VINTON - Nevada showed what it’s made of in its Class 2A District 7 opener versus Vinton-Shellsburg Friday.


The Cubs rallied from a 21-0 deficit to stun the Vikings, 28-27, in an Iowa High School football thriller.


Vinton-Shellsburg quarterback Brooks Erickson found the end zone on a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs and Elijah Kalous scored on an 11-yard run to give the Vikings their big early lead.


“We had a tough time stopping their offense,” Nevada head coach Andrew Kleeman said. “Vinton-Shellsburg has some really talented athletes and they run a unique offensive scheme, which gave us a lot of problems early on in the game. We also had difficulty sustaining drives offensively.”


Nevada scored a touchdown late in the first half to get some momentum going into halftime. The Cubs picked up a safety early in the third quarter to pull within 21-9.


Then Ayden Rhodes and Caeden DaSilva each came up with a big play to give the Cubs the lead. Rhodes scored on a 44-yard run and DaSilva caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from Keaton Fry to put Nevada up, 22-21.


“At halftime we made some needed adjustments and our kids played hard,” Kleeman said. “We set the tone right away in the second half with a safety and touchdown, which provided the spark we needed.”


Vinton-Shellsburg answered back before the end of the third quarter to retake the lead when Jose Wilson caught a 45-yard touchdown pass form Brooks Erickson for the Vikings.


But Nevada’s defense clamped down in the fourth quarter. The Cubs kept Vinton-Shellsburg off the board and the offense produced one more touchdown drive.


Fry capped off the final Cub scoring drive with a 1-yard touchdown run. That turned out to be the difference as Nevada improved to 4-1 overall and got off to a 1-0 start in the district.


“We did a much better job of executing in the second half overall,” Kleeman said. “I was really proud of how our team continues to respond to adversity, but we need to play more consistent football moving forward.”


Nevada put up 384 total yards, including 285 on the ground. The Cub defense gave up 341 yards.


Nevada prevailed despite finishing a minus-two in the turnover battle.


Fry threw for 99 yards and ran for another 85 and Caden Jones had 82 yards rushing on just eight carries. DaSilva caught five passes for 94 yards in his first varsity action of the season, Lucas Rogers rushed for 61 yards and Rhodes finished with 49 yards rushing.


Noah Adelmund had seven tackles and two stops behind the line and Jones six stops and a pair of tackles for loss to lead Nevada on defense. Cael Franzen made seven tackles and one tackle for loss, Rogers four tackles and one stop behind the line, Rhodes, Cael Franzen and Isaac Pantoja three stops apiece and Ross Uthe 2.5 tackles and a tackle for loss.


Vinton-Shellsburg fell to 2-3 overall and 0-1 in the district. Erickson threw for 112 yards and ran for 35, Wilson caught two passes for 75 yards, Kalous ran for 59 yards and Sam Griffith picked up 58 yards rushing for the Vikings.


The victory over Vinton-Shellsburg sets up a big game for Nevada this weekend versus undefeated Benton (5-0, 1-0).


“”We face a great opponent Friday night,” Kleeman said. “We are excited for the opportunity.”


Nevada’s game with Benton takes place at Cub Stadium in Nevada. It is set to start at 7;30 p.m. on Friday.


Nevada 28, Vinton-Shellsburg 27


N 0 7 15 6 - 28


VS 6 15 6 0 - 27


Scoring


First quarter


VS - Brooks Erickson 1 run (conversion failed).


Second quarter


VS - Erickson 1 run (Elijah Kalous pass from Erickson).


VS - Kalous 11 run (Luke Beyer kick).


N - Keaton Fry 1 run (Kruschwitz kick).


Third quarter


N - Safety.


N - Ayden Rhodes 44 run (Kruschwitz kick).


N - Caeden DaSilva 20 pass from Fry (conversion failed).


VS - Jose Wilson 45 pass from Erickson (conversion failed).


Fourth quarter


N - Fry 1 run (conversion failed).


Team statistics N V-S


First downs 20 17


Rushes-yards 45-285 40-219


Passing 6-12-2 4-12-0


Passing yards 99 112


Total yards 384 341


Fumbles-lost 0-0 0-0


Punts-average 2-22.5 4-39.5


Penalties-yards 2-20 4-22


Individual statistics


Rushing: N - Keaton Fry 23-85, Caden Jones 8-82, Lucas Rogers 10-61, Ayden Rhodes 2-49, Caeden DaSilva 2-8. VS - Elijah Kalous 9-59, Sam Griffith 5-58, Jose Wilson 18-41, Brooks Erickson 7-35.


Passing: N - Fry 6-12-2-99. VS - Erickson 4-12-0-112.


Receiving: N - DaSilva 5-94, Rhodes 1-5. VS - Wilson 2-75, John Engler 1-26, Ethan Rollinger 1-11.


Tackles: N - Noah Adelmund 7, Cael Franzen 7, Jones 6, Rogers 4, Isaac Pantoja 3, Carter Franzen 3, Rhodes 3.


Interceptions: VS - Griffith, Engler.