Hastings Bronco football team goes 3-0, wins home opener

HASTINGS, Neb.-- Hastings- For the second season in a row, the Hastings College football team started their season 3-0 when they defeated the Valley City State (N.D.) Vikings 47-9 at Lloyd Wilson Field on Saturday.

The Broncos (3-0) got on the board first when Tahj Willingham (JR/Greenwood Village, CO) and Anthony Cloyd (SR/Omaha, NE) carved up the Vikings' (1-2) offense with 41 and 27 total yards, respectively, to put the Broncos up 7-0. On the next drive, Anthony Murray (SR/Aurora, CO) intercepted a pass by the Vikings' Jalen Pfeifer and returned it for 31 yards. Plays by Cloyd and Travis Agagah (SR/Gretna, NE) set up Willingham for his 14-yard touchdown run to put the Broncos ahead 14-0 late in the first quarter.

The Vikings in the following drive threw another interception, this time the ball being caught by Brandon Barboza (SR/Modesto, CA), who took it back eight yards.

With 9:59 left in the second quarter, the Broncos got the ball again for another touchdown run, with a 19-yard pass and eventually a 32-yard scoring pass, both to Ty Mercer (SR/Miami, OK), to make it 21-0 in favor of the Broncos.

The Vikings got the ball back at their own 29-yard line, but had a quick three-and-out series. On the punt, Zach Parmenter (SR/Smithville, MO) blocked the punt that was recovered by Hayden Jones (SR/Douglas, CO) and taken to the 12-yard line. Three plays later, Isaiah Jackson (SO/Compton, CA) connected with Jordan Johnson (JR/Spring Valley, CA) for another touchdown to put the Broncos up 28-0 with 2:40 left in the first half.

Valley City State got on the board with :13 seconds left in the half with a 30-yard field goal, making the halftime score 28-3.

Cloyd started the second half with two plays worth 41 yards, but did not get anything from the drive. Alex Stogdill (JR/Lincoln, NE) punted the ball to the one-yard line. The next play, the Broncos' defense swarmed the Vikings' Louis Quinones for a safety to pad the Broncos' lead to 27.

The next drive by the Broncos was capped by a 41-yard Jackson-to-Noah Housh (SR/Lincoln, NE) pass and a nine-yard Jackson-to-Johnson touchdown pass to put the Broncos ahead 37-3.

Marc Zeckser (FR/Doniphan, NE) got 20 yards in the Broncos next drive to get the ball deep in the red zone before Willingham got into the endzone with a seven-yard run to grow the Broncos' lead to 44-3. The Vikings countered that drive with their only touchdown drive of the game, but had their PAT blocked by Murray, making the score 44-9.

The Broncos were led offensively by Cloyd and Willingham who had 127 and 100 yards, respectively. Murray, Barboza, and Austin Rowlett (SR/Lincoln, NE) all made an interception.

With a bye-week next week, the Broncos play again on September 23rd when they travel to Mitchell, S.D. to face the Dakota Wesleyan Tigers with a kickoff of 1 p.m.