FIRTH – Dillon Buss scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter and then finished the game off with an interception to secure Beatrice a district championship.
On a windy night, Beatrice went on the road and defeated Norris 27-17.
Things were looking dire for the Orangemen at the end of the third quarter. They were down three points and their defense was struggling to contain Austin Schultz without their star linebacker Cam Jurgens, who left early in the third quarter with an apparent ankle injury.
The tide changed quickly, though, when Buss scooped up a Norris fumble and returned it 56 yards for a touchdown, giving Beatrice a 21-17 lead.
Buss wasn’t done yet. On Beatrice’s next offensive possession, quarterback Trevor Schmale was able to connect with Buss for a 57 yard touchdown pass, extending the Beatrice lead to 27-17. He then sealed the win with an interception late in the fourth quarter.
The Orangemen improve to 8-1 on the season and will wait to see who they host in the first round of the Class B State Playoffs.
There was a 40 plus mph wind Friday night and Beatrice was tasked with going into the wind in the first quarter. They were forced to punt on their first drive.
Norris took over and gave it to Austin Schultz five straight times, including carries of 14 yards and 18 yards.
Beatrice then bottled Schultz up, though, and forced a 25-yard field goal attempt, which Tyler Ruhl made, giving the Titans an early 3-0 lead.
Beatrice was able to move the chains on their second drive, but eventually turned it over on downs on a close measurement.
Norris took over and got their drive started when Aidan Oerder connected with Bryce Stai for a 16-yard gain. After four straight run plays, Schultz was able to find the end zone on a two-yard touchdown run to extend the Titan lead to 10-0
Both teams went three and out on their next offensive possessions, but Beatrice was finally able to get some offense going on their next drive.
A 10 play drive that included nice runs by Colton Kelle, Andrew Mahoney and Cam Jurgens set up Kelle’s two yard touchdown run, cutting the Orangemen deficit to 10-7
On Norris’ next drive Austin Schultz broke free for a long run on the first play, but the Orangemen defense would hold. Beatrice had one last chance to score before the half and a pass from Trevor Schmale to Jurgens got Beatrice into Norris territory, but they would go no further, keeping the score 10-7 at half.
Norris got the ball to start the second half and Beatrice chose to go into the wind first. The Titans first drive went nowhere and they were forced to punt.
Beatrice took over at their own 26-yard line and was able to overcome the wind as Jurgens’ injury to score a touchdown.
It was a time consuming 13-play scoring drive. Mahoney got it started with a 13 yard run, but Jurgens’ injury came on the next play. He never returned to the game and was later carted off the field with a boot on his foot.
The Orangemen played through it, though, and got nice runs from Kelle and Mahoney as well as a first down pass from Schmale to Buss. Kelle capped the drive with a five-yard touchdown run, giving Beatrice their first lead at 14-10.
Norris again failed to take advantage of the wind on their next drive, but the loss of Jurgens was more apparent on Beatrice’s next offensive drive. They also went three and out and Norris took over.
Four straight run plays by Schultz against a Beatrice defense without Jurgens gave the Titans the lead back at 17-14.
The Orangemen offense went three and out on their next drive, but that would set up Buss’ late heroics as the Orangemen were able to gut out the 27-17 win.
Other Friday scores
Malcolm 30, JCC 14
Lincoln Christian 54, Southern 0
Wilber-Clatonia 41, Freeman 27