Small Town – Big Time Football

Sometimes the biggest event taking place in a rural town this time of year is a hometown football team hosting a big game hoping to make it to the Nebraska State Football Championships in Lincoln, Neb. Thanksgiving week. Heartland is a consolidated public school in the town of Henderson with a population of under 1,000. The hometown Huskies senior running back Austin Stuhr is the first player in Nebraska history to gain more than 1,000 yards in the first three games of the season. Stuhr also leads the nation in eight-man rushing yards. No small feat.

Signs with Heartland football players names are lined up in front of the school on an unseasonably warm November evening.

Signs with Heartland football players names are lined up in front of the school on an unseasonably warm November evening.

The Heartland football team runs plays from a playbook before hosting East Butler in a playoff football game in Henderson, Neb. A rural town with a population less than 1,000.

The Heartland football team runs plays from a playbook before hosting East Butler in a playoff football game in Henderson, Neb. A rural town with a population less than 1,000.

East Butler freshman quarterback throws the ball while warming up prior to kickoff against Heartland.

East Butler freshman quarterback throws the ball while warming up prior to kickoff against Heartland.

Heartland defensive back Hayes Oswald celebrates after dropping East Butler’s Carter Stara in the backfield Wednesday night in Henderson.

Heartland defensive back Hayes Oswald celebrates after dropping Carter Stara of East Butler in the backfield.

Heartland senior running back Austin Stuhr protects the ball with both hands running up field against East Butler Wednesday night in Henderson.

Heartland senior running back Austin Stuhr protects the ball with both hands running up field against East Butler Wednesday night in Henderson.

Heartland quarterback Lane Huebert throws into the flat against East Butler Wednesday night in Henderson.

Heartland quarterback Lane Huebert throws into the flat against East Butler Wednesday night in Henderson.

Heartland senior running back Austin Stuhr break a tackle by East Butler’s Trevor Havlovic Wednesday night in Henderson.

Heartland senior running back Austin Stuhr break a tackle by East Butler’s Trevor Havlovic Wednesday night in Henderson.

Heartland linebacker Austin Stuhr strips the ball from East Butler’s Dalton Bohac, running it in for Heartland’s first touchdown Wednesday night in Henderson.

Heartland linebacker Austin Stuhr strips the ball from East Butler’s Dalton Bohac, running it in for Heartland’’s first touchdown Wednesday night in Henderson.

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