Sophomore quarterbacks took center-stage for another classic game in the Beatrice-Crete gridiron rivalry on Friday at the House of Orange.
Just hours after the Crete softball team claimed their first State Championship, sophomore Zach Fye was asked to lead the Cardinals to a big upset at Beatrice.
Just hours before the game, sophomore Dakota Adams was informed he would make his first varsity start at quarterback for Beatrice and replace injured senior Trevor Schmale.
The two sophomores were spectacular in a game that went down to the final minute of play.
Zach Fry used his arm in the Cardinals big-play Air Attack and completed seven passes for 127-yards.
Dakota Adams, who lost his father just two weeks ago, used his legs to motor the Orangemen’s powerful Ground Game, rushing for 150-yards on 31-carries.
The stage was set for another dramatic down-to-the wire finish in the rivalry that started to intensify two decades ago under Beatrice Coach, Bob Sexton and Crete Coach, Chuck McGinnis.
The Orangemen rallied and scored the game-winning touchdown with under two minutes remaining for a thrilling 22-19 victory over the Cardinals.
A one-yard quarterback sneak by Adams gave the Orangemen the early lead, before Crete blocked the extra-point attempt.
The Cardinals responded with a 78-yard run into the end-zone by Jonah Weyand, and the extra point gave Crete a 7-6 lead.
Colton Kelle scored on a six-yard run, and Adams would follow with a run into the end-zone for a two-point conversion to give the Orangemen a 14-7 advantage.
Crete would finish off the first half scoring when Fye would connect with Zach Muff on a 46-yard touchdown pass, but Beatrice would block the extra-point attempt and would hold a one-point halftime lead.
The Cardinals would block a field goal attempt in the third quarter and return it for a touchdown to take a 19-14 lead.
The Orangemen would score the game-winning touchdown with 1:46 remaining in the game on a three-yard run by Adams, who would connect with Cameron Jurgens on a two-point conversion to give Beatrice a 22-19 lead.
Crete’s final drive stalled at the Orangemen’s 33-yard line. Adam Riekenberg secured the Beatrice victory with a sack of Fye on the Cardinals final play.
Beatrice clinched a Class-B playoff berth and improved to 7-1. The Orangemen travel to Norris for the final regular season game and a chance to win the District Championship. With a win over the Titans, Beatrice will host a first-round playoff game.
Crete fell to 1-7 and will host Waverly in their final game of the season.