You often don’t hear "slow" and Miko Maessner in the same sentence, but his performance to start Friday night could only be described as that.
After fumbling twice in two straight rushes early in the first quarter, the senior and Princeton commit turned it around, rushing for 105 yards on 12 carries with two rushing touchdowns to lead Kearney to a 47-0 win over Lincoln North Star at Beechner Athletic Complex.
“Those two fumbles, that’s not me. I got a ripping from Coach (Brandon) Cool, I needed that," Maessner said. "The rest is history.”
The Bearcats were able to establish their rushing attack throughout the entire game, putting up 247 yards and winning the field-position battle with ease, starting only one drive in their own territory.
“I thought we really won the field position here tonight, we had the short field multiple times tonight. I thought our defense played lights out,” Cool said.
The Bearcat defense was exactly "lights out," shutting out the Navigators and holding them to 96 total yards on the night.
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“We talked about responding, coming off a loss to a city team, we didn’t respond well in any practice until Thursday, and you can’t have one decent practice in a week and expect to compete,” said North Star coach Tony Kobza.
It all got started on the opening drive of the game when Kearney quarterback Colin Murray found star receiver Seth Stroh on a simple slant route for a 43-yard touchdown. That’s when things turned sour for Maessner as he fumbled the ball twice on two consecutive rushes, including a fumble inside the North Star 5-yard line.
With the Navigators unable to capitalize on the only turnovers of the night for Kearney, the Bearcats' offense exploded in the second quarter with 34 points including two Maessner touchdown runs.
With a running clock that ran the entire second half, not much happened in the third and fourth quarters as the only action came when Kearney running back Parker Wise punched in a 1-yard run to put the cherry on top for the Bearcats.
Both teams hit the road next week as Kearney travels to Norfolk while Lincoln North Star is at Elkhorn South.