Neligh-Oakdale held the Wolfpack scoreless in the second half to rally for a 37-30 win and the district championship on Friday night.
That came after a huge first quarter where EPPJ scored three touchdowns in just 70 seconds to take a 22-7 lead early. But the Warriors rallied an only allowed one more Wolfpack touchdown on the entire night.
"It was big," Warrior coach Ron Beacom said about Neligh-Oakdale first district title under his leadership. "It's been three years in the making for us now. Each year we've gotten a little bit better. The first year they were excited about making the playoffs. Last year it was important for us to win a playoff game and to host. This is that next step. Our expectations are different now.'
The Wolfpack dominated Neligh-Oakdale in total offense, out-gaining the Warriors nearly 2-1. EPPJ had 450 yards of total offense compared to Neligh-Oakdale's 235.
But the biggest stat of the night went to the Warriors with just one penalty for 10 yards. EPPJ was penalized 10 times for 95 yards.
"Penalties killed our drives today," coach Randy Eisenhauer said. "We had 10 for 95 (yards), and they had one for 10. You add it up."
Andrew Fangman has been the workhorse for the Wolfpack all season and ran for over 250 yards. The Warriors' running game was stopped often, but the passing game was on target with a balanced attack. Junior Grant White connected with classmate Chris Bentley on a pair of touchdowns and to Garett Allemang, who also ran back a fumble return.
EPPJ 22 8 0 0 - 30
N-O 15 6 16 0 - 37
N-O: Grant White 6 run (Robin Hahn PAT)
EPPJ: Seth Schumacher 10 run (Andrew Fangman)
EPPJ: Fangman 29 run
EPPJ: Fangman 21 run (Fangman)
N-O: Chris Bentley 23 pass from Grant White (Andrew Herley pass from White To Andrew Herley)
EPPJ: Fangman 10 run (Fangman)
N-O: Garett Allemang 31 fumble return
N-O: Bentley 48 pass from White (White to Bentley)
N-O: Allemang 12 pass from White (White to Allemang)