KEARNEY — Speed has no substitute, and Kearney High’s Miko Maessner has some speed.
The senior running back, and Class A sprint champion, broke loose for first-half touchdown runs of 64 and 76 yards as Kearney High defeated Lincoln Southwest 14-0 Friday night at UNK’s Foster Field.
"Speed is it. Exactly right. Speed is the name of the game when it comes to athletics," said KHS coach Brandon Cool. "Obviously, we had a couple big plays in there where Miko was able to get to the end zone. It was good to see."
Maessner rushed for 239 yards on 21 carries. Both runs started up the middle. He bounced outside on the first one, winning the race down the sideline. He never got outside the hash marks on the second dash.
"Those are two just inside run plays. ... They play a little bit of a different coverage back there so if you can hit one up in the seam and make the linebackers make a decision, those are going to go right down the middle of the field," Cool said.
Those two plays accounted for nearly half of Kearney 327 yards of total offense.
Meanwhile, Southwest had no big plays, finishing with 162 yards of total offense.
"I thought our defense played lights out. ... They did a great job of containing their quarterback," Cool said.
Southwest quarterback Laken Harnly was Cool’s biggest worry — a running quarterback who could roll out and throw. But Harnly finished with 64 yards on 17 carries and he completed 10 of 24 passes for 63 yards.
"We’re concerned about him and then, obviously they have a lot of returning linemen that we were concerned about the run game. So I thought our defensive guys did a great job putting our kids in the correct spot," Cool said.
Again, chalk up another mark for speed.
"We tried to pinch them a little bit more, where they had to work the perimeter and then hopefully our foot speed could get those guys out there," Cool said.
The Silver Hawks pushed the ball across the 50-yard line twice in the first half, then went nowhere in the second half, nevery getting past the 40, as Kearney controlled the ball.
The win puts the Bearcats (5-2, 2-0) in the driver’s seat for the district championship. Lincoln Southwest (4-3, 2-1) was the only other team without a loss inside the Bearcats’ district.
"It’s just another step in our quest to be district champions. And that’s a very big step for us because Lincoln Southwest has a great football team. It was one of those things where we were just able to do some things that we needed to do tonight to win the game," Cool said.
n Kearney 14, Lincoln SW 0
Score by Quarters
Kearney (5-2, 2-0) 7 7 0 0 — 14
Lincoln SW (4-3, 2-1) 0 0 0 0 — 0
KHS — Miko Maessner 64 run (James Dakan kick)
KHS — Maessner 76 run (Dakan kick)
RUSHING — LSW: Laken Harnly 17-64, Telo Arsiaga 15-35. KHS: Miko Maessner 21-239, Alex Kemp 16-33, Colin Murray 1-1.
PASSING — LSW: Harnly 10-24-0, 63 yds. KHS: Murray 5-9-0, 54 yds.
RECEIVING — LSW: Grant Miller 2-19, Telo Arsiaga 2-15, Nolan Milius 2-12, Dakota Harders 2-10, Grant McKinsey 1-5, Carter Wieland 1-2. KHS: Will Richter 2-20, Maessner 1-15, Peter Glandt 1-13, Jack Johnson 1-6.