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Iowa hangs on to beat Nebraska in Heroes Game

IOWA CITY (KTIV) - For the sixth straight season, Iowa defeated Nebraska in the Heroes Game. The Hawkeyes held on for a 26-20 win Friday at Kinnick Stadium.

Iowa jumped out to a two score lead in the first quarter. Tyrone Tracy Jr. hauled in a six yard touchdown pass from Spencer Petras that gave the Hawkeyes a 10-0 lead.

It was a field goal battle for most of the second quarter until Adrian Martinez capped off an 11-play drive with a one yard quarterback sneak. It was 13-13 at halftime.

Nebraska scored on their opening drive of the third quarter. Rahmir Johnson found the endzone from 12-yards out. It was his first collegiate touchdown and the Huskers took a 20-13 lead.

Iowa answered with a 14-play 66 yard drive. Mekhi Sargent finished it off with a two yard touchdown run. That tied that game at 20.

Duncan hit his third and fourth field goals of the game in the 4th quarter to give Iowa a 26-20 lead. His 5th field goal attempt of the game bounced off the crossbar from 51 yards out. That gave the Cornhuskers the ball back with two minutes to play.

Nebraska was marching down the field, but with just over a minute to play, Chauncey Golston sacked Martinez, forcing the ball free. It landed in the hands of Zach VanValkenburg and the Hawkeyes took over possesion and ran out the clock for a 26-20 win.

"Really hard fought game. Conference game and then you're talking about a rivalry game too with the trophy on the line," said Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz. "This is three straight years now where it's really gone down to the last play, last minute and both teams really playing at a high level. So just really proud of our guys, I thought they played resilient."

"We needed one more drive somewhere, we needed one less fumble, one less penatly, one more stop, one more call," said Nebraska head coach Scott Frost. "That's the kind of game you're going to have to win against Iowa and Northwestern because they don't give you anything easy and Wisconsin. Those are really good teams."

Iowa is at Illinois next week. Nebraska is at Purdue.

Devin Reiners

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