Knights sprint out, win playoff opener

Kirt Manion
Nebraska City News-Press

Lourdes sprinted out of the gate and pulled away from Thayer Central during home playoff football action on Thursday, Oct. 21, at Nebraska City High School.

The Knights enjoyed a 28-0 lead after one quarter, increased the advantage to 50-0 at the half and ended up with a 57-14 victory.

Four touchdowns and a pair of two-point efforts accounted for the Knights’ first quarter scoring. Aidan Aldana opened the second quarter by intercepting a Thayer Central pass and sprinting 68 yards to the end zone.

The first half ended on trick play as Joe Kearney took a reverse hand off from quarterback Blake Miller and tossed the ball to Zach Tesarek for a touchdown. Miller added the two-point run afterwards to get the Knights to 50-0.

Coach Jon Borer’s Knights came in favored to win the game and did a good job of not letting that status effect their mentality or momentum.

“Especially in the first half, I thought we played crisp and clean,” Borer said.

The Knight coach said the offensive plan didn’t go entirely as expected, but said his team did a good job of adjusting, moving the ball and scoring points.

In terms of dealing with a favored status, that’s been the story for Lourdes this year overall. The Knights beat Falls City Sacred Heart by 17 on the road in the season opener and hasn’t been challenged since.

Complacency in these circumstances is a concern and one that has been addressed by the Knight coaching staff.

“We talk about it every week,” said Borer, adding that his team features a roster full of kids with “good heads on their shoulders.”

When playoff time comes around, regardless of record, every team knows the stakes.

“This is a new season. Everyone is 0-0,” said Borer. “We have to continue to get better.”

Directly after Thursday’s win, it was not known who the Knights would be facing in the second round. The playoffs were to be re-seeded statewide after the opening round match ups.

That uncertainty is fun, Borer said, adding that it had him excited to get to his computer and see what had happened on night one of the postseason. Regardless, Borer knows the second round will have its challenge.

“It’s somebody who has had a good year and somebody who has won a game in the playoffs,” said Borer.

Looking at the stats, the Knights had 301 total yards, including 206 on the ground. Thayer Central had 220 yards including 122 on the ground.

Blake Miller threw for 89 yards and a touchdown and ran for 84 yards and a score. Vance Wenninger had 62 yards rushing and a score. Kearney had 37 yards rushing and three scores. Kearney also had four catches for 42 yards. Tesarek had two catches for 22 yards and two scores. Beau Lee had two caches for 19 yards. Wenninger had one catch for 12 yards. The defense was led by Miller, Funke and Kearney.

The Knights' defense suffocated Thayer Central on Thursday night.