- CLASS A FOOTBALL: Pooch Kick Difference In North's Victory Over East High
By Jeff Motz
OMAHA---It took a pooch kick from Omaha North to change the momentum of their Class A football playoff match up with Lincoln East on Friday night.
The No. 1 Vikings (12-0) capitalized on the pooch kick and took control late in the first quarter and earned a 41-28 win at Kinnick Stadium. North now plays Bellevue West for the Class A state championship Nov. 21 at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln.
Syriuz Pittman grabbed the pooch kick at the East 24-yard line after one of the up men for East didn't field it. Seven plays later, Milton Sargbah scored on a 13-yard run for a 21-14 North lead.
East, though, started red hot. The Spartans opened the game by capping a three-play, 56-yard drive on a 9-yard touchdown run from Alex Hrnicek for a 7-0 advantage with 10:50 left in the first quarter.
North countered with a quick 80-yard drive, which ended with a 1-yard scoring run for Zander Gray. On the next East possession, Jerrod Searcey's 26-yard reception set up a 24-yard run from Carson Walters and the Spartans jumped back ahead 14-7.
Sargbah's 36-yard touchdown run for North tied the game at 14, which then led to the pooch kick.
The Vikings took a 28-14 halftime lead, after Gray scored on another short run. He then extended the North advantage to 35-14 on a 16-yard touchdown run. Then, Justin Jackson-Williams threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Zion Williams, but the point after failed, still putting North ahead 41-14.
Walters scored a late touchdown on a late 29-yard drive to pull the Spartans, but on the next East drive, Donovan Bargen caught a pass for a 30-yard gain. That set up a short, 4-yard touchdown from Peyton Aippersbach.
East finishes the season with a 7-5 record.