Neligh-Oakdale ended homecoming week right with a win over Pender 59-8 on Friday night.
The normally high-scoring Warriors struggled to get started, scoring just six points in the first quarter. However, they exploded in the second quarter, dropping 40 points to head into half with a comfortable lead. They did not allow a Pender score until the fourth quarter.
As he has been for most of the season, Grant White was nearly flawless through the air. He completed 13 of his 15 passes for 299 yards and seven touchdowns. Warrior coach Ron Beacom was impressed with White's accuracy and patience on the night.
"It was a great homecoming night. After getting off to a slow start, we really exploded in the second quarter. Grant was very accurate throwing the ball again," Beacom said. "He showed great patience and took what the defense was giving him. He was able to use the offense to throw 7 TD passes and break his own school record of most TD passes in a game."
For the second straight week, three of those touchdowns went to Chris Bentley, who hauled in four catches for 114 yards. Tyson Belitz added 102 yards and a touchdown while Andrew Herley and Pepper Marchant added three combined receiving touchdowns.
Belitz led the defense for the Warriors with 12 tackles. Bentley accounted for three sacks while Damon Arehart added another sack on the night. Belitz and Jayden Arehart each hauled in an interception as well for Neligh-Oakdale.
The defensive effort was a high point for Beacom.
"Defensively, we were really outstanding, only giving up 117 total yards on 69 snaps," he said. "Chris Bentley played extremely well on both sides of the ball again. He really wreaked havoc with their offensive front. He was able to record 3 sacks and 3 tackles for a loss. Offensively, he accounted for some explosive plays for us as well."
With just two games left in the season, the big win gave some younger players a much-needed chance to gain experience.
"It was a good night to get some young kids more playing time. We have some pretty good football players coming up the ranks and they really showed a lot of potential," Beacom said.
After the game, Belitz and Alexis Jensen were crowned 2016 Homecoming Royalty.
Neligh-Oakdale now turns their attention to a Thursday night match up with Elgin Public/Pope John.