Kearney High rides Koster, Heins to state title appearance

Kearney High quarterback Kanon Koster carries the ball late in the 4th quarter. Koster's run set up a game winning field goal by Gabe Heins. (KHGI)

Kearney High's season hung in the balance on Friday. The Bearcats after leading Creighton Prep 16–3 at the half, found themselves trailing the Junior Jays 23–22 with 2:42 remaining in the game. The Bearcats put the game on the arm of Kanon Koster and then later the leg of kicker Gabe Heins to send KHS to the state championship.

Bearcat nation held their breath as the offense took the field. Koster effectively kept the chains moving after completing throws of 20 and 29 yards to Thad Huber and Bret Obermiller respectively. Kanon had 19 rushes on the night, none bigger than the one here that put Kearney High at the 7–yard line with just 2 seconds left. Enter stage right kicker Gabe Heins who had missed two extra points in the game. The junior nailed the 27 yarder to punch the Bearcats ticket to Lincoln.

"What you want to do is give the ball to your playmakers," said head coach Brandon Cool. "We kind of let Kanon run the show. He was able to make some good throws to Thad Huber and Bret Obermiller. We ran the ball a couple of times and worked the clock all the way down and then we had another big run by Kanon to set up the field goal."

"Off my foot, I knew it was in," said kicker Gabe Heins. "When I looked up and saw it go through I just turned to the stands and went 'Yes!'

"I mean that was obviously something that I'll remember forever," said senior quarterback Kanon Koster. "Just going down there and winning like that with all my friends. Nobody will forget that."

Kearney High has a date with Omaha North in the Class A championship. We'll have more on that matchup later in the week.

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