Beef Take Down Spartans 45-32

OMAHA, NE - The Omaha Beef home opener was back and forth battle for three quarters before the offense and defense both started to score Saturday night at Liberty First Credit Union Arena as the Beef defeated the Colorado Spartans 45-32. Omaha trailed 26-13 after Colorado scored on a Jason Whittaker 11-yard touchdown pass to KaDarrius Campbell with 6:30 remaining in the third quarter. The Beef outscored the Spartans 34-6 the rest of the game. Quarterback Tommy Armstrong threw two touchdowns and the defense scored twice in that span as the Beef won their 14th straight game.

Colorado came into Liberty First Credit Union Arena and started out fast as Steven Newbold returned the opening kickoff 45 yards for a touchdown. The Beef answered with a Tommy Armstrong’s nine-yard touchdown run and Jordan Spurlock’s extra point gave Omaha its first lead. The Spartans finished the first quarter with Jason Whittaker hitting KaDarrius Campbell on a short pass and Campbell racing down the field for a 19-yard touchdown and a 12-7 lead.

Rookie wide receiver Korrell Koehlmoos put the Beef on top again with a 34-yard touchdown reception at 5:30 of the second quarter. Colorado was ready to settle for a field goal attempt as halftime neared that Darrien Crowe missed, but a roughing the kicker call gave the Spartans another chance from the three-yard line.  Two more penalties had the ball at the Omaha six with no time remaining, but its third chance was put to effective use when Whittaker hit Newbold with a six-yard touchdown pass. Colorado had its biggest lead at 26-13 when Whittaker hit Campbell on an 11-yard touchdown with 6:30 remaining in the third quarter.

Then Beef started to regain control of the game. Armstrong hit Barton on a 28-yard touchdown pass with :50 remaining in the third quarter to cut the Colorado led to seven. Omaha’s defense started to show its muscle as Rodell Rahmaan sacked Whittaker for a safety early in the fourth quarter. Five plays later Armstrong threw a perfect deep pass down the sideline to Koehlmoos who scored his second touchdown of the game. Koehlmoos had five receptions for 99 yards in the game. After Tabyus Taylor two-point conversion the Beef had a three lead with 11:00 remaining. Colorado took back the lead with 9:14 remaining as Whittaker connected on his fourth touchdown pass, this one with Deonte Rarrieck from 28-yards and the Spartans had a three-point lead. The Beef took the lead for good as Taylor rushed it in from a yard out and collected the two-point rushing conversion with 6:30 remaining. Trey Dudley-Giles picked off Whittaker on the next drive and returned it 33 yards for a touchdown and Armstrong wrapped up the scoring with the two-point rushing conversion.

Colorado’s defense held the Beef in check for most of the game as Tommy Armstrong was held to 9 of 19 passing (3 TD’s) and was only able to musted 49 rushing yards (1 TD) on seven carries. Justin Castell and Javarius Thompson led the Spartans with seven tackles. Whittaker went 17 of 24 passing with four touchdowns and 182 yards but threw two interceptions in the fourth quarter. Campbell hauled in six receptions for 51 yards and two touchdowns, Newbold caught five passes for 47 yards and a touchdown, and Rarrieck had 4 catches for 70 yards and a touchdown.

Newcomer Rodell Rahmaan led the Beef defense with seven tackles, 2 sacks, 1 force fumble, and a safety. Terrance Jackson Jr recorded seven tackles with one tackle for loss, while Ponce Deleon picked up seven tackles with one forced fumble. Rudy Ngougni (5 tackles) and Darryl Pointer (4 tackles) each had a sack. Chris Perry (3 tackles) had an interception and 1 pass breakup.

After a bye week the Beef will head to Enid, Oklahoma to take on the Flying Aces on April 13th.