Kaden Miller opened each half with big plays for Kearney, but Bellevue West overwhelmed the Bearcats with offense.
Iowa-bound Keagan Johnson scored on two runs and two receptions and LJ Richardson ran for three scores in the defending state champion’s 16th consecutive win.
Miller caught a 50-yard touchdown pass from Preston Pearson for a 7-0 Kearney lead. But Bellevue West scored the next 28 points for a 28-7 halftime advantage.
Johnson’s first scoring reception from Luke Johannsen went for 39 yards. His second, still in the first quarter, was a 59-yarder he took in stride at the 15.
Miller returned the second-half kickoff 90 yards to cut the deficit to 14. The Thunderbirds answered with one touchdown run from Johnson and two from Richardson.
Kearney was playing for the first time since Sept. 4 for COVID-19 reasons. The Bearcats (0-3) host Columbus next Friday while Bellevue West (3-0) is off for the third time in six weeks.
Kearney (0-3)....................7 0 7 0—14
At Bellevue West (3-0)....14 14 7 14—49
K: Kaden Miller 51 pass from Preston Pearson (Pearson kick)
BW: Keagan Johnson 39 pass from Luke Johannsen (Hunter Brown kick)
BW: Johnson 59 pass from Johannsen (Brown kick)
BW: Johnson 7 run (Brown kick)
BW: LJ Richardson 4 run (Brown kick)
K: Miller 90 kickoff return (Preston kick)
BW: Johnson 5 run (Brown kick)
BW: Richardson 12 run (Brown kick)
BW: Richardson 11 run (Brown kick)
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