Minden had just scored to cut Adams Central’s lead to 14-7 early in the third quarter, only the second touchdown the Patriots’ defense had allowed all season.
With momentum shifting to the Whippets, Adams Central needed a spark.
On the very next from scrimmage, Buzz Niederklein provided it.
The Adams Central junior running back took the hand-off, broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage and raced down the sideline 75 yards for a touchdown.
The Patriots went on to post a 38-13 win over Minden (2-7) in the first round of the Class C-2 playoffs Thursday night at Adams Central.
“(Niederklein’s run) was huge,” AC coach Bill Carlin said. “He breaks a tackle right at the line of scrimmage — they were putting 10 guys on the line almost — so when he got through the line, there wasn’t anybody left.
“That was really big. That was a real key for us to come back and answer their score. Momentum had kind of switched to their side. It was really important we answer the call right there.”
With the win, top-ranked Adams Central (9-0) advances to the second round of the playoffs where it will get a rematch with a Grand Island Central Catholic squad the Patriots downed 36-6 during the regular season. That game will be 7 p.m. Wednesday at Adams Central.