‘It’s just a really cool time to be a Jet’: Northeastern tops Waynesville for first-ever playoff win

SPRINGFIELD — The Northeastern High School football team keeps making history.

Jets senior quarterback Cade Houseman threw two TD passes and rushed for two more as Northeastern won its first playoff game in school history, beating Waynesville 45-22 in a Division V, Region 20 first-round game in front of more than 1,300 fans on Friday night at Conover Field.

“It’s a feeling like no other,” Houseman said. “It’s a great feeling to do this with my teammates, we’ve been working hard for four years. We made history going 10-0 and we just made first-ever history. I couldn’t be prouder.”

Houseman went 13-for-23 for 229 yards and two TDs and rushed 23 times for 139 yards and two TDs as the Jets broke a nine-game playoff losing streak dating back to 1985.

“I’m just thrilled to death,” said Northeastern coach Jake Buchholtz. “We prepared well and came out and executed. We finally got that daggone monkey off our back, that’s for sure.”

Jets senior Dylan Haggy caught seven passes for 84 yards and a TD, while sophomore running back Garrett Chadwell caught an 8-yard TD pass and returned a punt 61 yards for a TD. Senior defensive back Bo Tolle returned an interception 19 yards for a TD as Northeastern improved to 11-0 for the first time in school history.

Northeastern never trailed, jumping out to a 14-3 first quarter lead despite two turnovers.

“You can’t do that in a big game, but our defense stepped up and made plays when we need to and we got in the end zone,” Houseman said. “We all played fast, hard and that’s how you win a ball game.”

The Jets led 28-9 at the half and Waynesville never got closer than 19 points in the second half.

Spartans quarterback Blaise Sizer went 19-for-46 for 317 yards and three TDs, including two TDs to Connor Berrey, who caught nine passes for 167 yards.

“A lot of people that know football know Waynesville is a good football team,” Buchholtz said. “We prepared all week like we were going to be in a dogfight. I thought we started out well, but when you commit turnovers against a good football team, it’s going to come back and hurt us. There’s a lot we can learn from and get better from.”

Northeastern advanced to the Region 20 quarterfinals and will host Brookville (10-1) at 7 p.m. Friday. The Blue Devils beat Purcell Marian 41-7.

Houseman hopes to see an even bigger crowd in Week 12.

“I’m excited to see what this place is going to bring again,” Houseman said. “I’m ready to keep playing.”

With all their goals accomplished, the Jets hope to keep playing football as long as possible. The program is embracing Buchholtz’s motto: Go 1-0 each week.

“It’s just a really cool time to be a Jet,” Buchholtz said.

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