A week after quarterback Tyrell Houghton accounted for 5 touchdowns, Chuck Wright started versus the Bandits and threw for 5 touchdowns – along with 169 passing yards – and stepped up when the Beef needed him most. Wright found wide receiver Brandon Kinnie for a four-yard touchdown with no time remaining to give the Beef a 43-41 victory.
With 21 seconds remaining in the game, the Beef started their final drive from their own 16-yard line. Four plays later, Wright found Kinnie in the endzone as time expired, to give the Beef their first victory of the season.
In their first matchup, the Beef took a beating week one, losing to the Bandits in Sioux City, 62-13.
That game was never close. The Beef were down 27-3 at the half and 48-3 after three quarters, the first Omaha touchdown coming with 8:09 remaining in the game. This time, Omaha’s first touchdown came just 2:25 into the game.
For the second week in a row the success of Omaha’s running game established the tempo. Running back Allen Daniels helped set the tone with some physical runs in the early going on his way to a team-leading 10 carries for 49 yards. Not to be outdone, running back Steven Rush unleashed some hits of his own on 9 carries for 41 yards.
After setting season-highs in rushing yards and attempts a week ago versus Wichita, the offense equaled last week’s 26 attempts and ran for a new high of 140 yards.
Heading into the fourth quarter the Beef held a 24-19 lead and had, to that point, dictated the flow of the game. The teams combined for 41 points in the final quarter, and at one point the Beef extended the lead to 30-19 with 12:52 left after a 13-yard receiving score for Daniels.
But the Bandits scored 16 unanswered points to take a 34-30 lead with 1:37 left in the fourth. Beef return man AJ Downs responded on the ensuing kickoff. His 53-yard return for touchdown was the team’s first of the season and gave the Beef a 37-34 lead with 1:22 left in the game.
Sioux City rallied, and in 52 seconds, put together a five-play, 26-yard scoring drive that netted them seven points and a 41-37 lead with 28 seconds left. After an 18-yard kick return by Daniels gave the Beef the ball on their own 16, Wright and the offense took over with 21 seconds left.
From there, Wright engineered the game-winning five-play, 34-yard drive, a true team effort that featured several individual players making crucial plays.
Sides of Beef
– Brandon Kinnie had his breakout game with six receptions for 69 yards and 3 touchdowns. Entering the game, Kinnie had a team-leading 19 receptions after five games, but had only found the endzone once.
– For an offense that had lacked an explosive play maker, wide receiver Brian Boro showed burst. He scored his second receiving touchdown in two games with the team, the first of the game, and added three runs for 27 yards.
– After accumulating 118 all-purpose yards in his Beef debut last week, Allen Daniels totaled 140 and a touchdown versus the Bandits.
– Jesse Robertson Jr., the CIF’s leading tackler, led the “Beef-ense” with nine tackles.
– A week after being benched in favor of Houghton, Chuck Wright finished 17-of-27 for 169 yards, five touchdowns and one interception.