Panthers get even with Rebels

Published 8:31 am Wednesday, October 22, 2008

There would be no upset this time around as New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva and United South Central met for the second straight year in the first round of the Section 2AA playoffs.

Last season the Rebels knocked off the No. 1 seed Panthers, ending their undefeated season and aspirations of a trip to state. Tuesday night No. 3 seed NRHEG ensured itself of another game in the section playoffs with a 28-14 win over No. 6 seed USC in New Richland.

The Rebels (2-7, 2-6) make the Panthers work for the win as the game tied 6-6 near the end of the first half. But NRHEG quarterback Payden Peterson found wide receiver Jonathan Kormann on a 52-yard touchdown pass with one second left in the half to give the Panthers a 14-6 lead at half after a two-point conversion by running back Greg Ramaker.

Email newsletter signup

NRHEG extended its lead to 22-6 after another Peterson to Kormann touchdown, but USC responded with a 50-yard interception return by Riley Stenzel that made the game 22-14 with 2:43 left in the third quarter.

Ramaker took over and connected with Keith Billing on a 7-yard touchdown pass with 1:32 left in the third quarter as the Panthers had a comfortable 28-14 lead.

Ramaker had nearly 300 yards rushing against the Rebels Tuesday night as he ran 35 times for 270 yards and a touchdown in the victory.

The Panthers outgained USC 438 to 129 as the NRHEG defense played strongly against the spread attack of the Rebels.

USC quarterback Riley Swearingen finished 10-for-23 with 62 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. The rushing game only had 67 yards for the Rebels.

NRHEG will face Triton in the second round of the section playoffs which will be played Saturday at Triton.

NRHEG 28, USC 14

USC – 0 6 8 0 – 14

NRHEG – 0 14 14 0 – 28

First Quarter

No scoring

Second Quarter

NRHEG – Greg Ramaker 12 run (conversion failed)

USC – Riley Stenzel 8 pass from Riley Swearingen (Swearingen run failed)

NRHEG – Jonathan Kormann 52 pass from Payden Peterson (Ramaker run)

Third Quarter

NRHEG – Kormann 30 pass from Peterson (Ramaker run)

USC – Stenzel 50 interception return (Sonnek pass from Swearingen)

NRHEG – Keith Billing 7 pass from Ramaker (Ramaker run failed)

Fourth Quarter

No scoring

Total offense

USC – 129

NRHEG – 438

Total rushing

USC – 67

NRHEG – 292

Total passing

USC – 62

NRHEG – 146