ANSLEY -- Reilly Lambrecht, a receiver last week, rushed for 364 yards and four touchdowns Thursday night, to highlight Loup City’s 44-20 victory over Ansley/Litchfield.
The victory launches the Red Raiders (6-2) into the playoffs and most likely a home game in the first round.
“This feels great. Our senior class has worked for this since we were fresh-men. We’ve never had a home playoff game and this was something special for our seniors to do,” Lambrecht said.
Lambrecht stepped into the tailback spot after Brady Rasmussen twisted an ankle in last week’s win over Overton.
It took him a while to get the hang of the position, but with 22 seconds left in the first half and the Red Raiders leading 7-6, he broke free down the sideline for a 35-yard touchdown.
The play swung the momentum to Loup City.
“We’ve done that about three or four times this year. We’ve scored right be-fore halftime and that’s propelled us into the third quarter,” Loup City coach Nick Hodge said. “Basically, we stopped ourselves the third quarter or we would have scored on that first drive. But that was the whole idea, scoring against the wind and making it harder for them in the fourth quarter.”
The Red Raiders fumbled on their first possession of the third quarter, then scored on every other possession until kneeling down in the victory formation at the end of the game.
In between, Lambrecht ripped off two 62-yard touchdown runs, scored on a 2-point conversion where he flipped over a tackler and had a handful of other runs where he was only one or two tackles away from breaking free for another touchdown.
“He’s a tough runner,” Ansley/Litchfield coach A.J. Burki said. “We made some mistakes. … You have to give him a lot of credit because he’s a hard, physical runner; you can’t take that from him. I just wish we would have done a little better on defense, especially wrapping up and making some tackles.”
With Lambrecht’s success on the ground, Loup City never had to pass or punt during a very wind-blown game.
“If it wasn’t so windy, I would have liked to have been a wide receiver. But you can’t always get what you want,” Lambrecht said.
So he stepped into the tailback position and decided to run hard, keep his feet moving and do whatever he could.
“We know he’s a great athlete. … We knew he could run the football. He can do whatever he wants on the field,” Hodge said. “He’s a great competitor first of all. He’s a smart kid, knows everything about everything on the field.
“And he’s tough. He’s strong. People don’t know how tough and strong and determined he is. His determination is relentless. Nobody works harder, nobody wants to succeed more than he does.”
The Red Raiders needed his performance as the Spartans’ Tyson Howard ran for 157 yards and three touchdowns and Nat Schrock ran for 149 yards.
But two fumbles terminated Ansley/Litchfield’s first two drives, with the sec-ond at the Loup City 1-yard line.
The Spartans hung tough until the fourth quarter when Loup City rode the momentum and added on two more touchdowns.
“Toward the end, it got a little bit too hard to overcome,” Burki said. “I would like to say there’s a rainbow hanging out there, but I think we needed that one. We knew we needed to play a tough, physical game to make the playoffs.
“We’ll have to let the cards lay out the way they do and see what happens to-morrow.”
Loup City 44, Ansley/Litchfield 20
Score by Quarters
LOUP CITY (6-2)....................7 8 14 15 -- 44
ANS./LITCH. (3-5).....................0 6 14 0 -- 20
LC -- Brady Lewandowski 7 run (Alex Spotanski kick)
AL -- Taylor Monks 7 pass from Tyson Howard (run failed)
LC -- Reilly Lambrecht 35 run (Austin Jakubowski pass from Austin Bochart)
AL -- Howard 3 run (pass failed)
LC -- Lambrecht 62 run (run failed)
LC -- Lambrecht 1 run (Lambrecht run)
AL -- Howard 1 run (Monks pass from Howard)
LC -- Lambrecht 62 run (Lambrecht run)
LC -- Lewandowski 19 run (Spotanski kick)
First Downs 24 21
Rushes-Yards 59-455 56-310
Passes Com.-Att.-Int. 0-0-0 1-6-1
Passing Yards 0 7
Total yards 455 317
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 2-2
Penalties 4-25 6-35
Punts-Ave. 0-0 1-44.0
RUSHING ¾ LC: Reilly Lambrecht 35-364, Brady Lewandowski 15-63, Austin Bochart 7-31, Team 2-(minus 3). AL: Tyson Howard 27-157, Nat Shrock 26-149, Evan Brockmeier 3-4.
PASSING ¾ LC: none. AL: Tyson Howard 1-7-1, 7 yds.
RECEIVING ¾ LC: none. AL: Taylor Monks 1-7.