Lincoln Journal Star from Lincoln, Nebraska on October 29, 1978 · 39
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Lincoln Journal Star from Lincoln, Nebraska · 39

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Lincoln, Nebraska
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Sunday, October 29, 1978
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39
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I SECTION. E Sports wniragSflurnalanirStar Oct. 29, 1978 Lincoln, Neb. NU' Mi-Nelson leavestXSU on the mat First downs Rushes-yards Passing yards Return yards Passes Punts Fumbles-lost Penalties-yards Third down conversions Time-of-possession &MM MW 1 t 4 1 6 IS 1120 .1 - N'''n-;r J9:1I 30:48 E- ? Jk 7A - By Virgil Parker Sports Editor In the last two minutes of the game against Oklahoma State Saturday, the Nebraska coaches were huddling along the sidelines. They were deciding what defense would most likely stop a two- point conversion try by the Cowboys and thus prevent a tie. "Thank God it didn't come down to that," Cornhusker defensive coordinator Lance Van Zandt exclaimed with a sigh of relief after Nebraska escaped with a 22-14 victory. "That (if OSU had scored and tried a two-pointer) is the only thing that could have made the game more exciting." The battle, played before 75,786 partisan red-clad fans the 98th consecutive Memorial Stadium sellout was another typical Nebraska-Oklahoma State matchup. Dating back to 1962, Nebraska has never lost to the Cowboys. Yet in just four of the 17 games has Nebraska won by more than 15 points. In the six games since Tom Osborne took over the Husker head coaching reins, one OSU clash ended in a tie, two were decided by four points and now two more by just eight. Nebraska's inability to take care of the ball led to much of the Huskers' woes. I -back I.M. Hipp fumbled three times, losing two of them. His last, with 2:33 left in the game and Nebraska leading by just eight points, gave the Cowboys their final chance for a tie. Although two OSU passes fell incomplete, the Cowboys stunned the Huskers with a third-down, 57-yard gainer on a screen pass. An all-out effort by defensive end Derrie Nelson is all that saved a touchdown which would have set up that two-point conversion try. Nelson caught up with receiver Worley Taylor at the Nebraska 20. "We were in the best possible defense for a screen pass," Van Zandt believes. "We rushed just three men, had five in the short zones and three back deep. Actually, we had the play snuffed out at the line of scrimmage. But they got a couple of great blocks and we had a missed tackle. That was a big play by Nelson. He came from a long way away." Nebraska wasn't out of the woods. Cowboy quarterback Scott Burk sandwiched three passes around one running play, but all fell incomplete. OSU's last-ditch, fourth-down attempt was the scariest for the Husker faithful. "We blitzed on every one of those last four plays," Van Zandt revealed. "We were trying to make something happen to hurry his (burk's) throws. On fourth down we chased him out of the pocket. Whoever was supposed to be covering the intended receiver saw Burk start to run and left his man to come up to help. That was a mistake. The guy was open. Thank goodness the pass was overthrown." Nebraska look over and tried to run out the last 1:11 remaining on the clock. Even that proved to be a problem. On one quarterback sneak, referee Dan Foley stopped the clock to unpile the players, but refused to restart it until the next snap. The rule book provides that if the officals think the offense is intentionally stalling and refuses to unpile promptly, they can take such action. Ranked No. 4 in the nation, Nebraska (71) failed to take command against the 2-6 Cowboys. "It's the first game since Alabama where I questioned who was controlling the line of scrimmage," Osborne observed. "Oklahoma State just came off the ball and whipped us at the line. You've got to give them a lot of credit. But, when you win six games in a row without much trouble, it's easy to have a