Royals outlast Wolverines, 54-42

Joe Randleman, Sports Writer

MORAVIA - Colo-Nesco rallied late to hold off Moravia for a 54-42 victory in an 8-man District 5 football game Friday at Moravia.

The game featured one huge momentum swing after another in the battle to hold sole possession of third place in the district.

Colo-Nesco raced out to a 20-0 lead, only to see Moravia counter with 22 unanswered points. Colo-Nesco went back on top just before the end of the first half on a 24-yard touchdown pass from Garret Tiarks to Wayne Beard.

The third quarter saw Tiarks finish two scoring drives with touchdown runs from three and 14 yards out to push the Royal lead to 38-22. But then the pass-catch combination of Hunter Arbogast and Nick Martin took over to give Moravia three consecutive touchdowns and the lead.

Arbogast found Martin on scoring strikes from 51, 12 and 13 yards as Moravia claimed a 42-38 lead with just three minutes, 12 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

But Wayne Beard immediately followed the final Martin touchdown with a 55-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. It turned out to be the play of the game, sparking a 16-0 run to close out the game and give Colo-Nesco the victory.

After a Royal defensive stop, Tiarks iced the game with 2:18 to go on a 7-yard touchdown run. The win put Colo-Nesco at 4-4 overall and 4-2 in the district.

“This was our most exciting game and we played very well as a team,” Colo-Nesco head coach Josh Nessa said. “I am proud of our guys! They battled the whole game and we played a great four quarters. We have had issues with starting slow in the first quarter and falling off in the fourth quarter against tough competition, but Friday we played well the entire game.”

Colo-Nesco had 410 yards of total offense. The Royals gave up 348 yards, but the also forced four turnovers.

Nessa credited seniors Garret Tiarks and Wayne Beard for having big nights to lead Colo-Nesco to the win.

Tiarks was his usual dominant self on Friday.

Tiarks ran for 221 yards and four touchdowns on a whopping 45 carries. He also completed 7 of 15 passes for 109 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions and added 5.5 tackles on defense.

Beard stepped up to make four receptions for 77 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for 45 yards and made four tackles to go along with the clutch kickoff return for a touchdown.

“Wayne Beard had a great night on special teams when he recovered the ball on one of our kickoffs, and had a kickoff return for a touchdown (and) also had four receptions for 77 yards and three touchdowns,” Nessa said. “Garret Tiarks also had a great night with seven touchdowns and 330 (total) yards.”

Nessa added that the performances of Tiarks and Beard came within the context of a strong overall team effort.

On defense, Bryce Niemeyer had 8.5 tackles and a fumble recovery, Dakota Wier totaled 4.5 tackles and a fumble recovery and Sean Cutler recovered a fumble. On offense, Francis Bower had 24 yards receiving and 14 rushing, Philip Bower ran for 21 yards and Parker Eley made one catch for eight yards.

Martin had 76 yards receiving and 46 rushing and Arbogast tacked on 96 yards passing and 26 rushing for Moravia. Dallas Price ran for 124 yards and two touchdowns, Quinton Casteel totaled 18.5 tackles and Cole Hyde made 14.5 stops for the Wolverines, who fell to 4-4 overall and 3-3 in the district.

Colo-Nesco will close out its season at home this Friday against Tri-County (1-8, 0-6). The game will start at 7 p.m. in Colo.

Colo-Nesco 54, Moravia 42

CN 20 6 12 16 - 54

M 14 8 0 20 - 42

Scoring

First quarter

CN - Wayne Beard 8 pass from Garret Tiarks (Beard run), 9:06.

CN - Tiarks 4 run (run failed), 6:44.

CN - Beard 37 pass from Tiarks (pass failed), 5:03.

M - Nick Martin 9 run (run failed), 3:26.

M - Dallas Price 67 run (Martin run), 1:06.

Second quarter

M - Price 3 run (Quinton Casteel run), 1:09.

CN - Beard 24 pass from Tiarks (pass failed), 0:33.

Third quarter

CN - Tiarks 3 run (run failed), 4:32.

CN - Tiarks 14 run (run failed), 0:15.

Fourth quarter

M - Nick Martin 51 pass from Hunter Arbogast (Price run), 11:12.

M - Martin 12 pass from Arbogast (run failed), 8:47.

M - Martin 13 pass from Arbogast (pass failed), 3:12.

CN - Beard 55 kickoff return (Tiarks run), 3:03.

CN - Tiarks 7 run (Tiarks run), 2:18.

Team statistics CN M

Rushes-yards 62-301 31-252

Passing 7-15-2 5-12-1

Passing yards 109 96

Total yards 410 348

Fumbles lost 1 3

Punts-average 1-27.0 2-24.0

Individual statistics

Rushing: CN - Garret Tiarks 45-221, Wayne Beard 10-45, Philip Bower 5-21, Francis Bower 2-14. M - Dallas Price 11-124, Nick Martin 6-46, Chase Snyder 6-38, Hunter Arbogast 6-26, Jake Martin 1-16, Quinton Casteel 1-2.

Passing: CN - Tiarks 7-15-2-109. M - Arbogast 5-12-1-96.

Receiving: CN - Beard 4-77, F. Bower 2-24, Parker Eley 1-8. M - Nick Martin 3-76, Martin 1-11, Chase Snyder 1-9.

Tackles: CN - Bryce Niemeyer 8.5, Tiarks 5.5, Dakota Wier 4.5, Beard 4. M - Casteel 18.5, Cole Hyde 14.5, Chase Snyder 11.

Fumble recoveries: CN - Niemeyer, Wier, Sean Cutler. M - Brock Sheldon.

Interceptions: CN - P. Bower. M - Arbogast, Price.