Kearney Catholic looked as good as advertised on Friday night at Keifer Field, as the Stars downed Holdrege 49-7. Click here to listen to the broadcast.
Kearney Catholic got the ball rolling early, as a jet sweep to senior Austin Christner went for 48 yards down the Stars sideline to open the game. The Stars were forced to punt after back-to-back incompletions, but the Dusters couldn’t do much better with a three-and-out on their first possession of the contest.
The Stars then followed a simple formula after that: run the football. Senior quarterback Heinrich Haarberg would find open space stretching the field, and would sprint his way into the endzone on a one play, 66 yard touchdown run making the score 7-0.
Holdrege would move the football with a few quality runs, but were forced to punt. A short punt return would set up the Stars inside Holdrege territory.
After Haarberg’s big run, Cale Conrad the senior tailback would find open space on the first play of the following possession, rumbling for a 42 yard touchdown making the score 14-0.
Holdrege would go three-and-out, and Kearney Catholic responded with their own three play drive including another 51 yard scamper for Conrad, followed by a short touchdown plunge from the running back. Still in the first quarter, the score made it 21-0.
Holdrege would find more wiggle run behind the legs of senior Sam Holt, as he had carries for 20 and 13 yards on back-to-back runs. The Dusters would be forced to punt however, but new life was breathed into the defense has senior Dashton Edgren intercepted a Haarberg pass down the Holdrege sideline, only the third interception on the season for the Kearney Catholic quarterback.
Holdrege would respond with a third down conversion on a well executed screen pass to Sam Holt, connecting for 36 yards and a first down. A pass interference penalty from Kearney Catholic on the next snap set up a Jackson Hinrichs touchdown throw to Edgren from 14 yards out, getting Holdrege on the board down 21-7 in the first quarter.
The Stars would continue to run the football to bleed out the first quarter clock, and would score on the opening play of the 2nd with a Conrad score, making his third of the evening.
Down 28-7, Holdrege looked to stay in arms reach of the Stars as they proceeded down the field on a 9 play drive including another precision screen toss to Holt from Hinrichs for 18 yards. A fourth down sack would end the drive however, as the Dusters were unable to convert inside of Kearney Catholic territory.
The Stars took over possession of the football and marched down Keifer Field with a 8 play drive, ended by a touchdown reception by junior Brett Mahony. Spencer Hogeland was automatic from point after attempts all night, as he gave a Kearney Catholic a 35-7 lead.
Both teams would trade punts until the end of the half as an unsuccessful 60 yard field goal attempt fell wide left, and the Stars strolled into halftime with their comfortable lead.
Holdrege would drive down the field on their first possession of the third quarter, unable to put points on the board after a missed field goal by Hudson Reed, and Kearney Catholic added another touchdown run from Conrad, his fourth on the night, making the score 42-7.
The Stars would add another score late, and as triple zeroes showed, the scoreboard read a final score of 49-7 as many reserves saw action in the final quarter.
Kearney Catholic improves to 6-1 on the year, and will face Cozad next week. As a team, the Stars ran for 359 yards and threw for 169. Conrad ran for four scores and had 228 yards rushing, Haarberg added 85 on the ground with a rushing score and two passing touchdowns.
Holdrege will fall to 2-6 as they await their matchup with Gothenburg next Friday, in a game that can be heard in Holdrege on KUVR or in the Gothenburg area on KAMI. The Dusters added 142 passing yards on the day from Hinrichs, and senior Sam Holt led Duster running backs with 66 rushing yards and adding in 54 receiving yards. Edgren ended his evening with 84 receiving yards and a score.