8-man opener: 3 hours, 25 minutes … 125 points

Three hundred ninety-three jumping jacks.

That’s what the Central City cheerleaders would have suffered through Friday night, had they completed their duties.

They sprang for eight after the Wildcats’ first touchdown of the night. Then 14. Then 22. Then 28. Then 36. And that was just the first half.

The final outcome of my first eight-man experience: Central City 70, Northeast Hamilton 55.

The teams combined for 18 touchdowns. Central City’s Sean Brandhorst threw for seven. Mason Nielsen caught five touchdown passes and scored on a 73-yard kick-return TD that put the Wildcats ahead, 28-27. They never trailed again, and broke NEH’s 25-game regular-season winning streak.

In the second half, the Wildcats cheerleaders got lazy, and who can blame them? They started counting their jumping jacks by fives.

It was an experience. A fun game. Central City’s good — with the expanded playoffs, the Wildcats appear to be a safe bet to qualify for the first time in school history.

The game started at 7:01. It ended at 10:26. My deadline was 10:45. I made it by less than a minute.

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