North Platte St. Pat's ran off five unanswered touchdowns on Friday night to pull away from Cambridge on its way to a 42-12 victory at Knights of Columbus Field.
"I am happy about this win," St. Pat's coach Kevin Dodson said. "Things started slow for us. Cambridge came out and surprised with a different defensive front than we anticipated. But we adjusted and got going. We made a step in the right direction tonight."
On the first drive of the game, St. Pat's (6-0) got into Cambridge territory when Drew McClellen carried the ball to the Trojan 11 for a gain of 44 yards.
Then on third down and 11 yards to go, quarterback Alex Harms rolled out and found Andrew O'Neill for a first down at the 10.
Collin Pieper carried the ball to the two on first down and then Harms punched it in to give the Irish the lead.
But on its second play from scrimmage, Cambridge (3-3) answered right back when Zack Moore busted loose up the middle for a 76 yard touchdown.
St. Pat's still had the lead after Moore's touchdown as Taylor Kubik's PAT attempt went wide right.
The score remained 7-6 for quite a while after that. The Irish made it to Trojan territory three times and they came up empty on all three after a lost fumble, and two field goal attempts by McClellen that were blocked and missed.
But with 3:41 left in the first half, St. Pat's added to its lead when Chase Kimberling scored from 41 yards out on a run to the left side and it was 14-6.
The Irish defense then held Cambridge and they got the ball back at around the Trojan 40 after Kubik's punt with just over 30 seconds remaining.
Harms threw a deep ball to Mark Mayfield in the end zone and drew a pass interference penalty that gave St. Pat's the ball at the 26.
Then Harms found Pieper on a throw to the right side and Pieper took it in for a touchdown to give the Irish a two touchdown lead with only one second left before the break.
The two touchdowns in the last four minutes gave St. Pat's all the separation it needed.
"That was huge for us because the momentum really changed," Dodson said. "We started throwing the ball better and that's something we're going to need to do as the season goes further along."
The Irish put the game away in the third quarter when Pieper and Harms scored on touchdown runs for a 35-6 lead.
In the fourth quarter, Harms scored another touchdown for good measure before Cambridge scored the final touchdown of the game.
Maybe the thing that Dodson was the most pleased about Friday night's game was how his team responded after the Trojans' big play early.
"When they ran that guy up the middle and scored, I thought that this was going to be a long night," Dodson said. "But they closed that down right away and they played very well after that."
Cambridge 6 0 0 6 - 12
St. Pat's 7 14 14 7 - 42
SP-Alex Harms 2 run (Drew McClellen kick), 8:42
C-Zack Moore 76 run (kick failed), 7:30
SP-Chase Kimberling 41 run (McClellen kick), 3:41
SP-Collin Pieper 26 pass from Harms (McClellen kick), :1
SP-Pieper 22 run (McClellen kick), 7:34
SP-Harms 38 run (McClellen kick), :28
SP-Harms 1 run (McClellen kick), 9:27
C- Brandon Andrews 11 pass from Taylor Kubik (conversion failed), 3:55