The Bearcats looked to defend their undefeated home record against the #4 Millard West Wildcats on Sept. 28, 2018. Disaster struck on the first drive of the game as senior wide receiver Cale Masters caught a screen pass and immediately fumbled the ball, which was recovered by the Wildcats. On the next play, Millard West quarterback Tristan Gomes completed a 28-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Kaedyn Odermann.
A few possessions later, senior Bearcat quarterback Brayden Miller threw a pass to junior wide receiver Seth Stroh, which was intercepted by Millard West cornerback Dalys Beanum giving the Wildcats great field position at the Kearney 22-yard line. The Wildcats were unable to take advantage of the second Bearcat turnover as junior defensive lineman Jaxon Worley stripped and recovered the ball from Millard West running back Jackson Wright.
Three plays later, Miller was picked off by Beanum once again. This time Beanum was able to return the ball 33 yards for a touchdown to bring the score to 0-14. After a punt on the next drive by the Bearcats, Gomes was able to run the ball in on a 20-yard scramble to extend the lead to 0-21. The Wildcats kept their 21 point lead til the end of the first quarter.
The Bearcats were able to move the ball well in the second quarter, which led to a 1st and goal from the 10-yard line. On a Miller quarterback draw, Millard West had him bottled up near the goal-line when the ball came loose. Senior offensive lineman Josh Garrelts recovered the ball in the endzone for the Bearcat touchdown. After a missed extra point, the score was 6-21. On the next Wildcat drive, running back Jackson Wright ran the ball in for a 3-yard touchdown to make the score 6-28 at half.
On the first Millard West drive of the second half, the Wildcats brought the ball down to the Bearcat 27-yard line. On first down, the snap by the Wildcats went over Gomes’ head and through the hands of Stroh before it was finally recovered by senior defensive lineman Jeret Christiancy on the Bearcats 49-yard line. Although this was a great defensive stop by the Bearcats, the offense was not destined to turn it into points after a three-and-out.
After the Bearcat defense was able to get the Wildcat offense off the field once again, junior running back Alex Kemp fumbled the ball at the Bearcats own 42-yard line. Five plays later, Gomes was able to complete a touchdown pass to Beanum for a 29-yard touchdown. The Wildcats were up 6-35 at the end of the third quarter.
On the next possession, the Bearcats were able to drive down the field on a nine-play 80-yard drive that ended with a 29-yard touchdown pass from Miller to senior wide receiver Cale Masters.
After the Bearcats defense was able to get a stop on the next drive, Wildcats punter Trey Wilbeck had his punt blocked by junior Gabe Gilsdorf. The ball was then picked up by senior Chris Kingsley, who stumbled the ball in for a touchdown. After the extra point, the Bearcats were down 20-35 with 6:39 to go and momentum on their side.
The momentum did not last long, though, as the Wildcats were able to respond with an eight-play 70-yard touchdown drive that once again ended with a 10-yard pass from Gomes to Beanum once again. This play sealed the Bearcats demise, as they lost 20-42.
Miller ended the game going 12 of 25 for 127 yards with one touchdown and four interceptions. He also led the rushing effort with 15 carries for 62 yards, and junior running back Miko Maessner had 10 carries for 36 yards. Junior Will Richter led the receiving totals with four receptions for 51 yards and Masters had three receptions for 32 yards and a touchdown. Senior Parker Brush led the effort defensively with five tackles. The Bearcats next game will be at Lincoln Southwest on Oct. 5, 2018.