LINCOLN–(KFOR Oct. 3)–Joey Ridder came through with a big play on special teams that jump started his Lincoln East football teammates.
Ridder burst through and blocked a North Star punt early in the first quarter and returned the ball 19-yards for a touchdown to help the Spartans to a 48-17 victory over the Navigators on East’s homecoming Thursday night at Seacrest Field. It was a game heard on KFOR FM103.3/1240AM.
Ridder’s blocked punt and score came just three-minutes into the game, when North Star’s opening drive stalled.
East’s wide-receiver Luke Spethman had three touchdown catches on the night. Emotionally, the Spartans were playing with heavy hearts just hours after former East all-state selection and ex-Husker football player Travis Gingery was laid to rest.
Travis Gingery, who passed away Sept. 28 after battling health issues, played for his father, current East coach John Gingery, and helped the Spartans to the Class A playoffs in 2000 and 2001.
John Gingery told KFOR’s media partner, 10/11 Sports, after the game that Travis would have wanted him to coach in the game.
Still, East (4-2) was able to go out and play with inspiration and grind out 313 yards of total offense.
After Angel Hernandez hit a 25-yard field goal that bounced off the left upright to get North Star on the scoreboard, the Spartans answered with a 32-yard touchdown pass from Austin Schneider to Spethman with 11:36 left in the second quarter.
On the next East possession, Spethman caught his second touchdown pass on a 12-ard pass from Noah Walters. Running back Jack Larson scored on a 12-yard run with 2:30 left before halftime, but the point after failed. Then North Star kick returner Matthew Siegel fumbled the ball and the Spartans recovered it at the Gator 29-yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, Walters found Spethman on a pass into the end zone that put East up 34-3.
North Star (1-5) put together a quick 72-yard drive, where running back Colton Reed scored on a 1-yard run just before halftime. That made it 34-10 with East ahead.
The Spartans would score twice more in the third quarter, a 4-yard run from Grant Springer and another Kyle Caulfield from 17-yards put the game out of reach.
North Star got a touchdown, after Lynden Bruegman caught a touchdown pass in the end zone, when the fall defected off a Spartan defender with just eight minutes remaining.
The Gators wound up with 235 yards of total offense, 200 of which was passing.