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State's top-rated team cranks up the offense against cedar Catholic

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HARTINGTON - Cedar Catholic football fell to 2-4 on Friday night with a decisive 54-20 loss to top-ranked Norfolk Catholic.

The Knights came into town known as a dangerous rushing team and proved that by gaining 483 yards on the ground. Running back Dylan Kautz exploded for 264 yards and three touchdowns on 30 carries and was followed by Evan Smith’s 125 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries.

Norfolk Catholic also was efficient through the air. Knights quarterback Cayden Cunningham went 8-13 for 144 yards and a score on the night.

Kautz scored early on a four-yard touchdown, and Smith followed with two scores of his own before Cedar put up a score. After Smith’s second touchdown, kick returner Jacob Keiser responded with a 97-yard score on the return, but Ted Bengston’s extra point attempt was blocked.

Keiser then would make it a one-score game with a 29-yard touchdown run. Bengston’s extra point would be good, to put Cedar down 21-13.

Norfolk Catholic added six more points onto the board with a 34 yard and 22-yard field goal by Riley Carlson before halftime.

The second half would be more of the same, with Kautz scoring three more times, twice on the ground and once through the air on a short pass that he took 71 yards to the house. 

Keiser would score once more for his third touchdown of the night. With 2:15 left in the fourth quarter Keiser scored from 14 yards out. Bengston’s extra point attempt would be good.

Norfolk Catholic scored once more on a 77 yard run by Tristen Schlecht, and the Knights would win 54-20.

Cedar coach Chad Cattau says that Norfolk Catholic was able to win in the trenches and it showed through many facets during the game.

“The biggest advantage that they had on us was their ability to move our defensive line.  We were outmatched there and so we had difficulty getting stops consistently.  At times we were able to make some plays but we just couldn't string multiple stops together.”

With the loss, Cedar falls two games under .500, but the Trojans two favorable match-ups in the three remaining games. The Trojans have Crofton, Battle Creek and Stanton remaining on the schedule, and host the Warriors this Friday in Hartington.



Norfolk Catholic 14 13 14 13 — 54

Cedar Catholic 0 13 0 7 — 20


Team Stats NC CC

Total Off. 627 207

Passing Yds 144 40

Rushing Yds 483 167

Penalty Yds 6-40 3-15

First Downs 29 11



Cedar Catholic - Myles Thoene, 5-10 40 yards. Norfolk Catholic - Cayden Cunningham, 8-13 144 yards 1 TD.


Cedar Catholic - Jacob Keiser, 17-124 2 TD; Easton Becker, 5-28; Nathan Potts, 2-15; Eric Hoesing, 2-6; Myles Thoene, 6- -6. Norfolk Catholic - Dylan Kautz, 30-264 3 TD; Evan Smith, 13-125 2 TD; Tristen Schlecht, 1-77 1 TD; Ryan Vetter, 3-14; Cayden Cunningham, 2-3.


Cedar Catholic - Jacob Keiser, 2-17; Matthew Becker, 1-16; Cole Becker, 1-4; Tate Thoene, 1-3. Norfolk Catholic - Dylan Kautz, 1-71 1 TD; Evan Smith, 5-51; Jack Marsden, 2-22.


Cedar Catholic - Cole Becker, 14; Josh Pinkelman, 12; Tate Thoene, 10; Jacob Keiser, 5; Rex Becker, 5; Myles Thoene, 5; Eric Hoesing, 5; Connor Vlach, 3; Derek Heimes, 3; Matthew Becker, 2; Nathan Potts, 2; Easton Becker, 1.Norfolk Catholic - Ethan Piper, 6; Evan Smith, 4; Wyatt Smydra, 3; Chase Abler, 3; Joe Teten, 3; Jackson Clausen, 3; Dylan Kautz, 2; Jack Marsden, 2; Ashtin Arens, 2; Riley Carlson, 1; Keagan Mrsney, 1; Jeremy Dreher, 1; Tristen Schlecht.