The North Bend Eagle


Thunderbirds, records fall in opener

by Nathan Arneal
Published 8/29/18

• Endorf sets state record for passing yardage.

Hope fans didn’t have an early curfew Friday night.

With a combined 1,000 yards, 90 points and 61 passes, the game between North Bend Central and Johnson County Central didn’t end until 10 p.m. For Tiger fans, it was worth the wait as NBC held off JCC 56-34.

Football info box

Note: NBC also broke the total offense team record this game with 611 yards, though it was missed by the Eagle at the time.

Quarterback Austin Endorf set four school records passing the ball as well as a Class C2 state record with 497 yards through the air.

“We got in a groove,” Endorf said. “Guys were getting open. It was fun.”

The junior completed 31-of-47 passes for six touchdowns. His top target was senior John Emanuel, who hauled in 10 catches for 214 yards, missing the school record by nine yards.

“That’s definitely the best offensive output we’ve had since I’ve been here,” coach Ryan Stieren said. “We have a lot of potential on that side of the ball.”

The Tigers raced to a 28-6 lead late in the first half, with the Thunderbirds’ only score a one-play drive in the form of an 80-yard sprint off the right tackle by running back Josh Bailey.

It wouldn’t be the last the Tigers would see of Bailey.

With 46 seconds until halftime, Bailey repeated the feat, breaking off another 80-yarder on the first play of the possession.

JCC trailed 28-12 at halftime.

“Big plays really killed us tonight on the defensive side of the ball,” Stieren said. “I think we struggled in pursing and getting to the ball, and I think tackling was a little bit of an issue. But once (Bailey) was in the open field, we couldn’t run him down.”

The 5-foot-10, 210 pounder rushed for 366 yards on the night.

Bailey’s third touchdown run, a sweep around the left side for 74 yards, made it a touchdown game with NBC up 35-28 late in the third period.

NBC responded in less than a minute, with Endorf hitting Emanuel for 32 yards, then finding him again for a 21-yard touchdown. It was Endorf’s fifth touchdown throw of the night, setting a new NBC record.

A minute into the fourth quarter, Johnson County hit a long pass of its own for a score, and again it was a one-score game at 42-34.
Again, NBC’s quick strike offense was up to the task, taking only 42 seconds to find the end zone when Ethan Mullally turned in perhaps the play of the night.

The sophomore back caught a screen pass at the line of scrimmage and began breaking tackles while skedaddling 52 yards. No fewer than seven Thunderbird defenders got a hand on him, with the last one tripping him up at the 5-yard line. Mullally was able to keep his balance long enough to dive into the end zone for the score.

Cody Pospisil snuffed the Thunderbirds’ attempt to hang in the game, picking off a pass tipped by teammate Joe Howser.

Soon thereafter, NBC iced the game with a 2-yard touchdown run by Jacob Ray.
While it was overall an explosive game for the Tigers – who put up 611 yards of offense – Stieren wants to see improvement, specifically on defense and running the ball.

Johnson County had 465 yards of their own. Meanwhile, the Tigers ran for 114 yards, on 3.3 yards per attempt.

“We all know we have to run the ball better if we’re going to continue to pull these types of games out,” Stieren said.

Ben Rolenc led the NBC defense with seven tackles, and Jeremy Doernemann added six.


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