NORFOLK – Norfolk led the entire game on Friday against Columbus, but they never felt comfortable until midway through the 4th quarter.
With 7:43 left in the game, senior quarterback Brandon Hart found Connor Clayton for a 52 yard touchdown to give Norfolk a 27-14 led. Just 23 seconds later, senior running back Austin Bruzek broke loose for a 53-yard touchdown run to help seal the deal for the Panthers to win their first season opener since 2015.
Brandon Hart finished the night for the Panthers 266 yards passing and 4 total touchdowns on the night. Connor Clayton hauled in 9 passes for 135 yards and 2 touchdown’s. Clayton also made a 24 yard field goal in the win.
As a team, Norfolk finished with 467 yards (unofficially) of total offense. Columbus finished with 229 yards of total offense but they hurt themselves with 3 turnovers in the game and 9 penalties.
Norfolk (1-0) goes on the road next Friday to play Elkhorn while Columbus (0-1) opens up at home vs. North Platte.