PLATTSMOUTH – Plattsmouth went toe to toe with one of the best teams in Class B on Friday night.
Waverly finished just a step ahead of the Blue Devils in the fourth quarter.
The Vikings stopped Plattsmouth 29-7 at Blue Devil Stadium. Waverly, ranked second in Class B, needed two late touchdowns to breathe a sigh of relief against Plattsmouth. PHS held Waverly to eight points in the first half and was within 15-7 until five minutes left in the game.
“We played hard tonight,” Plattsmouth head coach Bob Dzuris said. “That’s one thing I never have to worry about with this group. They play hard out there all the time, and they did really well tonight against a great team. Our tackling could have been better at times, but we gave them our best shot. There’s nothing our guys have to hang their heads about at all.”
The Vikings kept Plattsmouth from engineering many long drives in the game. Waverly’s defensive line bottled up the PHS rushing attack throughout the evening. Plattsmouth finished the matchup with 40 yards on the ground. The Blue Devils had entered the night with 1,412 rushing yards on the season.
“Their defensive line was phenomenal,” Dzuris said. “I have to tip my hat to them because they were all over the field. I think we have a really good offensive line, but their defensive line just played great tonight.”
Waverly (6-1) went ahead seven minutes into the game when Barrett Skrobecki made a 50-yard touchdown reception. He hauled in a pass from WHS quarterback Mason Nieman, shook off one defender and sprinted down the Waverly sideline. Zane Schwang’s two-point conversion run made it 8-0.
Plattsmouth (3-5) gained momentum late in the first half when the team’s defense made a goal-line stand. Waverly moved the football down to the 3-yard line with 21.3 seconds left. Nieman tried to run it in on fourth down but he was stopped by Hunter Adkins and Sean Ballinger.
“That was awesome to see,” Dzuris said. “I was really proud of the guys for the way they were able to hang tough there. That definitely gave us a boost entering halftime.”
The Vikings created a 15-0 game with 3:14 to go in the third quarter. Nieman scrambled to his right near the 13-yard line and found a small opening by the pylon for the touchdown.
Plattsmouth fans roared less than a minute later when the Blue Devils cut the deficit to 15-7. Adkins rolled to his right and then threw back to Andrew Rathman standing near the PHS sideline. Rathman raced downfield for a 69-yard touchdown.
The score remained the same until the 5:06 mark of the fourth quarter. Waverly converted on a third-and-17 play when Skrobecki hauled in a reception at the 10-yard line. Ethan Kastens capped the drive two plays later on a 12-yard run up the middle.
Waverly got the football back after Treyton Kozal fell on a fumbled snap on the first play of Plattsmouth’s next series. Noah Stoddard helped the Vikings cash in on the turnover with a 31-yard leaping grab with 2:50 to play.
Adkins completed three passes for 80 yards and ran seven times for 16 yards. Wynstyn Martin-Morrison had 15 yards on three carries and Connor Pohlmeier rushed 12 times for nine yards.
Rathman made one catch for 69 yards and Caleb Laney hauled in one 12-yard reception. Adam Eggert caught one pass for three yards.
Jim Barnard helped Plattsmouth’s defense with seven solo and two assisted tackles. Ballinger made one solo and 11 assisted tackles, Brayden Zaliauskas made three solo and seven assisted plays and Oscar Hinton had three solo and seven assisted tackles.
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Eggert made three stops behind the line of scrimmage and finished with three solo and four assisted tackles. Adkins tallied two solo and nine assisted stops and Pohlmeier intercepted one pass.
Plattsmouth will finish the regular season on Friday with a road game against Omaha Gross (3-5). The teams will play at Omaha Bryan Stadium in Bellevue at 7 p.m. The winner will likely secure a berth in the Class B playoffs.
“It’s a must-win for us,” Dzuris said. “We’re at the point now where we’re in a playoff-like scenario. If we win, we’re in, and if we don’t, then we’re going to have to sweat a little bit to see how everything shakes out across the state.
“I know these guys are going to work their tails off this week and they’re going to be ready to play. I’d love to see them get a win to reward them for everything they’ve done. All of us on this team are certainly going to do our best to make sure that happens.”
Waverly 8 0 7 14 – 29
Plattsmouth 0 0 7 0 – 7
WHS – Skrobecki 50 pass from Nieman (Schwang run), 5:25
WHS – Nieman 13 run (Canoyer kick), 3:14
PHS – Rathman 69 pass from Adkins (Prokupek kick), 2:17
WHS – Kastens 12 run (Canoyer kick), 5:06
WHS – Stoddard pass from Nieman (Canoyer kick), 2:50