Dr. Robert Smith went in for a haircut last Thursday morning from Kent McCallum at Royal Image in Norfolk.
A main topic of conversation? As in many barbershops, football came up, but this discussion about the Nebraska-Northwestern game had a little different twist.
McCallum’s son, Lane, is a kicker for Nebraska, while Smith’s grandson, Aidan, is a quarterback for Northwestern. Little did they know that just two days later, Lane and Aidan would play critical roles in the Nebraska-Northwestern game.
Lane McCallum hit two field goals — including the game-winner with no time left on the clock — to help the Huskers to a 13-10 win over Northwestern. Aidan Smith made his first start at quarterback for Northwestern, completing 19 of 32 passes for 136 yards and rushing 16 times for 64 more.
Smith’s father, Tobin, is a 1987 Norfolk High graduate, and his mother, Jane, is a 1988 Norfolk High graduate. Tobin Smith played tennis and was a swimmer in high school, qualifying for state in swimming. Jane Smith, whose maiden name is Vileta, was a cheerleader and on the tennis team. Aidan Smith's paternal grandparents, Dr. Robert and Jeanne Smith, live in Norfolk, as did his maternal grandmother, Ruth Vileta, before her death last year.
So Norfolk had a couple of reasons to celebrate on Saturday.
But McCallum wasn’t so sure initially. McCallum’s kick was low, leading him to think, “Oh, crud,” and his coach, Scott Frost, to remark that he “could have jumped as high as he kicked that.”
But it punched through from 24 yards, and McCallum took off sprinting in the opposite direction. He put his arms out like a plane. He finally stopped about 70 yards away, where he was engulfed by his team in a dogpile of roughly 3,000 pounds.
“That hurt,” McCallum said. “That was not very fun.”
On the other side, Smith had a fun day in front of 33 family members at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln.
"I loved the energy," Smith said of the crowd. “My whole entire extended family is from Nebraska (Omaha, Lincoln and Norfolk). So I grew up coming here, watching games, watching the Big 12. I felt comfortable — 91,000 people is a lot of people. You go out there and hear it for the first time, it’s a little overwhelming. Then you get in the flow of the game and that’s that.”
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Editor’s note: The World-Herald News Service and Lincoln Journal Star contributed to this story.