letdown. If we learn something from this experience and come back, then this kind of game might be a good thing for us. But we've got to get back to basics and start hitting people. If we don't we'll be in a lot of trouble in our next three games." Nebraska, which had been leading the nation in total offense after averaging 503 vards a game, sputtered to a 316 total. The Cowboys, who lost their first five games of the season, registered 323. "The kicking game made the difference," Van Zandt noted. "The other stats were very even. They had two more first downs, a few more total yards. Each team scored two touchdowns. But Billy Todd hit three field goals for us. We blocked one of their punts. They didn't block any. And we had 83 yards in punt returns and they had just eight. That was FOOTBALL: Continued page 12E How AP's top 20 fared Next week's opponent 1. Oklahoma (8-0) def. Kansas State, 54-19 a Colorado 2. Penn State (8-0) def. W. Virginia, 49-21 l0? 3. Alabama (7-1 1 def. Va. Tech, 35-0....... St 4. Nebraska (7-1 def. Oklahoma St., 22-14 -ot K. onsas 5. Maryland (8-0) def. Duke, 27-0 0,P, 'c.wS 6. USC (6-1) def. Col, 42-17 at Stanford 7. Texas (6-1) def. SMU, 22-3 8 Michigan (6-1 def. Minnesota, 42-10 at Iowa 9 Arkansas (4-2) lost to Houston, 20-9 m 10. UCLA (7-1) def. Arizona, 24-14 Oregon 11. Houston (6-1) def. Arkansas, 20-9 r"ii 12. Arizona Stole (5-2) lost to Washington, 41-7 V0,1"!'? 13. Missouri (5-3) lost to Colorado, 28-27 at 01 kla. St. 14. LSU (5-1) idle MJr. 15. Pitt (5-2) lost to Navy, 21-11 a' Syracuse 16 Georgia (6-1) def. Kentucky, 17-16 ywl 7 Purdue (6-1) def. Iowa, 34-7 NfflrE 18. Navy (7-0) def. Pitt, 21-11 Notre Dame leK'cS I t. - . V It wasn't an overpowering day offensively for the Cornhuskers Saturday afternoon, so the de- aard (2). The loose football was recovered by tackle Rod Horn (5d) on the OSL 48. Some 3 fense pitched in and helped beat Oklahoma State, 22-14. Part of that effort came on a blocked minutes later, Nebraska scored its first touchdown, but not without some difficulty. A fumble punt in the second quarter when end IX Cole (81) got a piece of the ball kicked by Kris Lundg- saving recovery was made by offensive guard Barney Cotton at the three-yard Une. Derrie to By Randy York Staff Sports Writer Eventually, every play in football turns into a kaleidoscope in the memory, but one play will always dazzle with color in the usually scrambled mind of Derrie Nelson. It was, Nebraska defensive captain George Andrews said, the tackle of the season ... the tackle that kept visions of oranges dancing in the heads of Nebraska's proud, but worn out Cornhuskers. It was the tackle that keyed a 22-14 triumph and saved Nebraska from enduring the tension of a possible tie against Oklahoma State Saturday. Nelson, a sophomore defensive end from Fairmont with a reputation for patterns of wild and crazy behavior, had to be a wild and crazy man to get to OSU fullback Worley Taylor on the tail end of a 57-yard screen pass in the final two TV Sports Scene Sundae Football Notre Dame vs. Miami, Fla, 8 a.m., Q NFL 78, 11:30p.m., 3D Packers vs. Buccaneers, noon, Q ID Jets vs. Patriots, noon, Q Cfl Broncos vs. Seahawks, 3 P.m., L5J College Football 78, 1 p.m., (J: Chargers vs. Raiders, 3 p.m., 0 Tom Osborne Show, 10:30 p.m., Bowling Leisure Lanes, noon, Q Monday Football Rams vs. Falcons, 8 p.m., Q (A) Maverick football, 1 1 : 15 p.m., O College Football 78, 11 :4S p.m., Q Tuesday Football NU highlights, 7 p.m., (0 East vs. Lincoln High replay, CD Basketball Hawks replay, 2 p.m., I8j 7 p.m., Wednesday Specials Las Vegas Sportsline, 7 p.m., CE r the Cornhuskei tate, 22-14. Part (81) got a piece remember 'Last Chance Saloon' play minutes. lie knew he was "The Last Chance Saloon" to pull a gun on these thieving Cowboys from Stillwater and he wasn't going to fumble around trying to get to his holster. "I've run a :04.65 40 before, but I must have run :04.4 or :04.5 to get to him," Nelson said of Taylor, whose dash to Nebraska's 20-yard line stopped the heartbeats of every Husker on the field and every Ian in