Broncos Shake Off Hail Mary, Win In Overtime


The Broncos had one of the most exciting games of the young football season. Stuart had the advantage of playing at home against the Boyd County Spartans, but nothing else came easy. Boyd County had struggled in recent years, but brought their A game against the Broncos this time. Stuart had beaten the Spartans by an average of 37 points the past 3 years which gave them a reason for revenge. The Broncos graduated a talented group of seniors making for a great rivalry game.

The Spartans started out quick and blitzed out to a 12-0 lead on the young Broncos. The option attack for Boyd County allowed them to open up the playbook a little bit and kept the Bronco defense off balance. The Broncos quickly stampeded back with a 2nd quarter touchdown by Micah Dexter to cut the lead to 12-8 heading into the half. The 3rd quarter started out very quietly with both teams trading punts twice. An errant snap on a punt attempt by the Spartans allowed Bronco senior Conner Paxton to recover it in the end zone for a touchdown! The Broncos then converted the 2-point conversion to take a 16-12 lead heading into the 4th quarter.

Jr. Franklin Fessler and Sr. Tate Schmaderer provide defense on Boyd County Sr. receiver Mitchell Atkinson
Jr. Franklin Fessler and Sr. Tate Schmaderer provide defense on Boyd County Sr. receiver Mitchell Atkinson

A quality drive by the Spartans to start the 4th quarter resulted in 6 points as they took the lead back 18 to 16. The Broncos, resilient as always, stole back the lead with only 2 minutes as the ground game propelled them to a 24 to 18 lead. A late Boyd County interception nearly sealed the deal for the Broncos, but things were far from over. Stuart elected not to punt and tried to run out the clock, but the Spartans got the ball back around the 28 yard line with only 3 seconds remaining. A Hail Mary to the end zone was snagged by Spartan receiver Mitchell Atkinson and the game continued! A tremendous stop on the 2-point conversion by senior Tate Schmaderer kept the Broncos tied with the Spartans heading into overtime.

The Broncos were able to score on a 4th down play to give them a 32-24 lead as quarterback Tate Schmaderer hooked up with his running back Conner Paxton. The Spartans scored on their 1st play of overtime, but couldn’t cash in on the two point conversion and the Broncos held on! Boyd County actually scored more touchdowns than the Broncos, but missed out on all 5 extra point opportunities forcing them to fall to 0-1. The Broncos ( 1-0 ) travel to Elkhorn Valley ( 0-1) next Friday in Tilden. Stuart hasn’t lost a road game since they played in Memorial Stadium for the Class D2 championship game back in late November of 2013. The Broncos will try to extend that streak and further help their playoff chances during non-district play.

Tate Schmaderer, Stuart High School


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