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(Atlantic) Creston-Orient-Macksburg Senior Quarterback Lucas Nietzel led the Panthers past Atlantic 32-19 in a Class 3A District 1 football game Friday night.


Lucas Neitzel carried the ball 23-times for 223-yards, and scored four touchdowns to spark the Panthers. Creston-OM’s ground game, coupled with 6-Trojan turnovers proved to be the difference in the game. The Panthers piled up 414-yards on the ground to the Trojans 127. Atlantic won the aerial attack. Trojan Quarterback Harrison Hoegh went 20-31 for 291-yards and one touchdown. Neitzel was 7-16 for 94-yards.


The game was deadlocked at 6-6 at the end of the first half. The Trojans scored on their opening drive to take a 6-0 lead. Kray Lukehart capped the 12-play-68-yard drive with a 19-yard touchdown run. But Creston matched it with a 7-play 67-yard drive of their own with 4:25 left in the first quarter to tie the game 6-6. That would be all the scoring in the first half.


Creston-O-M came out in the second half and rolled up 19 unanswered points to open up a 25-6 early into the fourth quarter. Lucas Neitzel scored two of the three TD’s on runs of 3 and 6-yards. Panther Tailback Bryce Mcllravy accounted for the other Creston score. Atlantic broke the Panther run early in the fourth quarter when Harrison Hoegh found Sam Markham on a 79-yard touchdown pass to close the gap 25-13 after the extra point. But Creston answered right back. Neitzel got loose on a 56-yard run which gave Creston-O-M a 32-13 lead after the PAT. The mountain became just too difficult for the Trojans to climb after that.


Trailing 32-13, Atlantic put one more score across with 5:23 left in the contest. Jacob Dvorak squirted through the Panther Defensive line for a 21-yard touchdown run to tighten the gap to 32-19. But that would be it for the Trojans.


The Panthers extend their record to 3-0 and host ADM next week. Atlantic travels to undefeated Council Bluffs Lewis Central.


Click here for the postgame comments from Creston coach Brian Morrison


Click here for the postgame comments from Creston senior Luke Neitzel