Lincoln North Star football coach Tony Kobza didn’t get the whole Gatorade cooler dumped on him, but his players made sure he got soaked by half a dozen water bottles minutes after their 21-6 victory over Omaha South Friday.
The occasion? North Star’s first win of the season and Kobza’s first win as the team’s head coach.
“It’s awesome,” Kobza said. “It’s so gratifying for these kids to be able to experience victory and success. It’s not about what I feel. It’s the happiness for them, that they get to experience a victory after three tough weeks.”
After getting blown out in the first three games of the season and scoring a combined 13 points, the Gators (1-3) put together a complete performance in Friday’s early game at Seacrest field. The heat and the injury bug made the going tough, but enough players stepped up to get the job done.
It started in the second quarter, when Luke Reimer, the team’s top offensive weapon, exited with an ankle injury. North Star started getting more players involved in the backfield, including Easton Waller and Wiech Nuot, who each had touchdown runs.
“This is the best part about football, is that there are so many options to choose from,” Kobza said. “We had so many kids step up. The offensive line took control in the fourth quarter, and the defense played great and only gave up one touchdown. You can’t ask for more than a well-rounded team effort.”
The Gators took the opening kickoff and marched 80 yards down the field before Waller scored from 10 yards out. The defense kept South’s offense from accomplishing anything, and North Star cashed in with a 5-yard pass from Rourke Jensen to Ty Scott near the end of the first half.
The Packers (2-2) got the offense rolling in the second half, but they fumbled in Gator territory twice, and Denis Francis intercepted a pass in the end zone on fourth-and-long on another drive.
“I’ve got all the confidence in the world in our defensive staff,” Kobza said. “They dialed up blitzes at the right time, they made the right adjustments.”
South got on the board late with a 29-yard touchdown run by Cannon Katskee, but North Star answered a couple of drives later when Nuot took a handoff on the first play of the drive and raced 64 yards to ice the game.
“I think it shows that this is a team that has grown over four weeks,” Kobza said of his team’s effort. “They’re a team that’s buying in and believing in what we’re trying to do. Regardless of record, we’re going to show up and play.”
LINCOLN NORTH STAR 21, OMAHA SOUTH 6
|Lincoln North Star||7||7||0||7||--||21|
LNS--Waller 10 run (Gusler kick)
LNS--Scott 5 pass from Jensen (Gusler kick)
OS--Katskee 29 run (attempt failed)
LNS--Nuot 64 run (Gusler kick)