PAPILLION — Lincoln Southeast needed someone to change things up a little bit, and senior Will Barrett fit the bill perfectly Thursday night at Papio South's Foundation Field.
The 5-foot-10, 160-pound Barrett rushed for 116 yards in the second half, helping the Knights score the first 21 points of the second half to break open a close game and claim a 35-21 road football victory over Papillion-La Vista.
"Will's a good football player who's really versatile," Southeast coach Ryan Gottula said of Barrett, who had just eight carries in the Knights' first five games this fall. "We're a little banged up right now, so we needed guys to step up and make plays in different positions, and he certainly did that tonight."
After a scoreless first quarter, both teams got things going in the final 12 minutes of the opening half.
The Monarchs (2-4) struck first when a 4-yard TD run by Payton Prestito capped a 42-yard drive, but Southeast quickly tied it 7-7 after Barrett hauled in a 74-yard pass from Willem Reddick, then scored on a 6-yard run. Barrett later blocked a 41-yard field-goal attempt to end the first half, then later reeled off a 55-yard run around left end to set up Max Buettenback's 19-yard TD run to give the Knights (4-2) a 28-14 lead early in the fourth quarter.
The Knights rushed for 169 yards after intermission.
"We challenged our guys before the game to play Southeast football — run the ball, be physical up front and then throw it when the opportunity presented itself," Gottula said. "I felt like our guys stepped up to that challenge, especially in the second half."
Buettenback made it a 35-14 margin 27 seconds later with an 18-yard run, one play after an 11-yard fumble return by teammate Luke Blatchford. That was more than enough to absorb a Monarch touchdown midway through the fourth quarter (a 9-yard TD pass from Nick Chanez to Luke Lindenmeyer) that produced the final score.
An interception and 14-yard return by Teitum Tuioti set up a 26-yard scoring strike from Reddick to Nebraska recruit Jake Appleget and a 14-7 Knights lead with 4:51 left before intermission. The Monarchs, however, went 67 yards in eight plays on their next possession to pull even at 14-14 on a 39-yard TD pass from Nick Chanez to a wide-open Tyson Money with 1:17 before intermission.
Reddick added a second TD pass, an 11-yarder to Tuioti, to break the 14-14 tie midway through the third quarter. It was the only pass play in the 71-yard, 14-play march to open the second half. Barrett rushed for 39 yards in the drive.
LINCOLN SOUTHEAST 35, PAPILLION-LA VISTA 21
PLV--Prestito 4 run (Walker kick)
LSE--Barrett 6 run (McCashland kick)
LSE--Appleget 26 pass from Reddick (McCashland kick)
PLV--Money 39 pass from Chanez (Walker kick)
LSE--Tuioti 11 pass from Reddick (McCashland kick)
LSE--Buettenback 19 run (McCashland kick)
LSE--Buettenback 18 run (McCashland kick)
PLV--Lindenmeyer 9 pass from Chanez (Walker kick)