Cody-Kilgore could not be stopped on Friday and they defeated Wallace, 72-28, in the semifinals of the Nebraska six-man playoffs.

Wallace ends their season with a record of 9-2. Cody-Kilgore advances to the state championship game in Kearney next Friday against Potter-Dix in a battle of 11-0 unbeatens.

Cody-Kilgore received the opening kickoff and they powered the ball down the field. They faced fourth down and goal at the one-yard line when Tucker Ravenscroft punched it in and it was 8-0.

Carson Glunz responded for Wallace by returning the kick all the way back for a touchdown. But Kolton Hager’s kick for two-points was blocked and Cody-Kilgore still led, 8-6.

It became 16-6 after a touchdown run by Gage Davis. Cody-Kilgore’s defense then stopped the Wildcats and Cactus Millar returned the punt all the way to the Wallace one-yard line. Ravenscroft took it into the end zone on the next play to make it 24-6.

Wallace drove the ball into Cowboy territory on their next possession but they were stopped on fourth down. That allowed Cody-Kilgore to expand the lead even further with another touchdown run by Davis.

The Wildcats finally mustered a response with a touchdown run by Glunz to make it 32-14 at the end of the quarter. But the Cowboys from Cherry County had just built up too much steam. They scored four touchdowns in the second quarter while keep Wallace at bay to hold a commanding 53-14 halftime lead.

Wallace scored a touchdown in each of the final two quarters as Cody-Kilgore clinched a trip to the state final.

The loss to Cody-Kilgore ends what is perhaps the best season in Wallace history. Before the season, few could’ve expected the Wildcats to go so deep into the playoffs.

They didn’t play a season in 2019 due to not having enough players for an eight man team. Then after moving to six-man in 2020, Wallace went 2-5.

In their first game this season, the Wildcats competed well in a 47-22 loss to Potter-Dix. They started to get going by beating South Platte and Minatare. Then they manhandled 2018 state champion Wilcox-Hildreth, 49-6, and Wallace began to roll. They won their next four games convincingly to close the regular season.

Wallace earned the No. 6 seed in the playoffs and they defended their home field with a 62-42 victory over Hay Springs on Oct. 29. The Wildcats then went on the road to Pawnee City on Nov. 5 and won 38-18 to make the semifinals for the first time in school history.

Wallace will graduate their quarterback, Hager, and his top receiving target, Camden McConnell, among others. But the Wildcats should remain in contention with Glunz, who rushed for nearly 2,000 yards this season, coming back.

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