for the kick, which resulted in a line drive attempt that hit the cross bar and bounced through the goal posts to make it 41-14.

Rushing was the name of the game on Friday as Nebraska City racked up 216 total yards, 168 on the ground, and Auburn had 392 total yards, including 333 on the ground.

Individual rush leaders for the Pioneers were Nelson, 115, and Bayler Poston, 51.