Beemer-A week after losing 64-50 to GACC in the regular season finale, The No. 14 seed in Class D-1, the Pender Pendragons, upset the 3rd seeded and previously unbeaten Bluejays, 52-50, in the 1st round of the High School Football playoffs in Beemer Thursday night.
The Bluejays got the scoring started at the 4:58 mark of the 1st quarter as Jared Minnick broke free for 70 yards to give GACC an 8-0 advantage.
Minnick scored his 2nd rushing touchdown from 35 yards out with 3:24 left to go in the opening period, and the Bluejays led 14-0.
Pender got on the board 16 seconds later when Brady Oliver connected with Jared Tyrell on a 62-yard TD pass to make it a 14-6 ball game.
The Pendragons scored on the final play of the 1st quarter when Sam Mailoux hauled in an 11-yard TD pass from Oliver, and Pender trailed 14-12 at the end of one.
GACC started the scoring in the 2nd quarter as Derek Petz connected with Jaden Rahn for 45 yards on a touchdown to put the Bluejays up 20-12 at the 11:06 mark of the 2nd quarter.
Pender tied the game at 20 with 9:34 left to go until halftime as Oliver rumbled into the end zone from 14 yards away.
GACC regained the lead with 8:22 remaining in the 2nd quarter as Petz scored from 2 yards out to give the Bluejays a 28-20 cushion.
Tyrell scored on a 57-yard play with 2:18 left until halftime to trim the GACC lead to 2 at 28-26, which was the halftime score.
No one scored in the 3rd quarter.
In the 4th, Oliver ran in a 5-yard TD to put the Pendragons on top, 32-28, 46 seconds into the quarter.
The Bluejays regained the lead at 34-32 when Cash Meier plunged in from 3 yards away at the 8:57 mark of the final quarter.
Tyrell then hit Tyler Nelson for a 61-yard TD 21 seconds later, and Pender went back up 38-34.
GACC’s Noah Hass scored on a 41-yard TD run with 7:52 left to go in the game, and the Bluejays regained the advantage at 42-38.
The Pendragons responded again though as Oliver found Tyrell on a 36-yard TD pass that put Pender ahead again 46-42.
GACC took their final lead of the game with 3:34 remaining when Petz found Rahn from 31 yards away to give the Bluejays a 50-46 lead.
The Pendragons scored the game winning touchdown with 2:47 left to go when Tyrell hit pay dirt on a 28-yard TD pass from Oliver.
Oliver was 18-35 passing for 292 yards and four touchdowns for Pender (4-5) while Tyrell was 1-1 with a 61-yard TD pass.
Minnick, who left the game after getting injured in the 1st half, ran for 117 yards on 5 carries, and scored twice for GACC.
Meier added 110 yards rushing and a touchdown on 23 carries for the Bluejays while Hass carried the rock 4 times for 57 yards, including a touchdown.
Petz was 5-12 for 136 yards with two TD’s.
The Bluejays racked up 453 yards of offense, including 317 rushing, while the Pendragons amassed 442 yards of total offense, including 353 through the air.
Pender travels to Southeast Nebraska on Wednesday to face Johnson-Brock in the 2nd round of the playoffs in a game that will be carried on 107.9 the Bull. GACC ends the year at 8-1.