DONIPHAN, Neb. — Two different results on potential goal-line stands in the third quarter helped settle Friday’s defensive struggle between Class C-2 No. 1 Doniphan-Trumbull and No. 7 Hastings St. Cecilia.
The Cardinals held St. Cecilia to a field goal, then took advantage of a second chance on the other end to score their first touchdown of the game.
Doniphan-Trumbull (7-0) tacked on an insurance score in the fourth quarter for a 14-3 victory. The game started 47 minutes late because of a transformer problem on one of the four banks of lights surrounding the field.
St. Cecilia (5-2) managed six first downs and 129 yards.
“When we’ve gotten into tough positions, our kids have responded really well,” Cardinals coach Brent Breckner said. “They moved on from it when we had a mistake. When we turn the ball over, the kids respond. They get the ball all the way down and we think they score, and our kids get a goal-line stand.
“I can’t say enough about how our defense played tonight. They played outstanding football against a good football team.”
Two Doniphan-Trumbull turnovers — including a fumble inside the 10-yard line — helped keep the first half scoreless.
The second half didn’t start any better for the Cardinals. Jordan Slough called off the up man on a short kickoff, but he couldn’t quite get to the ball. St. Cecilia’s Alex Sheehy beat Slough to the loose ball to give the Bluehawks possession on the Cardinals’ 29.
St. Cecilia got to second-and-goal at the 1 when Canon Howell’s quarterback sneak for a score was negated by a motion penalty.
The Doniphan defense didn’t yield a yard on the next two plays, and the Bluehawks settled for a 22-yard field goal from Grant Schmidt to take a 3-0 lead with 9:39 left in the third quarter.
“We don’t recover a kick again, and they get an opportunity,” Breckner said. “We’re able to get a goal-line stand and make some plays when we absolutely had to. I can’t say enough about how well we played on defense.”
Doniphan-Trumbull then went on an 18-play, 82-yard drive. St. Cecilia’s defense tried to come up with its own big stop by forcing a fourth-and-goal at the 5.
But pass interference was called on Riley Wiltfong’s incompletion into the end zone, and on the next play Wiltfong dove up the middle for a 2-yard score and a 6-3 lead.
The teams traded possessions for the first half of the fourth quarter. But after St. Cecilia regained the ball, Zach McNally picked off Howell on the first play and returned the ball to the Bluehawks’ 13.
“We took too long to get going offensively,” St. Cecilia coach Carl Tesmer said. “And then when we did we shot ourselves in the foot with some mistakes.”
Two plays after the interception, Slough scored from the 8. He finished with 199 yards on 40 carries.
“People think he’s just this zone back, but he can run physically,” Breckner said. “Our guys came out especially in the second half and grinded it out. Our O-line played really well getting him going a little bit, and we was able to grind out a pretty good game.”
Hastings SC (5-2) ............................ 0 0 3 0— 3
At Doniphan-Trubull (7-0) ............................ 0 0 6 8—14
HSC: FG Schmidt 22
DT: Wiltfong 2 run (pass failed)
DT: Slough 8 run (Gomez pass from Wiltfong)
RUSHING: HSC, Hermann 16-72, Driscoll 6-19, Howell 8-16, Willnerd 6-14. DT, Slough 40-199, Wiltfong 11-46, Williams 3-8, team 1-(minus 1).
PASSING: HSC, Howell 1-6-1 8. DT, Wiltfong 6-16-1 97.
RECEIVING: HSC, Sheehy 1-8. DT, McNally 2-44, Gomez 2-28, Buhr 2-25.