BUSSEY - An amazing second half on both sides of the ball carried the Colo-NESCO football team to an impressive 67-34 road victory over Twin Cedars Friday at Bussey.


The Royals held on to a slim 28-26 lead at the half. But thanks to an incredible performance by running back Garrett Packer, and a great showing on defense, Colo-NESCO managed to blow the game open in the third quarter and never look back.


“Offensively, we saw some defensive formations we have never seen (and) it took a while for our guys to catch on to their scheme,” Colo-NESCO head football coach Josh Nessa said. “Our run defense was tough all night and we were able to get more pressure on their quarterback in the second half. Our pass defense also improved a lot in the second half.”


Colo-NESCO outscored Twin Cedars 32-0 in the third quarter. Packer scored all four Royal touchdowns in the quarter on runs of 46, 25, 10 and 31 yards to give his team a 60-26 lead.


Ethan Wilson capped the Royal scoring with a 30-yard touchdown scamper early in the fourth quarter. Twin Cedars’ lone score of the second half came in mop-up time during the final minutes of the fourth quarter.


Packer finished the game with 279 yards and five touchdowns rushing on just 16 carries. As a team, Colo-NESCO was overpowering on the ground, finishing with 516 rushing yards.


Philip Bower ran for 110 yards and three touchdowns and Wilson 31 yards and one score. Mason Lytle tacked on 43 yards and Francis Bower 34.


The Royal defense struggled with the big-play passing attack of Twin Cedars in the first half. The Sabers had four passing touchdowns of 19 yards or more in the first half, including two over 50 yards.


“For the most part, we had a few breakdowns defensively on pass coverage and Twin Cedars flat out made some great plays, even when our coverage was good,” Nessa said.


Nick Haselhuhn threw for 309 yards and four touchdowns; Dakota Pinegar caught five passes for 154 yards and two scores, and added 68 yards rushing for the Sabers. Colton Hughes chipped in four receptions for 120 yards and one touchdown and Marshall Maple ran for 34 yards and one touchdown.


Packer made 8.5 tackles and assisted on two tackles for loss for Colo-NESCO on defense. Lytle finished with six tackles and one sack, Alex Grover had 4.5 stops and a sack, Jacob Clatt picked up 3.5 tackles and a sack and Connor Clark ended up with three stops and half a sack.


The victory put Colo-NESCO at 4-1 overall and 3-0 in 8-man District 5. Twin Cedars dropped to 2-3 and 2-1 respectively.


Up next for the Royals is their homecoming game with Seymour/Moulton-Udell (0-5, 0-3).


“I want to say congratulations to our homecoming court and hope to see great school spirit this week,” Nessa said. “It is a great week to be a Royal!”


Colo-NESCO’s homecoming game will start at 7 p.m. this Friday in Colo.


Colo-NESCO 67, Twin Cedars 34


CN 14 14 32 7 - 67


TC 12 14 0 8 - 34


Scoring


First quarter


TC - Dakota Pinegar 26 pass from Nick Haselhuhn (pass failed), 11:43.


CN - Philip Bower 9 run (run failed), 10:43.


TC - Pinegar 54 pass from Haselhuhn (pass failed),1:42.


CN - Bower 43 run (Packer run), 1:24.


Second quarter


CN - Bower 11 run (Bower run), 9:54.


TC - Colton Hughes 65 pass from Haselhuhn (Hughes run), 9:08.


TC - Logan Anderson 19 pass from Haselhuhn (pass failed), 6:18.


CN - Packer 46 run (run failed), 6:00.


Third quarter


CN - Packer 46 run (Packer run), 9:14.


CN - Packer 25 run (Bower run), 7:09.


CN - Packer 10 run (Packer run), 4:13.


CN - Packer 31 run (Mason Lytle run), 2:56.


Fourth quarter


CN - Ethan Wilson 30 run (Jack McKinney kick), 8:22.


TC - Marshall Maple 4 run (Pinegar run), 3:46.


Team statistics CN TC


Rushes-yards 45-516 26-86


Passing 1-6-0 11-23-0


Passing yards 5 309


Total yards 521 395


Fumbles lost 1 0


Punts-average NA 4-30.0


Individual statistics


Rushing: CN - Garrett Packer 16-279, Philip Bower 13-110, Mason Lytle 5-43, Francis Bower 4-34, Ethan Wilson 2-31, Sean Cutler 1-9, Alex Grover 1-7, Brighton Clatt 3-3. TC - Dakota Pinegar 12-68, Marshall Maple 7-34, Tytus Hunt 1-3, Nick Haselhuhn 6-(-13).


Passing: CN - Cutler 1-4-0-5, P. Bower 0-1-0-0, Packer 0-1-0-0. TC - Haselhuhn 11-23-0-309.


Receiving: CN - Packer 1-5. TC - Pinegar 5-154, Colton Hughes 4-120, Logan Anderson 1-18, Kade Dunkin 1-17.


Tackles: CN - Packer 8.5, Lytle 6, Grover 4.5, Kelly Gray 4.5, Bryce Niemeyer 4. TC - Pinegar 10.5, Haselhuhn 7, Anderson 4.5.


Sacks: CN - Grover 1, Lytle 1, Jacob Clatt 1, Connor Clark 0.5.