Andrew Kash fired a 6-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Hunter Schultze with 17 seconds left as Nashville rallied for a 31-28 win at New Berlin on Saturday in the opening round of the Class 2A football playoffs.
The Pretzels had just taken a 28-25 lead following an 81-yard pass play with 3:08 remaining, leaving the Hornets little time and 65 yards of sloppy, rain-soaked turf to try and answer.
That’s when Nashville turned to their junior quarterback to lead them down the field.
The Hornets opened the drive with a running play with Schultze, but then called on Kash to throw on 11 of the next 12 plays. Kash completed passes to four different receivers during that stretch, including a key fourth-down pass to Ethan Reid to keep the drive alive, before finally rolling right and finding Schultze all alone in the end zone for the win.
“He wasn’t open at first, but you always give Schultze and little more time and he always seems to get open,” said Kash after the game. “That was my mindset coming into the play and the pass felt great when it left my hand, and when he caught it I was ecstatic.”
Kash, who sat out last week with a hamstring injury, was 12-19 passing for 160 yards and three touchdowns on a wet and windy day not conducive to throwing the ball.
“Andrew has really stepped up this year,” coach Tim Kuhn said. “He’s had some adversity but he’s had some tremendous moments for us and today was definitely one of those.”
Royce Newman hauled in five passes for 81 yards and two touchdowns. Reid added 41 yards on three grabs, as Schultze caught three balls for 35 yards.
Schultze paced Nashville’s ground game with 98 yards on 19 carries and a rushing touchdown. Fullback Jaris Dalman added 46 yards on 10 totes, as Grant Reed ran the ball 15 times for 40 yards.
The Hornets, now 7-3, will host Niantic-Sangamon Valley (9-1) who was a 28-8 winner over Cerro Gordo on Friday.