COZAD, Neb. -- The Minden Whippets controlled their destiny heading into Friday night’s matchup with the Cozad Haymakers. The Whippets needed a win to secure a spot in the District C1 playoffs while the eliminated Haymakers looked to play spoiler.

Minden got to work early, scoring on their first drive of the game. Running back Rylan Holsten capped off a 97-yard drive with a two-yard rushing touchdown. Holsten also converted the following two-point conversion putting Minden up 8-0.

The Whippets added another score before the end of the first quarter when cornerback Bronson Glanzer returned a 45-yard interception for a touchdown off Cozad quarterback Noah Shoemaker. Minden failed to convert on the ensuing two-point conversion putting the Whippets up 14-0.

Shoemaker would throw his second pick-six of the game in the second quarter to linebacker Braiden Schroeder inside the Cozad 10-yard-line. Jose Ciprian converted the PAT attempt for Minden to make the score 21-0.

With three seconds left in the quarter, Whippets quarterback Carter Harsin would find wide receiver Jake Ryan in the end-zone for a 13-yard touchdown. Minden’s PAT attempt would be good giving the Whippets a 28-0 lead going into halftime.

Cozad opened the second half with a touchdown on their first drive. Shoemaker would find running back Dreu White on a screen pass for a 32-yard touchdown pass. Jaden Cervantes missed the ensuing PAT attempt cutting Minden’s lead down to 28-6.

On the following drive, Holsten would find the endzone again, this time with a 56-yard touchdown run. The Haymakers blocked the PAT attempt leaving the score at 34-6.

In the fourth quarter, Cozad scored two touchdowns. Shoemaker found wide receiver Isaac White for a five-yard score; he would also score on a three-yard run. The Haymakers missed both PAT attempts and the Whippets would hang on to win 34-18.

With the win, Minden qualifies for the playoffs for the first time since 2011. By Monday, they will know if they are the 14th, 15th or 16th seed. The Whippets finished the season with a 6-3 record.

Cozad missed the playoffs for the second consecutive year and finished their season with a 3-6 record.

Cozad Stats:

N. Shoemaker: Passing: 10/23, 144 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT, 10 carries, 53 yds, 1 TD

D. White: 14 carries, 63 yds, 2 catches, 46 yds, 1 TD

I. White: 5 catches, 45 yds, 1 TD

Ca. Chytka: 11 carries, 33 yds

O. Davis: 1 catch, 37 yds

Minden Stats:

C. Harsin: Passing: 6/12, 72 yds, 1 TD,

R. Holsten: 14 carries, 119 yds, 2 TD

J Ryan: 11 carries, 47 yds, 3 catches, 30 yds, 1 TD