Grand Island, NE –
A big s
econd half start made up for some early stumbles on Saturday night for the Nebraska Danger.
The Danger played a near flawless second half, which broke open a 21-12 halftime score, while winning their season opener 56-21 over the Lincoln Haymakers at the Heartland Events Center.
“We got off to a rough start,” Danger coach Mike Davis said. “It just seemed like our timing was off on both sides of the ball, but I like the way we responded in the second half.”
After a Joe Toscano field goal cut the Danger lead to 21-15 early in the third quarter, the home team went to work. They scored on four straight second half possessions to take a 49-15 lead behind quarterback Hunter Wanket and a strong running game.
Wanket, who is trying to earn a spot backing up quarterback Jamell Sewell, hit Andre Piper-Jordan for a 5-yard score immediately after Toscano’s field goal. He then led a 4-play, 34-yard drive that was capped by Randy Bell’s 5-yard run and a 7-play, 31-yard drive that Wanket ended himself when he scored from seven yards out for a 42-15 lead.
“I think at all levels of football, you want to win the line of scrimmage and the run game,” Davis added. “I thought we did that tonight. We stopped their running game and we were able to run the ball effectively as well.”
The Danger defense, led by linebacker Maurice Simpkins’ seven tackles, held the Haymakers to minus-28 yards on 15 carries.
Nebraska ran for 68 yards on 23 carries, with two Danger backs reaching the end zone. Bell led the way with 50 yards on five carries, scoring twice. Newcomer C.J. Gable carried three times for 30 yards including a nifty 24-yard scamper for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Sewell and Wanket combined for 11-for-20 passing for 115 yards. Each threw a touchdown to Piper-Jordan who hauled in three catches for 22 yards in his Danger debut. Kayne Farquharson led the team with 58 yards on four receptions.
The Danger open the IFL season next Saturday against defending league champion Sioux Falls. Kickoff is set for 7:05 at the Heartland Events Center.