the stands. "I looked down the sideline, saw him truckin' away and thought we didn't have anybody left to pull him down," Andrews admitted. "Then I saw Derrie dive in there and I knew he'd been had." Nelson worked himself into such a fervor reliving those precious seconds in the locker room, one must wonder how fast his blood rushed through his body when he actually made the tackle. Lincoln By Chuck Sinclair Prep Sports Editor There isn't much said around the Ken Kischer household about traveling from Grand Island to Lincoln especially around state playoff time. It's bad enough Betty Fischer had to make the trip to Lincoln three times in the past season to watch her husband coach the Islander football team against the likes of Southeast, Northeast and Kast. But even finishing 1-1-1 against the three opponents doesn't bother the Fischers as much as two previous post-season trips to the Capital City for first round playoff games, and a third game against a Lincoln team at home. Fischer's Grand Island teams of the past four years are record-setters in terms of making the state football playoffs. No team, besides Fischer's, has made the state qualifying field in each of the four years of playoff existance. It's the other record held by Grand Island that makes Lincoln, or opponents from Lincoln sound like forbidden fruit. In the three previous playoff appearances. Grand Island has come away win-less, once to state champion Lincoln East in the first playoff, the second time to state champion Southeast and last year to Northeast, a loser in the semifinals to eventual state champ Southeast. Betty Fischer says it makes her ill to tlunk about it, so not much conversion is exchanged at the supper table concerning Tuesday's apparent matchup between Grand Island and Southeast at Lincoln's Seacrest Field, according to unofficial pairings set up using the Nebraska School Activities Assn. point formula. L "I was so mad, I could feel myself boiling," he said. "All I could think about was run faster, run faster.' When I finally caught up, I swung my arm to knock him down. Lucky I didn't go on through his whole body or it might have ripped his head off." Sideline skeptics will cringe listening to Derrie Nelson's dialogue, but he's never pretended to be a stuffy Englishman at an afternoon tea. The Class D athlete called "Mental" by his teammates calls things exactly the way he sees them and he saw Saturday's touchdown-saving tackle the way everyone else did as the key play of the game and the key plav of the season so far. "It takes a whole bunch of key plays to win," Andrews said, "but that tackle by Derrie'saved us and if you have to have a guy in that situation, he's a good one to jmx The Islanders and the Knights apparently will occupy the prime time position of three playoff football games held in the Capital City. Preliminary indications point to a Lincoln Northeast-Omaha Northwest 4 p.m. game at Seacrest Field Tuesday with Southeast and Grand Island following at 8 p.m. Across town, Class B No. 1 rated Lincoln Pius X will take on Waverly at Nebraska Wesleyan at 7:30 p.m. if details can be worked out by host Waverly. If that sounds like a lot of high-caliber football for Lincoln on a Tuesday it is. And Fischer would be most obliging to ease the burden by inviting Southeast out to Grand Island. "We certainly know our way to Seacrest Field by now," Fischer admits. "Is there a playoff jinx on us? N O, we don't think so. We're just glad to be involved, and have another chance." No. 1 rated Southeast was the only team to defeat sixth-rated Grand Island in the regular season this year, by a 16-7 count three we"eks ago on a Saturday night. But the Islanders bounced back to defeat No. 5 Northeast 19-13 two weeks later, giving Fischer reason to believe this could be the year. With the exception of last year, when Northeast defeated Grand Island in the playoffs 41-0 after losing to the Islanders in the regular season, Fischer has fell his teams plaved well enough to win, but didn't. "We've played good football in the playoffs, with