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Houck nails game-winning field goal as new-look Elkhorn plays familiar game to top Norris: 'That's what we do'

Houck nails game-winning field goal as new-look Elkhorn plays familiar game to top Norris: 'That's what we do'

From the Recap a wild Week 1 with the Journal Star crew. Here's all of our high school football content from Friday series
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FIRTH — Class B No. 5 Elkhorn may have lost quite a bit of firepower from last year’s state championship team, but the Antlers picked up right where they left off at the start of Friday’s season-opening 20-18 win at No. 7 Norris.

The Antlers capped a physical 14-play, 89-yard drive with an 18-yard Cole Houck field goal with 53 seconds left to earn the win.

Longtime head coach Mark Wortman retired after last season, and Elkhorn graduated a successful senior class, including Gannon Gragert, Drew Christo and Aiden Young. But that didn’t stop the Antlers from doing something they didn’t do even last season: beat Norris in the season opener.

“In the third quarter, they came out and gave us everything we could take, because Coach (Ty Twarling) does a great job with their guys,” first-year Elkhorn coach Dan Feickert said. “But then we settled in with that one long drive that got us that last field goal, and that’s Elkhorn football. That’s what we do.”

Elkhorn also started the game strong with a 15-play, 80-yard drive that included 14 run plays. Hayden Stec capped it off with a 1-yard scoring run. Quarterback Connor Hunt then hit Dane Petersen for an 80-yard touchdown pass to build the lead to 14-0.

Norris senior quarterback Cooper Hausmann got Norris on the board in the second quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-goal. The teams were scoreless in the third quarter, but Hausmann turned to his arm in the fourth quarter for a pair of touchdown passes to give the Titans the lead.

Prep football: Week 1 scores and schedule

Hausmann hit Blake Macklin for a 15-yard touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter, then Colton Wahlstrom for a 27-yard score to give Norris an 18-17 lead. But the Titans couldn’t convert any of their two-point attempts throughout the game, which left the door open for Elkhorn.

Norris held the lead with six minutes to play before Elkhorn got its signature drive right when it needed it, leading to Houck’s game-winning field goal. The Titans couldn’t mount a final drive in the last minute of the game.

“I thought our defense played lights out, especially in the second half giving up only three points,” Twarling said. “But it still comes down to one or two plays, and if we get a stop on one of those, it’s a different game.”

High school football summaries, 8/27

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