STROMSBURG – Cross County’s 6-6 senior defensive end Cory Hollinger came through the Nebraska Christian line and blocked the punt attempt of Nebraska Christian’s Dayton Falk through the end zone for a 2-0 lead just 1:39 into Friday night’s game.
That started a 54 point first half as Cross County, the No. 4 team in the Omaha World-Herald Class D1 rankings, erased the memories of last week’s loss to Howells-Dodge by taking out some frustrations in a 61-7 win.
The Cougar defense was relentless all night long as they held the Eagle offense to just 163 yards in the game. Quarterback Dayton Falk struggled in the passing game as he was 5 of 18 for 62 yards which included the Eagles’ only touchdown on a screen pass late in the second quarter. He also threw an interception to the Cougars’ Cameron Graham in the fourth quarter.
The Cougar ground game chewed up 202 yards in the first half alone with senior back Haiden Hild accounting for three touchdowns on runs of 23, 7 and 2 yards. He carried the ball 12 times for 133 yards, while fellow senior Shayden Lundstrom ran the ball seven times for 75 yards. He scored on runs of 8 and 43 yards and tossed touchdown passes to Graham and a 65 yard bomb to Hollinger.
Cross County finished the game with 289 yards on the ground and another 89 through the air for a total offense of 378 yards.
Nebraska Christian ran the ball 27 times for 99 yards and picked up another 64 yards passing for a total offense of 163 yards.
They were led on the ground by quarterback Dayton Falk with 50 yards on eight carries.
Along with a blocked punt in the first quarter, Hollinger blocked another punt in the second quarter.
The scoring was capped in the fourth quarter with 1:25 to play when sophomore Brayden Schmidtberger broke free on a 45 yard run.
The Cougars (4-1) will get a week off before they travel up the road to Shelby to take on the Shelby-Rising City Huskies on October 1.
Nebraska Christian (2-1) 0 7 0 0-7
Cross County (3-1) 14 40 0 7-61