SSC edges Blair in final minute

Bears football finishes 2021 1-8

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The Blair football team lost its season finale Friday night despite scoring five touchdowns to South Sioux City's four and a field goal.
The Bears failed on each of their extra-point kicks and 2-point conversions, while the Cardinals' extra-point kick with 47 seconds remaining gave the home team a 31-30 victory. SSC improved to 3-6 with the win, while BHS finished 2021 1-8 — its worst mark since 2004.
“It's been a tough season,” coach Bryan Soukup said. “Injuries have plagued us all season and Dane Larsen getting hurt early in the first quarter tonight just added to the list.”
The Cardinals led 11-0 before Blair scored 18-straight points during the second quarter. Senior back Livai Opetaia scored on an 11-yard run first before Kaden scored from 11 and 32 yards out on the next two.
SSC evened the score during the third quarter before the Class B football teams traded scores back-and-forth during the fourth. Opetaia capped his high school career with two more touchdown runs over the course of the final 12 minutes, giving 24-18 and 30-24 leads to the Bears.
The energetic Cardinals didn't give up, though. Demarico Young scored on a 1-yard run to even the score before Christian Barajas' second successful PAT gave the home squad a one-point advantage with less than a minute to go.
Bears quarterback Bode Soukup connected with Shea Wendt on a long pass during the drive that followed, but BHS' efforts to score their second win of the fall fell short.
Despite all of its injuries, the Bears were able to give experience to its young roster during the fall campaign. On top of that, the team never gave up in the eyes of their coach.
“This team kept coming in each week, worked hard and gave a good fight each Friday night,” Soukup said. “It says a lot about our senior leadership and the growth of the younger players on the team.”
Each close still stung, though. Blair went 0-for-4 in one-score games.
“We feel for the seniors,” Soukup said. “They've been a tremendous group and provided great leadership keeping the team together and competing each and every week.
Wyatt Ogle, Kip Tupa, Mark Donner, Opetaia, Tyler Andersen, Conner O'Neil, Gage Nissen and Nate Foged have played their final football games as Bears.
“An awesome group of young men,” Soukup said.

Blair Football

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