May 19, 2018
The Nebraska Danger took on the Green Bay Blizzard with a chance to seal up playoff spot, but a strong second half for the Blizzard gave them the victory, 31-20.
Nebraska got things moving quickly, but their first drive stalled out. Kicker Brad Hatfield came on and completed at 22-yard field goal to give the Danger a 3-0 lead. The Blizzard threatened to score on the next drive, but a fumble forced and recovered by Danger defensive lineman Xzavie Jackson gave Nebraska the ball deep in their own territory. Aided by a 27-yard run from quarterback Gregory Hankerson Jr., Nebraska scored when running back Angelo Pease snuck in a three-yard touchdown to extend the Nebraska lead to 10.
Green Bay gave up the ball again on a fumble to start the second quarter and Phillip Lewis recovered for Nebraska. The Danger settled for a field goal and came out with a 13-0 lead. Green Bay responded with their first score of the night to cut the lead to six points, 13-7. Hankerson Jr., who ended the first half with 72 rushing yards, set up the second score of the night when Pease rushed eight yards for his second touchdown. Both teams missed a field goal before Green Bay threw a 45 yard touchdown pass with 1.5 seconds left in the half to keep the game within one possession.
"We played well in the first half. Xzavie [Jackson] and Phillip [Lewis] were huge factors on the defensive line and both were playing with some fire tonight. Just a few slip ups kept Green Bay in this one, but they are things we can get cleaned up," said head coach Mark Stoute.
Green Bay received the ball to start the second half. After a couple plays, they landed another deep touchdown pass, this time for 22 yards to take their first lead of the game, 21-20. The Nebraska drive stalled and a missed field goal gave the ball back to the Blizzard. Green Bay capitalized on getting the ball back, by scoring on a 22-yard touchdown pass and taking an eight point lead, 28-20.
The Danger defense stepped up and stalled the Blizzard drive at the start of the fourth quarter. Davion Belk blocked the Green Bay field goal, setting up the Danger offense at the 11-yard line. Nebraska couldn't string enough plays together to score and a blocked field goal attempt was salt in an open wound. The Danger defense again stopped the Blizzard, forcing a field goal attempt that was missed wide left. Nebraska then squandered an opportunity to at least tie the game. The Blizzard wrapped up the game by kicking a field goal with 26 seconds left to put the score out of reach, 31-20.
"We lost our offensive zip in the second half. We came out flat and couldn't move the ball. I give a lot of credit to our defense for keeping the game within reach, but when we can't find any rhythm on offense it makes it hard to win," Stoute said.
Nebraska next plays in the Heartland Events Center on June 16th against the Arizona Rattlers