Kearney dominates St. Joe Lafayette

By Corey Edwards The Kearney Courier
Posted: October 29, 2016 - 12:59 AM

Sometimes you just draw the short straw.

Lafayette faced an uphill battle in the Class 4 District 8 semifinals, facing the defending state champions and No. 1-ranked Kearney.

Despite hanging tight with the Bulldogs early during Friday’s first quarter at Kearney High School, the Fighting Irish could not withstand a 35-point onslaught in the final 14 minutes of the half in a 59-7 losing effort.

“We talked all week about they were 9-1 for a reason,” Fighting Irish coach Bart Hardy said. “We told our kids that we were going to have to play a really, really good football game to stay with them and beat them. We were a little nervous early, and there were some plays that went against us.

The Bulldogs (10-1) bit first on a Patrick Connery 5-yard touchdown run 2 minutes into the contest, but Lafayette (7-4) answered back with a strong drive and a little trickery. Facing third down only 9 yards out from the Bulldogs’ end zone, Irish quarterback Diego Bernard found Braydan Cox on a quick out and Cox connected on a quick lateral to Trey Washington on the hook-and-ladder to tie the score.

“I really expected (Lafayette) to be in quads like they were early on, but I did not expect the trickery,” Kearney coach Greg Jones said. “On that touchdown I was calling it out but we didn’t get our safety over fast enough to pick it up.”

The Fighting Irish went back to the hook-and-ladder play multiple times throughout the contest with varied results. On the second attempt, Kearney senior linebacker Jacob Marshall picked off the lateral attempt, and late in the game the same trio of Irish players connected once more for a 96-yard score, but the touchdown was negated by a personal foul during the play.

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