- FOOTBALL: Grand Island's Dominance Shines On Northeast's Homecoming
By Jeff Motz
Grand Island came into Seacrest Field Thursday night looking to prove one thing...they are still considered one of the state's best football teams.
It didn't take much convincing in the second quarter, as the Islanders took off for more than 300 yards in the first half enroute to a 51-14 win over Lincoln Northeast in front of an estimated 2,500 people on Homecoming Night.
Grand Island (7-1) shook off early cobwebs and rallied for a 10-7 first quarter lead when Juan Cayax booted a 28-yard field goal. But the Islanders were just getting started.
Northeast (4-4) got the ball at their own 1-yard line after a G.I. punt. Tivon Phillips' fumble on the first play from scrimmage turned the ball over with the Islanders recovering the ball at the Rocket 9-yard line. Three plays later, quarterback Trey Kissick threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Keenan Kitteler for a 17-7 lead.
A little more than a minute-and-a-half later, Northeast scored on their next drive on a 25-yard run from Phillips, trailing 17-14. Grand Island's offense then shifted into high-gear, posting two-straight scoring drives. A 66-yard drive ended with a 38-yard touchdown pass to Victor Strobbe and the following Islander possession was capped on a 57-yard scoring run from Doty for a 31-14 lead.
Following a quick third quarter, Grand Island scored three more times in the final period. Doty had a three-yard scoring run, then Brendan Barnes caught a five-yard touchdown pass and reserve running back Gerard Dunning broke free for a 24-yard touchdown run.
The game's opening drive saw Grand Island unable to sustain and punt. Northeast quarterback Trevor Petersen's pooch kick on fourth down on the Rockets' opening drive was beneficial, when Islander returner Tanner Cook dropped the ball and turned it over. Northeast capped a short 24-yard drive on a three-yard touchdown pass to Braly Keller for the only Rocket lead at 7-0 with 8:16 in the first quarter.
To make the Class A State Playoffs, Northeast would need to win next week at Omaha Burke, who is 2-5.