KEARNEY, Neb. — Noah McCashland didn’t expect he would have the winning points in the 60th Nebraska Shrine Bowl.
“But I knew if it came up,” the kicker from Lincoln Pius X said, “I had confidence in myself and my team that if I needed to, I could put it through,’’
McCashland’s line-drive, 50-yard field goal midway through the final quarter at Cope Stadium held up for a 24-21 South victory over North before an announced crowd of 4,575.
Omaha Skutt’s Jackson Gordon sealed the win, breaking South’s two-year losing streak to North, on an interception with 1:24 left.
South coach Kyle Peterson, from Aurora, said he believed it was the first time one of his teams won on a field goal.
“Especially not a 50-yarder,’’ Peterson said. “He really put a ride into that, didn’t he?”
South never trailed, scoring twice in the game’s first five minutes, although North caught up at 14-14 and 21-21.
Scoreless since the 10-minute mark of the second quarter, North gained its 21-21 tie with 11:51 left on a pass from Joe Dolincheck of Bellevue West to Bennett Folkers of Gothenburg for 49 yards, and the extra point by Brian Covarrubias of Grand Island.
After McCashland’s kick, the South forced a three-and-out, but a questionable spot gave the North offense one last chance. Which Gordon snuffed out really fast.
His interception at the South 39 came after Colorado State-bound Zach Schlager of McCook appeared to have picked up a fourth-and-1 at the North 40, but the ball was spotted for no gain.
“They ran that route a few times earlier in the game,’’ Gordon said. “I got a good read on it.”
South scored the game’s first two touchdowns, on a 1-yard run by Dashawn Bates of Boys Town and Caleb Schweigart’s 31-yard grab from his Omaha Westside quarterback, Stanford preferred walk-on Dylan Plautz, in the first five minutes.
Schweigart’s 161 yards, on nine catches, were a Shrine Bowl record.
North tied it on a 5-yard pass from Dylan Gentrup of Boone Central-Newman Grove to NU walk-on Bryson Krull of North Platte and a 4-yard run by Milton Sargbah of Omaha North.
Just 35 seconds later, the South regained the lead on Schweigart’s second touchdown catch. He took a pass from NU walk-on Matt Masker of Kearney Catholic 75 yards.
“That was a good football game,” said North coach Mike Huffman of Bellevue West. “You’d never going to think a 50-yard field goal is going to win the game.
“We just shot ourselves in the foot a few too many times.”
South…….14 7 0 3—24
North…….7 7 0 7—21
S: Dashawn Bates 1 run (Noah McCashland kick)
S: Caleb Schweigart 31 pass from Dylan Plautz (McCashland kick)
N: Bryson Krull 5 pass from Dylan Gentrup (Brian Covarrubias kick)
N: Milton Sargbah 4 run (Covarrubias kick)
S: Schweigart 75 pass from Matt Masker (McCashland kick)
N: Bennett Folkers 49 pass from Joe Dolincheck (Covarrubias kick)
S: FG McCashland 50
A: 4,575 (est.)
Rushing: S, Bates (Boys Town) 18-55, Jacob Johnson (Fairbury), 10-35, Matt Masker (Kearney Catholic) 4-12, Zach Schlager (McCook) 2-2. N, Sargbah (Omaha North) 15-53, Riley Harms (Fremont) 8-12, Dylan Egr (Wahoo) 3-10, Dylan Gentrup (Boone Central), 1-2, Dolinchek (Bellevue West) 3-minus 11.
Passing: S, Plautz (Omaha Westsde) 12-20-1 111, Masker 7-16-1 107, Johnson 0-1-0 0. N, Harms 13-22-1 125, Dolincheck 10-19-0 103, Gentrup 1-1-0 5.
Receiving: S, Schweigart (Westside) 9-161, Brett Kaiser (Kearney Catholic 3-20), Jalen Harris (Omaha Central) 3-17, Spencer Hays (DC West) 2-13, Bryce Stai (Norris) 1-5, Bates 1-3. N, Folkers 7-89, Sargbah 6-30, Zion Perry (Lincoln High) 3-48, Jacob Wageman (Bennington) 3-14, Wyatt Liewer (O’Neill) 2-27, Bryson Krull (North Platte) 2-18, Egr 1-7.
Tackles (unassisted-assisted-total): S, Joey Johnson (Gretna) 8-1-9, Wyatt Kee (Gibbon) 6-0-6, A.J. Johnson (Millard West) 5-0-5, Isaiah Stalbird (Kearney) 5-0-5, Simon Otte (York) 4-1-5, Schlager 4-1-5, Stai 3-2-5, Jonah Weyand (Crete) 3-0-3, David Duncan (Beatrice) 2-1-3, Noah Meneses (Plattsmouth) 2-0-2, Harris 1-0-1, Connor Fee (Gretna) 1-0-1, McCashland 1-0-1, Tijaih Davis (Boys Town) 1-0-1, Cal Narber (Aurora) 1-0-1, Drew Bessey (Palmyra) 0-1-1, Ian Boerkircher (Aurota) 0-1-1). N, Ryan Schommer (Norfolk) 5-4-9, Colton Feist (Yutan) 8-0-8, DJ Stephen (Valentine) 5-2-7, Trevor Havlovic (East Butler) 5-2-7, Kohlten Keezer (Grand Island) 4-1-5, Carson Pilkington (Elkhorn South) 3-2-5, Egr 3-0-3, Darnel Davis (Omaha Burke 2-1-3, Nolan Viergutz (Columbus LV) 0-3-3, Vernon Johnson (Omaha North) 2-0-2, Coby Haas (Sidney) 2-0-2, Jonah Housh (Lincoln North Star) 2-0-2, Brandon Eastlack (Millard North) 1-0-1, Liewer 1-0-1, Marcus Vaughn-Jones (Omaha Creighton Prep) 1-0-1, Andrew Rheiner (Burke) 0-1-1.
