Staff Photographer

Heirnich Haarber finds open field in the Stars' win over Broken Bow

KEARNEY — Kearney Catholic wasn’t challenged in the first week of the football season.

The Stars eased to a 28-0 lead over Broken Bow in the first quarter and went on to win 56-7 with their backups playing most of the second half.

The Stars will try to continue their early-season success against Aurora (0-1) at 7 p.m. Friday in Aurora.

Here are three areas to watch in Friday’s matchup between the Stars and Huskies:

Stars’ offense

Kearney Catholic’s offense clicked on all cylinders against Broken Bow. The starting offense only played one series in the second half, as the Stars finished with 361 yards of total offense.

The Stars quickly seized the momentum against Broken Bow with junior quarterback Heinrich Haarberg playing well, throwing for 136 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for a team-high 114 yards and two touchdowns on five carries.

Haarberg’s dynamic ability created indecisiveness for Broken Bow’s defense and allowed the Stars to move the ball with ease.

Starting fast will be key for the Stars again this week. Coach Rashawn Harvey said he typically hopes the Stars run about 60 plays a game. They ran 42 plays against Broken Bow but played most of the game on a short field.

“For us this week to start fast, we have to push the tempo,” Harvey said. “We want to gas their big guys up front defensively. We want to move fast and gas them so we can put a few touchdowns up early and keep the pressure on them.”

Aurora bounce back?

Aurora, considered one of the top teams in Class C1 entering the season, dropped its first game against Adams Central, 24-8, on the road.

Adams Central scored 21 points in the second quarter and featured a balanced offensive attack. The Patriots threw for 244 yards and rushed for 161 yards to pick apart Aurora’s defense.

Aurora had 305 yards of total offense and scored its only touchdown in the third quarter.

Last season’s matchup

Last season, Aurora went undefeated to win the Class C1 state championship. In the second week of the season, the Huskies held a 26-point halftime lead. They also threw for 507 yards against the Stars.

Despite last season’s success, the Huskies won’t have their starting quarterback and top four receivers from last year’s game. The biggest loss for the Huskies is quarterback Baylor Scheierman, who had a record-breaking season as a senior.

The Huskies featured more of run-heavy offense in their loss against Adams Central, Harvey said.

“It’s a completely different makeup of a team,” he said. “It’s Aurora — they always have speed. But they don’t have three or four vertical threats. They don’t have Scheierman. who was a great athlete who set all those records last year. Their whole team is adjusting to a new quarterback and different style. They tend to run the ball a little more compared to this time last year.”

@DanZielinski3

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