BEATRICE, Neb - A tough start to the year paid off with a win for Beatrice. 

Beatrice topped the Falcons of Lincoln Northwest 27-20, behind a huge day running the football. 

Many will remember this one as the Merrick Johnson game as the freshman stepped in at running back for John Riesen who suffered an injury in practice this past week. Johnson ran for 152 yards on 23 carries (6.6 yards per attempt) with two touchdowns, including the eventual game winner. Beatrice didn't start using Johnson until the second quarter, as well.

Crew Meints also put his footprint on this one with his legs, running for 137 yards on 22 carries with both a passing and rushing touchdown. 

The Orangemen had just two receivers catch passes, those being Trey Henning who recorded two receptions for 37 yards and a score, and one catch for 24 yards from Luke Hamilton. 

Beatrice improves to 1-4 on the year with a trip to Plattsmouth next on the schedule.