Crete, NE -- The Hastings College football team added yet another comeback to its resume as the Broncos used big time defensive stops and some big plays to defeat (RV) Doane 22-19 on Saturday at Papik Field.
Trailing 19-15, the defense was asked to come up with a huge defensive stop following a Bronco turnover at midfield. Facing a 3-and-4 at the Hastings 44, Norman McKissack (SR/Chicago, IL) and Wesley Jardim (SR/Beaver Crossing, NE) charged through the offensive line to bring down Najee Mustafaa for a 5-yard loss forcing a Tiger punt.
Hastings would take over after the short punt at its own 24 with 1:47 to go.
A couple of short pass completions from Clark Livingston (SR/San Juan Capistrano, CA) to Tyler Miller (FR/Baytown, TX) followed by a 16-yard completion to Anthony Martinez (JR/Oceanside, CA) pushed Hastings into Tiger territory at the 49 yard line.
Two players later, Livingston found Jordan Johnson (SR/Spring Valley, CA) streaking open accross the middle but the ball would slip through his fingers. Johnson would more then make up for it as he would catch a crucial 3-and-11 pass from Livingston to get the first down. Then Livingston let one fly down the sideline as Johnson leaped up to grab it, got one foot down in bounds before falling out of bounds at the one.
After a timeout, Tahj Willingham (SR/Denver, CO) did the rest powering his way into the end zone for his second score of the day and the 22-19 lead following the extra point with just :36 remaining.
Doane would not be able to complete a pass in its four attempts as the Hastings sideline erupted in celebration when the 4th down pass hit the turf. The Broncos came out in victory formation to finish the Tigers off for the first time since winning 19-17 back in 2011.
Things looked a bit bleak for the Broncos in the 4th quarter as a turnover deep in Hastings territory set the Tigers up with a chance to take the lead back. Doane QB Josh Baker would find Jack Kalina in the corner of the end zone for the touchdown to give Doane the 19-15 lead with 10:22 to play.
Hastings looked to try and have an answer following the Tiger score and would drive the ball down to the Doane 26 before Livingston would get stopped 2-yards short of a first down.
The Hastings defense was certainly up to the task on its next two series giving up just one first down and only allowing 3:13 off the clock to give its offense one more opportunity.
Hastings was unable to really get much going offensively in the first half gaining 151 yards of offense and with the missed field goal late in the 2nd quarter, the Broncos would go into halftime trailing 9-0
Doane would do just what it did with its first drive of the game by kicking a field goal on its first drive of the 3rd quarter to extend its lead to 12-0.
After the teams traded punts, Hastings would get a big 3-and-9 conversion when Livingston connected with Calvin LynCook II (SR/Omaha, NE) for a first down. Then Tyree Nesmith (SO/Baltimore, MD) broke free and rumbled home for a 54-yard touchdown run and following a 2-point conversion, Hastings now trailed 12-8 midway through the 3rd quarter.
After the defense picked up another big stop, the offense would mount a big time 83-yard, 17-play drive that included conversions on 3rd-and-9, 3-and-6 and 4th-and-7. This drive carried into the 4th quarter when Willingham plunged his way in from a yard out to give Hastings the 15-12 lead.
Willingham had a big day on the ground rushing for 180 yards on 35 carries with two touchdowns. Nesmith added nine carries for 81 yards and a score.
Livingston made up for his slow first half as he finished his day 18-for-32 for 205 yards. Johnson led the way with four catches for 88 yards including the catch to setup the game winning touchdown. Martinez added six grabs for 54 yards.
Defensively, Tyler Kennedy (JR/Chandler, AZ) and Ross Ostendorf (SR/Gothenburg, NE) each finished with 7.5 tackles. Austin Bretting (SR/Lincoln, NE) added 6.5 tackles while that defense combined for six tackles for loss.
Hastings also won the time of possession battle 35:24 to 24:36.
With the win, Hastings improves to 3-3 (1-3) on the year and will be back in action Saturday Oct. 13 as Midland comes to town with kick-off set for 1:00 p.m. on Lloyd Wilson Field.