Lincoln Christian’s big-play threats, again, proved to be too much for Falls City to overcome and the Crusaders advanced in the Class C1 state playoffs with a 30-14 victory Wednesday night at Lincoln’s Seacrest Field.
Christian’s Logan Power, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound senior, came up with the play of the game on the Crusaders’ first possession of the second half and deflated the Tigers.
On a fourth-and-1 play at the LC 49-yard line, Power dropped back to punt, but Christian dialed up a fake. Power rolled right and appeared to be looking to pass the ball, then reversed field and out-ran defenders for a 51-yard TD. The run only put Christian up by 10, but felt more like a knockout punch on the FC sideline.
The touchdown ignited the Crusaders, who went on to outscore FC 18-0 in the third quarter and pushed their lead to 30-8.
Power rushed for 126 yards and two touchdowns and passed for two more scores.
The Tigers trailed 12-0 for most of the first half until senior Mitchell Harling found fellow senior Reese Hogue open for a nine-yard TD pass with less than a minute remaining in the second quarter. Harling added the two-point conversion to make it 12-8.
FC had chances to take the lead early in the game, but their first two drives stalled deep in Crusader’s territory.
Harling paced the Tigers with 169 yards on 25 carries and finished the year with 1,079 yards on 171 carries, good for the fifth-highest single-season total in school history. Harling also finished his career with the fifth-most career rushing yards, 2,022 on 348 carries, and is one of only five Tiger ball carriers to eclipse the 2,000-yard mark in a career – Cord Huettner (2009-12), Dakota Schulenberg (2007-09), Dan Werner (2005-06) and Cameron McNabb (1989-90).
Junior wing-back Jordy Stoller was hemmed in for much of the night and finished with 43 yards on 12 carries. The 43 yards, despite being well below his team-leading 107 yards-per-game average, pushed Stoller’s season total to 1,012 yards and marked the first time in FC history that a pair of running backs broke 1,000 yards in the same season.
In 2012, only six backfields in the state featured a pair of 1,000-yard rushers.
Falls City finished the season with a 6-4 record, marking their second-straight six-win season.