Lincoln Southeast took care of business Thursday night at Seacrest Field, setting up an even higher-stakes football game for the Knights next week to end the regular season.
Senior running back Calvin Kyker went off for 274 yards on 19 carries and scored a pair of touchdowns to lead a Knights ground game that piled up 358 yards in a 51-14 victory against Omaha South before 1,058 spectators.
Southeast’s second straight win makes the Knights 4-4 going into next Friday’s showdown at home with Grand Island, a game that could determine Southeast’s playoff hopes.
“We’ve been practicing great these last two weeks, probably the best we have all season,” said Southeast all-state defensive tackle Bryson Williams, a Wisconsin recruit who led a Knight defensive effort in the first half that limited the Packers (1-7) to minus-15 yards rushing.
“Everyone is on the same page, we’re confident and we’re all together as a team,” Williams added. “I think we have a good chance to keep this going beyond next week.”
Southeast led 38-0 at half behind Kyker’s TD runs of 40 and 5 yards, a quarterback sneak for a touchdown and a 29-yard field goal by Jack Strong and scoring runs of 13 and 4 yards by junior Jaden Davis.
Strong added a 2-yard sneak with 7:01 left in the third quarter before Southeast’s third running back, Devlyn Bryan-Martin scored the Knights’ final points on a 1-yard run less than two minutes later. A Kevin Tran interception and 23-yard return to the Packer 3 set up Bryan-Martin’s TD.
An interception by Southeast’s Jampe’ Gergen on the first play of the game helped put the Knights in position for Strong’s field goal.
“We took care of the ball and played mistake-free football,” said Southeast coach Ryan Gottula, whose team was not penalized and did not commit a turnover. “We came out and established ourselves running the ball and controlled the line of scrimmage to shut down their running game.
“Last week, the weather conditions (in a 20-8 win at Bellevue East) really limited what we could do offensively,” Gottula said. “Tonight we were able to expand that and I thought we executed very well.”
Quarterback D’Marcion Henderson scored both of Omaha South’s touchdowns on fourth quarter runs of 1 and 39 yards. He also completed 15 of 26 passes for 192 yards, with Ta’Vion Anderson catching six of those for 139 yards.