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Norris uses fast start and 'awesome' defense to blow by Lincoln Pius X
NORRIS 38, LINCOLN PIUS X 7

Norris uses fast start and 'awesome' defense to blow by Lincoln Pius X

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Norris vs. Lincoln Pius X, 10.16

Norris' James Carnie stiff-arms Lincoln Pius X's Bryce Wemhoff (right) on a carry at Aldrich Field on Friday.

Norris couldn’t have started much faster Friday night at Aldrich Field.

The Class B No. 3 Titans forced Lincoln Pius X into a three-and-out on the game’s first possession, then covered 58 yards in just two plays — a 27-yard completion to senior tight end and Nebraska verbal commitment James Carnie and then a 31-yard scoring rumble by linebacker Ben Landgren — for a lead in the opening 90 seconds.

The whole night didn’t proceed quite that smoothly, but Norris was in control throughout a 38-7 win. Norris improved to 7-1 and dropped Pius X to 2-5.

“We just need to keep on the gas,” Norris coach Ty Twarling said. “We needed to keep fighting, and I’m glad we finished the way we did.”

Norris scored on four of its first five possessions — two on short fields thanks to a pair of Pius X fumbles in its own territory — and had jumped out to a 28-0 advantage by the 11:15 mark of the second quarter.

Norris cruised without standout wide receiver and defensive back CJ Hood for the entire game and Carnie for most of the second half. Carnie was knocked out with an apparent injury early in the third quarter after hauling in three catches for 48 yards, highlighted by a one-handed touchdown grab on fourth-and-3 in the second quarter.

Norris churned out 182 rushing yards but did it mostly unspectacularly, led by quarterback Cooper Hausmann’s 85 yards on 11 carries and Landgren’s nine rushes for 67 yards and two scores. Senior Bryson Schultz also punched in two short touchdown runs, finishing with 27 rushing yards and 39 receiving yards.

“We didn’t run the ball well and that’s something we’ve got to continue to work at,” Twarling said.

The defense held Pius X to just 45 passing yards and didn’t let the ground game get going until late in the game when the score was well out of reach.

“It was awesome tonight,” Twarling said of his defense. “We’ve just got to keep doing it now.”

A key moment in the first half: Pius X had a 10-play, 57-yard drive stuffed at the goal line on fourth down from the 1-yard line on its first real scoring opportunity. That combined with four turnovers was far too much to overcome against the talented visitors.

“I like where we’re at, but I’m not satisfied,” Hausmann said. “We have a lot of motivation right now going against Waverly next week, our rival. We’re fired up for that. I like where we are, but the sky’s the limit and we have to keep working.”

Contact the writer at pgabriel@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.

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Husker football reporter

Parker joined the Journal Star as the University of Nebraska football beat writer in August 2017. He previously covered Montana State athletics for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2012.

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