Knights Topple Top-Seeded Eagles in Class D2 Quarterfinals
JOHNSON, NE - Johnson-Brock's undefeated season and playoff run came to an end on Friday when Sandhills/Thedford turned in an impressive 60-28 road win. The Eagles had allowed just 60 points through the regular season & first playoff game combined, but the Knights' offensive attack was nearly unstoppable.
Things started well for the host squad, as Sloan Pelican connected with Austin Meyer for a three-yard TD pass on the opening drive. That put Johnson-Brock up 6-0 after an unsuccessful two-point conversion. The Knights would put together a 60-yard drive that took over four-and-a-half minutes in response, grabbing an 8-6 lead and never looking back...except for maybe a moment just before halftime.
Leading 20-6, the Knights had a fourth-and-goal at the one-yard line in the closing minute of the half. Instead of punching it in to boost the lead, Sandhills/Thedford fumbled into the end zone, and the Eagles' Pelican ran it back just past midfield with 37 seconds remaining before halftime. Pelican later hit Chase Van Winkle for a 9-yard TD with only two seconds to go before the break, making it 20-14. After a squib kick was smothered by the Knights at the 38-yard line, leaving just one second on the clock, the momentum quickly shifted back to Sandhills/Thedford. Kyle Cox threw a perfect spiral to Maurice Robinson for a 42-yard TD, and the Knights were back up by multiple scores, 28-14, at intermission.
The Knights tacked on points every time but once when they got the ball in the second half and cruised to the 60-28 win. Sandhills/Thedford QB Kyle Cox piled up 241 rushing yards with three scores on 37 carries while also going 6/9 passing for 131 yards and one touchdown. Coby Higgins added a pair of TD runs, and Zeb Wilde tacked on a 21-yard pick six. The Knights intercepted Pelican three times in the contest after the senior QB had thrown just one all season. Pelican did have four TD tosses, including a pair to Hayden Gravatt, but it wasn't enough.
Sandhills/Thedford will now face the lone team to hand them a loss all season when they clash with South Loup in the semifinals.