Thirty-four points in 10 minutes.
That’s how Hartington Cedar Catholic broke open Friday’s game against Tekamah-Herman, posting a 48-6 win at Tiger Stadium. The Tigers dipped to 1-2 while the visitors improved to 2-1
Cedar Catholic, the sixth-ranked team in Class C2, lived up to their billing with a balanced attack. The running game saw six backs amass 195 yards, topped by 71 yards from Brett Kleinschmidt. Trojan quarterback Tate Thoene ran for a touchdown and threw for four more while piling up 183 yards through the air on just nine completions.
Tiger defenders came within inches of four interceptions and for the second time this season, the Tigers scored their lone touchdown while on defense. Reece Williams scooped up an errant Trojan pitch at his own 25 and made a beeline for the goal line. The touchdown, coming on the first play of the second quarter, knotted the score at 6-6.
Then the roof fell in.
Thoene’s 39-yard TD pass to Carter Arens at the 10:39 mark started a barrage of points that ultimately buried the Tigers. On the next T-H possession, HCC returned a pass interception 45 yards for a score. Kleinschmidt scampered 41 yards for a touchdown, Thoene added TD passes of 9 and 33 yards to the Trojan ledger. The last score came with barely 30 seconds left in the half after the Trojans burned all three of their time-outs on consecutive plays in the last 90 seconds when Tekamah-Herman had the ball in order to gain one more possession before the half.
The plan worked. Following a Tiger punt, HCC took over the ball at Tekamah-Herman’s 46 before scoring three plays later. Thoene’s first pass fell incomplete, but he clicked on the next two, including the 33-yarder to Grant Arens all alone in the left corner of the end zone.
“The number-six team rolled in here and we had them to a 6-6 tie,” Tiger head coach Graig McElmuray said. “We had energy, we had momentum and they then did what a ranked team should do. They asserted their dominance.”
The Trojans needed just 16 plays to score four times on offense.
The scoring margin took some of the shine off of another huge game from linebacker Kody Bitter. The senior led his team with 14 tackles, including one for a loss. Kaleb Quick added seven stops, Logan Burt and Daniel Heaney were credited with five apiece.
Bitter’s 57 rushing yards were the biggest part of his team’s 91 rushing yards, by far their best outing this season.
Much of the team’s yardage, and five of the team’s six first downs, came on the final possession. After stopping the Trojans on fourth down, the Tigers took over the football at their own 18-yard line. With 9:43 remaining on a running clock, Tekamah-Herman pushed the ball all the way to the Trojan 7 before time expired.
“We need to find our rhythm on offense,” McElmuray said. “It hurts the kids knowing that they are so close to having things click. They believe that they can do it.”
They get the chance again on Friday when they visit Bishop Neumann. The Wahoo school also will carry a 1-2 mark into the contest after stopping Doniphan-Trumbull 28-12 at home last Friday.
“This Friday night we will again ask for everything they have to compete against a good football team,” he said. “If we go in with good attitudes, great effort and we execute, I think we can win.”
Kickoff at Wayne Reeves Field, located at 202 So. Linden, is set for 7 p.m.
Hartington Cedar Catholic 6 34 8 0—48
Tekamah-Herman 0 6 0 0— 6
HCC—Becker, 13-yard run (kick failed) 5:48
T-H—Williams, 75-yard fumble return (kick failed) 11:46
HCC—C. Arens, 39-yard pass from Ta. Thoene (Ta. Thoene kick) 10:39
HCC—Albers, 45-yard interception return (Ta. Thoene kick) 9:39
HCC—C. Arens 9-yard pass from Ta. Thoene (run failed) 4:12
HCC—Kleinschmidt, 41-yard run (run failed) 1:51
HCC—G. Arens 39-yard pass from Ta. Thoene (Ta. Thoene kick) 0:30.3
HCC—G. Arens, 19-yard pass from Ta. Thoene (Becker run) 4:48