Courtesy of Nebraska-Kearney Athletics
- The 9th-ranked Nebraska-Kearney football team tallied 41 points in the first half and senior receiver Kyle Kaiser reached several milestones in a 48-21 win over Fort Lewis Saturday afternoon at Ron & Carol Cope Stadium at Foster Field.
In winning an 18th straight league contest, the Lopers (9-1, 8-0 RMAC) scored six TD's on its first six drives to get out to a 41-0 lead by the six minute mark of the 2nd quarter. Most of UNK starters then sat out the 2nd half.
A well balanced offensive explosion saw junior QB Jake Spitzlberger (Lakewood, Colo.) go 12 of 14 for 245 yards and three TD's, senior running back Brendan Liess (McCook) carry the ball five times for 107 yards and two scores and senior receiver Kyle Kaiser (Broomfield, Colo.) catching four passes for 120 yards and two TD's.
With today's effort, Kaiser (3,325) moves past Trevor Weston ('00/3,266) into second place on the Loper career receiving yards list. He also went over 1,000 receiving yards for the year, now at 1,072, joining Richie Ross as the only UNK receivers to have multiple 1,000 yard seasons. Finally, Kaiser has 5,108 career all-purpose yards, just the third Loper to reach the 5k total.
UNK started the scoring with a six play, 55 yard drive that was capped by a seven-yard scoring run from Liess. Spitzlberger then threw a 12-yard TD pass to junior Shane Carraher (Franklin) about five minutes later to make it a 13-0 game.
Near the end of the 1st quarter, another long drive ended when Kaiser caught a 21-yard TD pass. Liess then pushed the lead to four scores when he made a cut and raced 80 yards to the Fort Lewis end zone and a four score lead.
UNK then used a pooch kick, recovered by sophomore defensive end Luke Harl (Adams Central H.S.) at the 'Hawks 30-yard line, to keep the ball. A few plays later, Spitzlberger scored on a QB sneak.
The starting offense closed out the 1st half in style with an 83 yard drive that ended when Spitzlberger hit Kaiser from 41 yards out. By the break, UNK had out gained Fort Lewis 407-117 yards.
After half time, junior back QB Kevin Romero (Hawthorne, Calif.) finished a seven play, 60 yard drive when he called his own number and scored from two yards out.
Playing without starting QB Tim Jenkins, Fort Lewis managed 258 total yards as junior Justin Peters went 22 of 36 for 203 yards and two TD's. He also had 11 carries for a team-high 27 yards.
One of the nation's top receivers, 'Hawks senior Justin Johnson had a big 2nd half to end with 13 catches for 137 yards.
Defensively, true freshman safety Dan Rankin (Peoria, Ariz.) had a team-high seven tackles along with two pass breakups. Starting safety Sam Kuck (Central City) had six tackles and a forced fumble with junior end Alex Paicurich (Westminster, Colo.) having four stops, including one of UNK's three sacks.