the exception of last year," Fischer said. "But it's not going to make a bit of difference what has happened in the past. Most of the kids we have on the RATINGS: Continued page 13E 4 " , i 1 Hf 1 have." Andrews felt semi-responsible for the pass developing into such a big play. "We were in a pass prevent and dropped eight men back." he explained. "The play came to my side and it was my job to turn it in to everybody else. I didn't get it done. Their big right tackle came in and really stuck me." Nelson had lo come from the opposite side to make the play. "I was in an x-position on the wide receiver." he said. "When I saw the flow. I knew it was a screen and I had a footrace on my hands. I knew everybody else was knocked down and I was the last chance. "I had such a deep angle, I was heading right to the goal Une. Somehow, I ran right past one blocker and found myself within five or 10 yards. "That's when I started to boil, that's haunts GPs Football Ratings By Chuck Sinclair See page 13E for the ratings on Classes B through eight-man. Class A 1 Lincoln Southeast (8-0) 2 Omaha Burke (9-0) 3 Ralston (7-2) 4 Creighton Prep (8-1) 5 Lincoln Northeast (7-2) Comment Lincoln East replaces rated teams not qualified for the state playoffs. The Spartans saved their most impressive showing for the finish in a 29-6 win over the previously rated Links. North drops to No. 10 and Lincoln Northeast moves back into the top five. Projected Class A Grand Island (6-2-1, 38.8) at Lincoln Southeast (8-0, 46.9) Omaha Northwest (7-2, 41.1) ot Lincoln Northeast (7-2, 40.5) Omaha Burke (9-0, 45.3) at Omaha Gross (7-2, 38.8) Ralston (7-2, 40.5) at Creighton Prep (81, 42.2) Class B Valentine (8-1, 41 6) at McCook (9-0, 48.11 Nebraska Citv (9-0, 45 61 ot O'Neill 9-0. 44.2) Lincoln Pius X (7 47.71) ot Waverly (6-0-1, 42.4) Elkhorn Mount Michael ('-0. 42.5) at Centrol City (9-0, 47.5) Class C-l Pierce (7-2,41 .6) at Gibbon (8-0, 48.2) Hebron (8-1, 43.3) at Fremont Bergan (7-1-1, 43.3) These pairings, set up according to the Nebraska School Activities Association formula, are unofficial pairings. The official pairings will be released by the NSAA Sunday. Each of the six classes are listed in order of the projected brackets with seeds 1,3,5 and 7 the home teams. The top two games will be in one bracket and the bottom two games in the other 1 ! i . ltet5!s!lI, - i W . fc J..'"-Jl? ' 1 STAFF COLORPHOTO BY WEB Ray when I started to believe I was as fast as their backs. The films may show it differently, but he (Taylor) must have had five yards (of an angie) on me when we were even. I knew we had to have it or there was no future What a great feeling to run down a back!" Nelson remembers the last time it happened. "It was m our Spring Game," he said. "I dove at Isaiah llipp's heel, caught it and tackled him. He didn't like it at all, but maybe that's what helped me get this one today. If I can get Isaiah from behind, I feel like I can get anyone . . . even if I'm not as fast." Being wild and crazy has helped Derrie Nelson compensate for any deficiency of speed. Being wild and crazy, very possibly, kept Nebraska even with Oklahoma in today's Big Eight standings. Fischers 6- Grand Island (6-2-1) 7 Omaha Northwest (7-2) 8 Omaha Gross (7-2) 9- Lincoln East (5-3-1) 10 Omaha North (6-3) Lincoln High in the ratings as one of two playoff pairings Bovord (9-0, 48.1) at Louisville (8-1, 41.6) West Point CC (6-3, 42.2) at Norfolk Catholic (9-0, 45.8) Class C-J Weeping Water (7-M, 40.0) ot E. Butler (9-0, 46.4) Anslev (9-0, 44.2) at Orchard (9-0, 43 6) Clav Center (9-0, 45.8) ot Oshkosh (7-2, 42.2) Osceola (9-0, 43.1) at Grant (9-0, 45.8) Class D Polk (5-3, 38.7) at Cambridge (8-0, 48.87) Spencer (7-2, 43.3) ot Sumner (7-2, 40.5) walthill (7-1 45.0) at Lexington St. Ann (6-3, 39 4) Axtell (6-3, 39.4) at Dorchester (8-1, 44.1) Eight-Man Bladen (8-1, 43.8) at Levton (8m, 47.6) Hordville (9-0. 47.0) at Dawson-Verdon (9-0. 46.4) Beemer (9-0, 47.5) at Walloct (9-0, 45.1) Greeley (8-0, 45.7) at Trumbull (-, 47.0)

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