BATTLE CREEK — Trailing No. 2 Ponca by 10 points with four minutes left in Friday’s Class C-2 football quarterfinal, the fourth-ranked Battle Creek Braves needed a rally worthy of ESPN’s Instant Classics.

BATTLE CREEK - He made a 69-yard touchdown run look easy before hitting Kobe Benne in stride on a deep pass for a 70-yard touchdown, but there was nothing easy about the final foot Evan Reinert gained on the final play of Oakland-Craig's 27-24 overtime win over Battle Creek here Friday.

Battle Creek coach Andrew Carlson said that, earlier this week, he sensed his team beginning to turn the corner. "I told them after Wednesday's practice that I thought things were starting to come together, and maybe we're getting into a groove," Carlson said. "And, we're starting to get healthy."

A stifling defense and a couple big plays proved to be the winning formula for Class C No. 6 Hartington Cedar Catholic. The Trojans made a safety, field goal, and pick six stand to knock off No. 2 Battle Creek 12-7 at Bob Schnitzler Field in a battle of undefeated squads Friday.

For the last three years, Addie Shaw of North Central has used the phrase "turn some heads" as a personal motto. But with a Class D title in the discus and runner-up in the shot put, plus a pair of 45-foot throws in the shot put already this season, it seemed a revision was in order.

Battle Creek ball. Tie game. 10.3 seconds left in regulation. Everyone in the Norfolk Catholic Activities Center for the C2-5 subdistrict final knew Battle Creek senior Kobe Lade would get the ball.

BATTLE CREEK -- Jared Reed knocked down 5 of 6 free throws in the final 92 seconds to help finish what the Battle Creek defense started.

From an outside perspective, Battle Creek may have appeared to be in rebuilding mode entering the season. Having to replace several key starters -- both on the line and in the backfield -- there were several unkowns about the Braves in August. Inside the program was a level of focus that, following Friday's 53-0 win over Elmwood-Murdock in the first round of the Class C2 playoffs, has driven this group to a 10-0 start.

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