SPRING HILL — The Broncos kicked a 27-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to upset state-ranked Louisburg at Spring Hill in the season opener.
Spring Hill jumped out to a 24-6 lead, but Louisburg rallied from the 18-point deficit to tie the score Friday, Sept. 6.
The Broncos broke the tie with the field goal for what proved to be the game-winner with 5:49 left in regulation.
The Louisburg Wildcats, defending Frontier League and regional champions, are ranked No. 4 in the state in Class 4A. Spring Hill, a member of the Frontier League, is in Class 4A football which is scheduled two years at a time. Spring Hill is Class 5A in other sports.
Spring Hill running back Zade Barker ran for two touchdowns in the victory. Kicker Bear Gardner made a 27-yard field goal with 5:49 left in the fourth quarter, breaking a 24-24 tie.
The Broncos would deny the Wildcats on a first down and goal to go from the 4-yard line with 50 seconds left in regulation, holding on for the 27-24 victory.
Wildcat quarterback Madden Rutherford ran for a touchdown and had a touchdown pass.
Spring Hill opened the scoring on a 26-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Corbyn Meyers to Gage Klutts on a pass right down the middle of the field. Gardner kicked the extra-point, making it 7-0 with 4:31 left in the first quarter. The Broncos had a 49-yard gain on a screen pass from Meyers to Zach Knowlton to set up the score.
Nicholas Presley recovered a Wildcat fumble for the Broncos. Spring Hill capitalized on the turnover with a 26-yard field goal by Gardner for a score of 10-0 with 1:15 left in the opening frame.
Louisburg answered with an 80-yard touchdown drive. The Wildcats punched it into the end zone from 1 yard out on a run by Rutherford with 9:26 to play in the second quarter. The extra-point attempt was no good.
Spring Hill missed a field goal attempt.
The Broncos got the ball back and put another drive together, capping the march on a 4-yard touchdown run by Barker, making it an 18-point deficit at 24-6.
Louisburg marched down the field to get right back in it before the end of the half. Rutherford completed a pass to Charlie Koontz for a 23-yard touchdown strike with 24 seconds on the clock. Rutherford ran for the two point conversion for a halftime score of 24-14.
The Wildcats kept the ball out of the Broncos’ hands for the first nine minutes of the third quarter, opening the frame with a march to set up a 36-yard field goal by Drake Varns.
Louisburg would keep the pressure on, getting the ball back and picking up a huge chunk of yardage on a 35-yard pass from Rutherford to Weston Guetterman. Justin Collins capped the drive with a 21-yard touchdown run to open the fourth quarter, bringing the Wildcats back from the 18-point deficit to tie the game at 24-24.
Gardner ended a Spring Hill drive with a 27-yard field goal, giving the Broncos a 27-24 lead.
The Louisburg Wildcats would make things interesting, marching the ball inside the Broncos 10-yard line.
Ben Wiedenmann caught a 22-yard pass from Rutherford on fourth down and long, taking the ball to the Spring Hill 15-yard line.
The Wildcats had first and goal at the 4-yard line and were backed up to the 9-yard line on an illegal procedure penalty.
Louisburg attempted a field goal as the final four seconds ticked off the clock and it was short.