FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- Topeka 0 30 0 0 30 Lincoln 0 28 24 14 66
1ST : 2ND :TOP - Davis 1-yard run (kick failed) LIN - Christo 2-yard run (kick failed) TOP - Cosey 5-yard run (Cosey run) LIN - Benning 8-yard pass from Christo (Christo run) TOP - Stone 29-yard pass from Roberson (Stone pass from Roberson) LIN - Buckner 22-yard pass from Christo (Christo run) TOP - Cosey 7-yard run (Davis run) LIN - Bodady 1-yard run (pass failed) 3RD :LIN - Benning 5-yard run (Christo run) LIN - Christo 3-yard run (Christo run) LIN - Benning 10-yard run (Benning run) 4TH :LIN - Davis, fumble recovery in end zone (Benning run) LIN - Benning 1 run (kick blocked)
Topeka rushing: Cosey 24-119, Davis 3-6, Roberson 8-5
Lincoln rushing: Benning 15-63, Bodady 11-37, Christo 7-23, Stinson 4-12, Latimore 1-7
Topeka passing: Roberson 8-20-2, 86 yards
Lincoln passing: Christo 14-18-0, 124
Topeka receiving: Dritlein 4-28, Stone 2-40, Hudley 1-10, Cosey 1-8
Lincoln receiving: Benning 7-47, Buckner 4-52, Leaks 2-29, Bodady 1-minus 4
Officials: A: 4,997; T: 0:00.
Lincoln, NE -- The game was played indoors, and the team name was the Lincoln Lightning. But make no mistake about it. This was Nebraska football, plain and simple.
Trailing the Topeka Knights by two points at halftime, the Lightning basically wore down the Knights in the second half as surely as if their nickname was the Cornhuskers. Lincoln scored 38 unanswered second-half points and whipped the Knights 66-30 in the Indoor Football League opener for both teams here Friday night.
Former Nebraska quarterback Monte Christo completed 13 of 17 passes for 124 yards and two touchdowns, and ex-Husker running back Damon Benning ran for 63 yards and three scores and caught passes for 47 additional yards and one TD to pace the Lightning effort.
Hard to believe, when it was over, that the Knights were very much in this one when they led 30-28 at the half. With former Lawrence High standout Michael Cosey rushing for 91 yards (on a 50-yard field) in the first half, the Knights scored on all but their first possession.
"Maybe we shot our load in the first half and didn't have anything left for the second," noted Knights center Andy Jobe. "In the first half we were looking great, we were clicking and maintaining our blocks and giving Michael room to run."
But the Knights did none of that in the final two quarters. Cosey managed only 28 total yards in the second half when Topeka turnovers and Lincoln's physical domination made the difference.
"That was the real us in the first half, but in the second half they were just better," noted former Kansas State tackle David Gleue. "It's still Nebraska football."
The two teams had traded punches equally in the first half after both missed field goals -- the indoor posts are only 10 feet wide -- on their opening possession.
Cosey rushed for two first-half touchdowns and Akili Roberson hit Roy Stone for a 29-yard score -- after having one other indoor bomb called back by penalty as the Knights offense appeared unstoppable.
But the game turned around, oddly enough, after a Knights goal-line stand in the third quarter. Topeka's offense couldn't advance past its own 2, and the Knights were forced to try a 55-yard field goal from its own end zone in a game in which there is no punting. The kick was blocked, and one play later Benning scored from the five to give Lincoln its first lead at 36-30.
After that it was all Huskers -- er, Lightning.
"We needed to get up on them early and make them throw the ball," said Knights coach Russ Fieger. "Instead, they were able to start banging on us and they ran, ran, ran the ball and we got tired. When that happens you start trying to arm tackle Benning, and everyone knows you can't do that.