UNK wraps up spring work

UNK wraps up spring work
Loper quarterback Abe Scholting-Photo Todd Gottula
April 20th, 2024 | Peter Yazvac
UNK head coach Ryan Held press conference after spring game

Kearney, Neb. – Redshirt freshman quarterback Abram Scholting threw two touchdown passes and the defense produced a late stop to help the Blue Team down the White Team, 15-10, in Nebraska-Kearney’s spring game Friday night at Ron & Carol Cope Stadium.

Earlier this week, the Loper coaching staff held a player draft to divide the 100-player roster evenly. Tonight’s game featured a running clock in the second half (except for change of possessions), quarterbacks not being hit and the ability of each team to advance the ball to the plus 20. Both teams successfully took advantage of that opportunity and scored late in the third quarter.  

In the first quarter, Scholting (Pierce) hit redshirt senior receiver JerQon Conners (St. Louis) from 37 yards out to start the scoring. Defensive lineman Stephen Matina (Lansing, Kan.) – at 6-5, 360-pounds – lined up in the “Wild Loper” formation on the ensuing PAT but was stopped short.

That wasn’t the only trick play as redshirt junior back Zane Schawang (Waverly) attempted a deep pass down the sidelines to Scholting in the second half. However, it was broken up. Schwang and Nebraska transfer Isaiah Harris (Millard South) had several big runs for the Blue and White teams with graduate transfer Reagan Jones (Wichita) serving as the White Team’s starting QB.

He threw a 62-yard TD pass to junior tight end Tuni Fifita (Milpitas, Calif.) to make it 7-6 but the Blue countered with a 31-yard field goal from redshirt freshman Trey Prichard (Monument, Colo.) to lead 9-7 at the half.

The plus field plays led to a 31-yard field goal by senior kicker Kyle Failing (Port Orchard, Wash.) for the White and a seven-yard TD toss from Scholting to senior Stephen Lewis (Gardendale, Ala.). The White team had three more chances to take the lead back, but the Blue defense stiffened and forced two punts and a turnover on downs. With less than a minute remaining, junior lineman Jack Nickolisen (Millard South) was credited with a sack/touch of Jones on third down, forcing a 4th and forever situation on the final play.

Also for the Blue team, redshirt junior backer David Lilly (Wahoo) had close to 10 tackles and also served as his team’s punter with freshman Dijmon Wheeler (Norman Park, Ga.) having several nice catches for the White squad. 

UNK reports to Fall Camp in early August with the Lopers heading to rival Chadron State (Aug. 29) to being the 2024 season. This Thursday, the 14th annual Loper Backer Fundraiser takes place at the Younes Conference Center. 


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