AURORA -- It took three quarters and some change, but Northwest finally was able to knock out Aurora on Friday night.

And like it has been all season it was with defense. The Vikings shutout the Class C-1, sixth-ranked Huskies in the second half en route to a 26-8 win to start the season 3-1.

“I’d go to battle with those dudes any day of the week,” said Northwest coach Kevin Stein of his Class B, fourth-ranked Vikings. “They stepped up big time again tonight. We aren’t the biggest, strongest or fastest, but I’d take them anywhere.”

They needed every single stop they couldn’t get.

Trailing 8-6 at the half, the Vikings defense saw Sean Juengst recover a Trevor Dvorak fumble on the Huskies first possession of the second half that later turned into a 22-yard Parker Janky field goal which gave Northwest the lead for good.

“We felt like we had a good (offensive) plan coming in,” Aurora coach Kyle Petersen said. “We just couldn’t get that explosive play that could get us in the end zone.”

The Vikings took over in the fourth quarter as Aurora crossed midfield only once and had drives that ended punt, punt, interception and turnover on downs while Northwest seized control

After the first punt, junior running back Brady Baasch ripped off a 41-yard touchdown run that gave Northwest a 16-8 lead with 9:38 left in the game.

Later, the Vikings got an interception from senior defensive back Jaren Wlaschin that returned all the way to the Aurora 12, which set up Janky’s fourth field goal -- which tied a Class B single game record -- and gave Northwest a 19-8 lead. The clinching score came on Sam Hartman’s 6-yard run with 3:56 left after the Vikings held Aurora on downs.

“Parker was money for us all night,” Stein said.

The clinching score came on Sam Hartman’s 6-yard run with 3:56 left after the Vikings held Aurora on downs.

The teams combined for five turnovers in a sloppily played first half, but it seemed to be just how Aurora liked it as they held Northwest to 10 yard rushing on 13 attempts.

Still, Northwest defense propped up a 3-0 lead until the final minute when Dvorak caught a blitz perfectly and hit Jacob Settles for a 50-yard touchdown on a screen play.

On the ensuing kick, the Huskies hit a Viking up man and recovered, but Dvorak was intercepted by Rans Sanders and he returned the ball to the Aurora 42, which set up Parker Janky’s 40-yard field goal as time expired before the break.

“That was a great play by Rans to get us the ball at the end of the half, then he set up that field goal with some good passes for us,” Stein said. “That gave us a little bit of momentum in the locker room.”

Baasch led the Vikings with 73 yards on 11 attempts, while Sanders completed 14-of-25 passes for 113 yards and ran nine times for 53 yards. Aurora got a game effort from senior Kaleb Moural who ran 36 times for 221 yards.

For Petersen, he said the Huskies (1-3) need to learn from playing three ranked teams prior to district play and let it carry them through the rest of the season.

“The season is still out there for us,” he said. “What I told the kids if they go look in the mirror and ask them how they can help the team do better than we will get better and the sky's the limit for us.”

The Huskies travel to Fairury to start district play next week and the Vikings have a homecoming game with Seward.

Northwest (3-1) 3 3 3 17—26 .

at Aurora (1-3) 0 8 0 0—8

FIRST QUARTER

NW — Parker Janky 28 field goal, 1:17

SECOND QUARTER

A — Jacob Settles 50 pass from Trevor Dvorak (Dvorak run), 0:39

NW — Parker Janky 40 field goal, 0:00

THIRD QUARTER

NW — Parker Janky 22 field goal, 6:15

FOURTH QUARTER

NW — Brady Baasch 41 run (Janky kick), 9:38

NW — Parker Janky 22 field goal, 6:26

NW — Sam Hartman 6 run (Janky kick), 3:56

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