HARTINGTON — The two Hartington-Newcastle youth football teams both played for league championships here Saturday evening.
Both the 3-4 grade team and the 5-6 grade team defeated teams from Pender to win the Junior Nebraska Football League titles.
The 3-4 grade team was tied 8-8 at the end of regulation. On the first play of overtime, the Wildcat defense forced a fumble and recovered it. The local team was then able to score on fourth-and-goal to claim the 14-8 win and give them an 5-0 season.
Running back Rex Lippert scored both touchdowns for Hartington and running back Rylan Lammers scored the two-point conversion.
The 5-6 team defeated Pender 34-0. The win gave the local team a perfect 6-0 season. Scoring in that game were: Hunter Kruse, three touchdowns; Kayne Gratzfeld, one touchdown and one two point conversion. Gabe Sovereign, one touchdown; Nathan Heimes, one two-point conversion.
Both Pender teams were also undefeated coming into the game.
This was year four of the youth football program. Hartington plays in an eight-man football league with other towns from around northeast Nebraska.
“We are very proud of how far we’ve come in four short years and couldn’t ask for better support from not only the kids but the parents too,” Coach Brice Grutsch said. “Our 5-6 team has now finished as undefeated champions two years in a row. And with a competitive younger group coming up, we hope we can keep building on that into the future.”
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