Trey Carr was in the right place at the right time.
And once the ball was in his hands, the Omaha Burke senior knew what to do with it.
Carr picked up teammate Rodney Williams' fumble and raced 43 yards for a touchdown, helping propel the fourth-ranked Bulldogs to a 24-3 win over Lincoln Southeast Friday night at Burke Stadium in the first round of the Class A playoffs.
“I was just doing my job blocking and the ball ended up in my hands and I just took off,” Carr said.
Carr's touchdown came with 2:09 left in the first half and gave Burke a 17-3 halftime lead. The Bulldog defense did the rest.
“Defense came to play tonight,” Burke coach Paul Limongi said. “We knew they were going to try and run the football. I thought we were able to take that away a little bit. And I think we were able to get them out of their rhythm a little bit.”
Lincoln Southeast moved the ball: the Knights finished with 257 yards of offense. But after converting a 28-yard field goal late in the first quarter, the Knights never got inside Burke's red zone on any of their final nine possessions.
Southeast faced long fields — its average starting position was its own 25 — and the Bulldogs held the Knights to 7-of-25 passing with three interceptions.
“We had some opportunities in the passing game, but we weren't able to connect,” Southeast coach Ryan Gottula said. “Hats off to Burke. They were able to come out with some big plays there. I thought the fumble they were able to pick up and run in for a touchdown was a big momentum changer.”
Carr's fumble recovery for a touchdown capped a dominant second quarter for the Bulldogs as they scored on three consecutive possessions.
Hayden Guy tied it at 3 on a 44-yard field goal with nine minutes left in the half. Three minutes later, Jacob Coughlin leaped in the end zone and came down with a well-defended 31-yard pass from Alex Curbeam.
Then four minutes later, Carr turned a fumble at midfield into a touchdown as the Bulldogs defeated the team that beat them in the 2011 Class A state championship game.
“All week we said it was a rematch game. We just said we wanted to sell out and we were able to get the W,” said Carr, who iced the win by catching a 36-yard touchdown pass from Curbeam with 7:42 left in the game.
Curbeam had a solid night as he threw for 133 yards and rushed for 69. Logan Gier led the Bulldogs with 111 yards on 22 carries as he went over 1,200 yards for the season.
Southeast quarterback Luke Gifford finished with 125 yards rushing, with most of his yards coming on scrambles out of the pocket.
Burke will be back home next Friday to play Grand Island in the second round.
Lincoln Southeast (5-5) ............................ 3 0 0 0— 3
At Omaha Burke (7-3) ............................... 0 17 0 7—24
LSE: Logan Keitges 28 FG
OB: Hayden Guy 44 FG
OB: Jacob Coughlin 31 pass from Alex Curbeam (Guy kick)
OB: Trey Carr 43 fumble recovery (Guy kick)
OB: Carr 36 pass from Curbeam (Guy kick)
RUSHING: LSE: Luke Gifford 17-125, Hunter Johnson 12-51, Alex Agostine 5-22, Javier Fa'ali'l 1-4; OB: Logan Gier 22-111, Alex Curbeam 9-69, Trey Carr 0-43, Rodney Williams 1-8, Colton Hough 1-1.
PASSING: LSE: Gifford 7-24-2 55, Trent Hays 0-1-1 0; OB: Curbeam 10-19-0 133.
RECEIVING: LSE: Logan Beebe 3-27, Johnson 1-11, Taylor Richards 1-9, Brady Blazek 1-4, Trey Beamon 1-4; OB: Austan Daniels 3-21, Lim Puoch 3-17, Carr 2-46, Jacob Coughlin 1-31, Noah Fant 1-18.