WAHOO – The Wahoo Warrior football team improved to 8-1 on the season and enacted a measure of revenge at home Friday night against Kearney Catholic in the opening round of the Class C-1 playoffs.
Wahoo led 21-0 at the half and hung on for a 42-28 victory over the Stars, the team that ended the Warriors’ season in the second round of the 2016 playoffs a year ago.
“We wanted it a little more than usual,” said Wahoo senior running back Dylan Egr. “It hurt losing to those guys last year, but we knew they were going to be a tough team (again).”
Egr did his part, rushing for a career-high 314 yards and five touchdowns on 36 carries.
Wahoo dominated the first half on both sides of the ball with their first score coming on a 21-yard scoring pass
from senior quarterback Cameron Quick to senior receiver Brendan Lacey with 4:27 remaining in the first quarter.
The home team increased their lead to 14-0 after turning a turnover into seven points when Egr scored on a 23-yard run with 2:10 remaining in the opening stanza.
Egr added his second touchdown of the first half on the first play of the second quarter when he covered 44 yards on his way to the endzone.
The defense limited All-State Quarterback Matt Masker to just 15 yards passing in the first half while building a large lead.
“We faced a pretty stiff defense,” Stars coach Rashawn Harvey said. “Not very big guys, but they run around and they play fast and they are aggressive. Masker and the Stars finally got on the board with just over a minute left in the third quarter on a Masker
TD pass, cutting the Warrior lead to 21-7 going into the fourth quarter.
The two teams combined for 42 points over the game’s final 7:26.
Egr rushed for three touchdowns while Masker threw for two scores and Star Caleb Hoyt returned a kickoff 90 yards for a score.
The Stars never got closer than seven points.
Wahoo rushed for 361 yards on 44 carries.
“Hats off to their offensive line. Again, not big up front, but they get those guys pulling and moving in space. (Egr) ran the ball hard and is tough to bring down,” added Stars Coach Rayshawn Harvey.
Quick completed just 2-of-13 through the air for 32 yards.
The Warrior defense limited the Stars to 77 yards rushing on 31 carries and limited Masker to just 143 yards passing on 14-of-24 through the air.
Warrior defensive linemen Brandon Swahn, Jack Sutton and Tucker Hancock controlled the game up front combining for 17 tackles, six tackles for loss and five sacks.
Junior linebacker Sam Kolterman added 10 tackles and was a constant irritant to Masker and the Stars offense.
Senior Billy Hancock added 12 tackles and teammate Bret Walker came through with nine more.
The Warriors advance to the second round of the Class C-1 playoffs where they will square off with the Wayne Blue Devils at Wayne High School on Nov. 3 at 7 p.m.
The Blue Devils improved to 7-3 with a 30-28 win on the road against the Chadron Cardinals.
Wayne averages nearly 33 points a game and their three losses have come against Pierce, Norfolk Catholic and West Point-Beemer, three teams who are still alive in the Class C-1 playoffs.