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Brossart kicker makes field goal as time expires to win district seeding game against Nicholas County

By Matthew Dietz
NKyTribune sports reporter

A 24-yard field goal by junior Tyler Smith as time expired gave Brossart a thrilling 17-15 victory over previously undefeated Nicholas County in a Class 1A district seeding game on Friday in Carlisle.

It was the Mustangs’ fourth straight win over the Blue Jackets in the last three seasons, not counting a Brossart forfeit in the opening round of 2020 playoffs due to Covid-19.

Brossart junior Tyler Smith, No. 81, kicked his second game-winning field goal of the season Friday against Nicholas County. (File photo by Tim Cooper, bmustangs.com)

On Friday, a defensive stalemate quickly turned into an offensive thriller in the final quarter.

With the game tied at 7-7, the teams traded touchdown passes. Sam Willike’s 41-yard catch-and-run put Brossart ahead, but the home team answered with a 23-yard catch by Andrew Watkins.

While the Mustangs chose to kick the extra point to go up 14-7, Nicholas County had other plans after its touchdown.

Sophomore running back Alex Koeder ran the ball into the end zone for a two-point conversion to put the Blue Jackets ahead, 15-14, with 1:59 remaining in the game.

But Brossart engineered a 61-yard drive to the Nicholas County 7-yard line and called a timeout with three seconds remaining. That’s when Smith kicked the ball through the uprights for his second game-winning field goal this season.

After holding the Mustangs scoreless on their first possession of the game, the Blue Jackets got the scoring started early in the first quarter. Koeder carried the ball 74 yards inside the 5-yard line and then quarterback Tate Letcher ran it into the end zone.

Brossart punted on its first three offensive possessions before getting a much-needed lift when junior Nathan Heck intercepted a pass at the Nicholas County 5-yard line. Two plays later, sophomore Tyler Holtz scored on a 1-yard run and Smith kicked the extra point to even the score at 7-7.

Sam Willike

Koeder’s long run was the only explosive play the Blue Jackets could muster in the first half. Brossart’s defense allowed only one first down after that and forced six consecutive punts stretching from the middle of the second quarter to early in the fourth quarter. 

Nicholas County’s defense also made several crucial plays in the first half to hold Brossart to just seven points. The Mustangs had the opportunity to take a 10-7 lead just before halftime, but Smith missed a field goal from inside the 20-yard line.

Brossart finished with 196 yards of total offense (149 passing, 47 rushing). Senior quarterback Austin Schadler was 14 of 27 passing for 149 yards and one touchdown. Willike had six receptions for 72 yards, including his fourth-quarter touchdown grab.

Nicholas County generated 237 yards of total offense (130 rushing, 107 passing). Koeder finished with 96 yards on 12 carries. Letcher picked up 23 yards on 16 carries and was 9-of-15 passing for 107 yards.

Penalties were a factor in the game. The Blue Jackets were flagged eight times for 95 yards, including a late hit on the quarterback during Brossart’s final drive that put the ball on the 15-yard line. The Mustangs had six penalties totaling 50 yards.

BROSSART                  0  7  7  3 — 17
NICHOLAS COUNTY   7  0  0  8 — 15
NC — Letcher 5 run (Zinkewitz kick)
B — Holtz 1 run (Smith kick)
B — Willike 24 pass from Schadler (Smith kick)
NC — Watkins 23 pass from Letcher (Koeder run)
B — Smith 24 FG
RECORDS: Brossart 5-2, 1-0 district; Nicholas County 6-1, 0-1


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