Sacks-yards lost: S, Joey Johnson 2-9, Kee 1-9. N, Feist 1-12. Tackles for loss-yards: S, Johnson 4-16, Kee 2-10, Stalbird1-2, Otte 2-4, Stai 1-3). N, Schommers 1.5-2, Feist 2-13, Viergutz 0.5-0. Fumble recoveries: S, Meneses. N, team (player name NA). Interceptions-yards returned: S, Jackson Gordon (Omaha Skutt) 1-13. N, David 1-3, Viergutz 1-22. Pass breakups: S, Stalbird, Otte, Weyand, Fee. N, Haas, Jesse Sullivan (Boone Central).
Gretna’s Joey Johnson fills in on defensive line
KEARNEY, Neb. — South coaches decided they had a surplus of outside linebackers. What they really needed was an aggressive defensive end in their 24-21 Shrine Bowl victory Saturday at Cope Stadium.
Gretna’s Joey Johnson fit the bill.
“During practice all week, I barely got any snaps at D-end. (I was) playing mostly outside linebacker,” Johnson said. “I played pretty much the whole game at D-end. I was coming off the ball hard and the tackles couldn’t block me. So I was just doing it over and over again.”
Johnson, who played some defensive end in high school mostly in passing situations, recorded nine tackles, including two sacks and a forced fumble to be named the defensive MVP.
“There’s a lot of good kids who played. Being named the top defensive player is really cool and really exhilarating,” he said.
Johnson’s first big play came on the North’s second possession. With the South ahead 7-0, Johnson got in on North quarterback Joe Dolincheck, getting a sack and stripping the ball away.
Noah Meneses of Plattsmouth recovered and the South had a two-touchdown lead two plays later.
Johnson continued to be a force. By halftime, he had another sack and seven of his team-high nine tackles. He also had another tackle for a loss of five yards.
The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder now goes on to join the Nebraska r program as a walk on. He reports Monday to start classes.
“I’m just looking forward to the process and everything they’re going to do with me,” he said. “This entire week has really been eye-opening and it’s really developed me as a player.”
Injuries riddle North
The North offense got banged up before and during the game, coach Mike Huffman said.
All-Nebraska running back Milton Sargbah of Omaha North was playing on a sore ankle, an injury that Huffman said happened in a pickup basketball game prior to Shrine workouts. Kimball running back Drew Gilliland was hurt during the North scrimmage and didn’t play. Lincoln High running back Zion Perry hurt a shoulder on the second offensive series of the game.
“I don’t think anybody goes into an all-star game and wants to lose the most electric player right away,” Huffman said.
The injury bug stretched to the line. Dylan Kucera of Fremont Bergan, one of seven offensive lineman, was held out after injuring a thumb early in the game.
“We still had plenty of opportunities,’’ Huffman said. “The South played a little bit harder than we did for more minutes.”
Caleb Schweigart’s 161 receiving yards set the only Shrine Bowl record Saturday. It prodded an overdue update of the Shrine record book:
Dusty Stamer, Grand Island (N), 2000 18-185
Tony Veland, Omaha Benson (N), 1991 11-180
Monte Anthony, Bellevue (S), 1974 30-159
Ja’Maine Billups, Omaha Central (S), 2000 15-146
Michael Brower. Fillmore Central (S), 2004 25-135
Tyson Broekemeier, Aurora (S), 2011 30-37, 371
Pierce Almond, Grand Island (N), 2015 14-30, 252
Craig Sundberg, Lincoln SE (S), 1980 15-22, 206
Jadyn Kowalski, Bellevue West (N), 2016 12-16, 168
Jeff Weander, Papillion-La Vista (S), 2010 9-12, 164
Caleb Schweigart, Omaha Westside (S), 2018 9-161
Trystn Ducker, Bellevue West (N), 2016 10-147
Conor Young, Cozad (S), 2015 5-136
Cole Spurgeon, Gretna (S), 2011 8-120
Nick Reed, Syracuse (S), 2010 8-119
Tyson Broekemeier, Aurora (S), 2011 36-371-407
Tony Veland, Omaha Benson (N), 1991 180-80-260
Jadyn Kowalski, Bellevue West (N), 2016 67-168-235
Vinny Schmidt, Hastings (S), 2017 34-200-234
Easton Stick, Creighton Prep (N), 2014 95-124-219