OSCEOLA, NE — Ben Gebhardt returned two kicks for touchdowns and registered three interceptions as the #5 Lutheran High Northeast Eagles beat the #13 Osceola/High Plains Stormdogs 66-26 on Wednesday night.
The Eagles (9-1) raced ahead immediately. Quarterback Jaxson Kant broke a 53-yard touchdown run on LHNE’s first offensive play. They added to their lead later in the first quarter with a methodical touchdown drive that featured two fourth down conversions and was capped with a Kant TD run.
Osceola/High Plains (5-5) got on the board before the end of the quarter. Quarterback Dylan Soule tossed a 25-yard completion to Keaton Van Housen to put the ball on the one-yard line. Soule snuck it in to make it 14-6.
Then, Gebhardt ran the next kickoff back 75 yards for a touchdown. The Stormdogs responded with a touchdown drive ending with a six-yard scamper by Soule to cut the score to 20-12.
LHNE scored two more times before the end of the half. Logan Nitz notched a three-yard touchdown run and Tanner Koss hauled in a 31-yard touchdown pass.
The Stormdogs were driving towards the end of the half but Nitz picked off Soule in the end zone to keep it 38-18 going into the break.
Gebhardt returned the opening kickoff of the second half for a touchdown and the rout was on. He intercepted Soule three times in the half to thwart any attempt at a Stormdogs comeback. The junior receiver also caught a 21-yard touchdown pass in the half.
The Eagles will play the Creighton Bulldogs in the quarterfinals on Tuesday.