The Nebraska Danger raised a little Kayne Saturday night at the Heartland Events Center.
The Danger were tied with the Omaha Beef when quarterback Rocky Hinds hit Kayne Farquharson with a 30-yard TD pass to put the Danger on top with 4 minutes, 15 seconds left in the half.
A bit later on the Danger’s next play from scrimmage, Hinds found Farquharson again with a 45-yard strike.
Those two TD passes turned out to be big as the Danger went on to a 50-34 victory to end the Beef’s chances of making the playoffs.
“Kayne is a great player,” Hinds said. “He runs hard and understands everything.
They were leaving him man, so I took the shot to him.
“Those were really big. The offense this week just wanted to continue to score a lot of points, and the defense stepped up big time for us tonight. We played well as a unit.”
Hinds finished the game 15-for-27 passing for 203 yards and six touchdowns. Farquharson caught four passes for 97 yards and three touchdowns.
Ryan Moore caught five passes for 68 yards and a touchdown while Chris Bell had four catches for 40 yards and two TDs.
Those second-quarter touchdown passes to Farquharson were big, but the game was far from over. The Danger (5-8) took a 31-17 lead into the half, but head coach Mike Davis said he knew how much the team has struggled in third quarters this year.
“We talked about at half time, the third quarter has been our worst quarter all year and we needed to come out and get a stop,” Davis said. “I looked up and we were down three.
“Backs against the wall, these kids bowed their backs a little, the defense stepped up, the offense got back in rhythm and they played hard to come away with a victory.”
The Beef (6-7) scored 17 straight points in the third quarter. Omaha’s Leroy Banks returned the kickoff 45 yards for a TD to start the third quarter.
Then the Beef stripped Hinds of the ball on a running play and Diezeas Calbert took that 35 yards for another score to tie the game at 31.
Gary Cismesia then added a 30 yard field goal to put the Beef ahead 34-31 with 5:28 left in the third.
The Danger had seen this happen before, but it didn’t happen on this night.
“At half time coach told us to come out strong in the third quarter because we’ve been coming out slacking,” Hinds said. “We did again, but we were able to turn it up and our defense came up big for us.”
Hinds and Chris Bell got the Danger going with a 4-yard scoring play for a 37-34 lead late in the third quarter.
Early in the fourth, Carl Gettis made a big defensive play for the Danger by intercepting a James McNear pass and returning it 30 yards to the Omaha 20. That set up a 17-yard TD pass from Hinds to Moore that gave the Danger a 43-34 lead.
The Danger added another score when Hinds and Farquharson hooked up on a 6-yard scoring pass with 1:27 left to help put the game away.
Farquharson said the first two touchdowns in the second quarter were basically just a matter of outrunning the safety and catching the ball. This one was different.
“The third touchdown, (the defender) went to the inside, I gave a move to the inside and then jumped outside and Rocky put the ball in the perfect spot,” Farquharson said.
Farquharson said it’s always important to keep playing no matter what the score is.
“That’s why it’s four quarters of football,” Farquharson said. “You never get down when you’re down, you never stay up when you’re up. You just have to stay focused and keep playing.”
The game started about as badly as it could for the Danger. On the first snap from scrimmage from the 20, the ball sailed over Hinds’ head and into the end zone. Hinds retrieved it and tried to run it out, but he was hit again and lost the ball.
Omaha’s Ricardo Kemp recovered to put the Beef up 7-0 just 18 seconds into the game.
On the Danger’s next possession, Omaha defensive back Dual Kamara picked off a Hinds pass and returned it to the Danger 8-yard line.
But the Danger defense held, and Gary Cismesia’s 25-yard field goal attempt sailed wide to the left.
That was a common theme for the game. The Danger defense held Omaha to just 12 first downs and 155 total yards.
“I always say defensively I’m a foot-on-the-gas type of guy,” Davis said. “We played a lot of man tonight. We blitzed a lot. We were trying to say to our guys that we’re better than theirs and we came out on top tonight.”
The Danger will complete the regular season Saturday with a road game at Cedar Rapids.