Both teams are having great seasons. Both teams were undefeated in conference play and were looking to claim that South Fork 2A title. After a back and forth game, it was the Bandys Trojans who were left standing with a 30-29 victory.
Bandys fullback Ethan Howard got things started with a ten-yard touchdown run (PAT good). The Knights answered that score with a four-yard run by Daniel Carter (PAT good). The Knights took the lead when quarterback Landon Beard connected with Sam Brady for a 14-yard touchdown pass (PAT good). Trojan quarterback Lake Hojnacki tied the game back up with a 40-yard touchdown run (PAT good).
The Knights made a critical mistake on a Trojan fourth-down play. A substitution penalty extended a Bandys drive before halftime. The Trojans were able to capitalize and take the lead on it. As time expired, kicker Ben Joseph hit a 32-yard field-goal as time expired giving Bandys the 17-14 halftime advantage.
The Trojans extended their lead early in the second half with a 17-yard touchdown run by Howard. But North Lincoln would not go away. Landon Beard cut Bandys lead with a three-yard touchdown run. Jake Soorus’s run for the two-point conversion made cut the lead to two points at 24-22. After forcing the Trojans to punt, the Knights blocked a punt that Terry Ferrell took 28 yards for a touchdown. They attempted to go for two but a penalty backed them up on the conversion so they chose to kick the extra point with Christian DeLaney. That gave the Knights a 29-24 advantage.
But they would not be able to hold the lead as Howard would score his third touchdown of the night with a six-yard run with less than four minutes to go. The two point conversion would fail however. But the Knights could not get a drive going as Chase Clanton came up with the interception to seal the deal for Bandys. Both teams had two turnovers a piece in this game. The Knights’ Daniel Carter recorded an interception and Peyton Wilkie Recovered a fumble. A few plays after that, Nash Shook recovered a fumble for Bandys.
Bandys locks up the conference’s #1 seed while North Lincoln locks up the #2 seed. Both are expected to play in the 2AA league.
“I’m just so proud of these young men and how hard they have worked from the time we got there in June to do what they have done in this good of a conference.” said Bandys head coach Tom Eanes “You got give a lot of credit to North Lincoln. What a football team. Coach Bazzle has done a great job over there.”
“We talked at halftime about tempo. We wanted to be a fast paced football team and we finally got that going a little bit better in the second half. I thought we were in pretty good shape until they blocked that punt. That changed a lot of momentum. But with seven minutes to go, those kids did a great job of getting the ball back and scoring a big touchdown to win it.”
“We just made too many mistakes at crucial times. We blew some opportunities that we had.” said North Lincoln head coach Nick Bazzle “But when you’re playing a team like Bandys as good as they are, you can’t make mistakes. When you do, they can come back to haunt you. We’re very proud of the kids. I’m proud of the kids on what they have done and what they have accomplished. They don’t quit. They play hard and that’s all we ask them to do is give their best effort. But I'd like to have some of those missed opportunities back”