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Kearney, Neb. – The Nebraska-Kearney football team got touchdowns from five different players and held Northeastern State to 190 yards in a 49-7 win Saturday afternoon in Tahlequah, Okla.
In front of a “Homecoming” crowd of 2,128, the Lopers improve to 3-2 with the RiverHawks (0-5) dropping a seventh straight game dating back to last season.
UNK dominated from start to finish, rolling up 431 yards (7.0 per carry average) on the ground while forcing NSU to punt 10 times. The ‘Hawks lone score came late in the first half when reserve back Craig Davis returned a kickoff 94 yards for six points.
The Loper defense managed eight tackles for loss, broke up three passes and held NSU to 60 yards rushing (1.9 avg.). Those TFL’s covered 42 yards and included five sacks. Defensive ends Tye Spies (Mullen) and Hinwa Allieu (Gaithersburg, Md.) both had a pair of sacks with junior backer Alex Sovereign (Lincoln SW) credited with the other.
The 190 yards is the lowest allowed by the Loper defense in the MIAA era (2012-present). The 2013 UNK “D” held Lindenwood to 197 yards in a 56-6 home win.
Kearney was up 14-0 after the first quarter, 21-7 at halftime and then tallied 14 points in both the third and fourth quarters. The last score was among the oddest plays in UNK history as reserve back Garrett Meyer (Omaha Gross) ripped off a 35-yard run up the middle, only to fumble at the NSU 20-yard line after being tackled by a trio of ‘Hawks.
However, NSU defensive back Courtland Clark didn’t notice junior running back David Goodwin (Lauderhill, Fla.). Clark had a 10-yard return but Goodwin promptly stole the ball from his hands and ran untouched down the sidelines for the game’s final points.
Much earlier, UNK scored touchdowns the first two times it had the ball. The drives covered 38 and 69 yards, respectively, with junior back Darrius Webb (Allentown, Pa.) and senior back Luke Quinn (Scottsdale, Ariz.) recording the TD’s. Webb scored from 20 yards out with Quinn scampering for nine yards.
Junior quarterback Alex McGinnis (Crete) called his own number with five minutes left in the half to make it 21-0. He capped a 54-yard drive with a three-yard run. The ‘Hawks did stop the Lopers on the previous possession, tackling Quinn for a two-yard loss on fourth and one from the NSU 26-yard line. UNK opted not to go for fourth and sixth a few minutes later and missed a 27-yard field goal.
In the second half, redshirt freshman slot receiver/running back Montrez Jackson (Trenton, Fla.) had scoring runs of one and three yards. Goodwin went right up the middle for a 20-yard TD run, his third of the year, early in third to make it 28-7.
Playing just the first two quarters, Webb had 10 carries for a team-high 107 yards. Next, Goodwin had 72 yards on 10 carries with sophomore back Dayton Sealey (St. Cecilia) at 79 yards on a team-best 11 totes. He also had an 11-yard reception; eight different Lopers had a catch in the win.
Finally on the ground, Quinn ran 10 times for 46 yards, Jackson totaled 31 yards, Meyer had 48 thanks to that big run and McGinnis (31) and Lincoln redshirt freshman Carson Walters (34) combined for 65 from the QB position.
McGinnis was one of three QB’s to play in the game and he finished 8 of 11 for 90 yards. Senior tight end Alex Harms (North Platte) had a team-best 48 receiving yards with junior receiver Austan Daniels (Omaha Burke) having two receptions for 15 yards. While senior Trey Lansman (Harlan, Ia.) didn’t catch a pass, he did draw a pass interference call on third down that setup UNK’s fourth score.
NSU was led by QB Jake Pruitt who went 13 of 25 for 116 yards. Sacked five times, his favorite target was junior Ryheem Brummitt (eight receptions, 79 yards). In the backfield, Davis had 52 yards on 10 carries.
Limiting the ‘Hawks to just 3.2 yards per play, the Loper defense saw senior corner Malik Webb (Roper, N.C.) have six solo tackles. Spies (four solo) also made six stops with senior OLB Cliffond Taylor (Miami) and sophomore linemen Blake Schroeder (Holdrege) at three apiece. Finally, junior Kendall Raschein (Red Bluff, Calif.) averaged 42.7 yards in three punt attempts.
For the ‘Hawks, Clark had a game-high 13 tackles with teammate Vonte’ White at 11.
The Lopers host Lindenwood (2-3) next Saturday at 11 a.m. at Cope Stadium. The Lions used TD’s of 82 (INT return) and 87 (rushing) yards to take No. 10 Pittsburg State into overtime before falling, 27-24.