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Northeast NE Football | KTIC Radio

Northeast Nebraska Football

GACC falls to Burwell in State Championship Game
2016-11-23T12:25












LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) _ Cayden Owens ran for three touchdowns and passed for two more, leading unranked Burwell to its first state football championship with a 47-18 victory over No. 2 Guardian Angels Central Catholic in the Class D1 final Monday.

The Longhorns led 20-0 after one. Both teams scored 6 second quarter points, and the halftime score was 26-6 in favor of Burwell.

The Bluejays won the third quarter 6-0 to make it a 26-12 game at the end of three.

The Longhorns outscored GACC 21-6 in the fourth quarter to make up the final score.
 
Nolan Plagge hit 14 of 28 passes for 273 yards and a touchdown, but was sacked four times. 

Andrew Guenther hauled in 3 passes for 98 yards and a touchdown while Kobe Slaughter made 5 catches for 96 yards. Cole Kreikemeier added 74 yards receiving on 4 receptions.

Jared Minnick was held to 31 yards and one touchdown on 15 carries. 

Connor Klitz led the way in tackles with 23 while Gage Herbert and Slaughter made 11 apiece. Plagge and Guenther totaled 9 each.

Because of the sacks, the Bluejays had a net minus-32 yards on the ground.

GACC had 289 yards of total offense for the game.

It was a great run for the Bluejays, but GACC ultimately came up short in achieving the ultimate dream.

The Bluejays end the season with a 12-1 record.

It was a wonderful season for GACC. The Bluejays picked up big regular season wins over Clarkson/Leigh, Nebraska City Lourdes, and Pender, just to name a few.

But I thought GACC was at their best in the playoffs, knocking off the likes of Clearwater/Orchard, Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family, Heartland, and Creighton.

The Bluejays beat some great teams and put together some very fine performances all season long, and should be commended and patted on the back for a job well done.

Not many people, including myself, thought GACC would make it as far as they did, but the Bluejays proved a lot of people wrong.

It just goes to show all that matters is what the players and coaches in the locker room think. Everyone worked hard, and it showed throughout the course of the season.

Looking at some season statistics, Plagge finished with nearly 1,800 yards passing with 28 touchdowns and 7 interceptions.

Minnick had 1,329 yards rushing with 18 touchdowns while Plagge added 973 yards on the ground with 21 rushing touchdowns.

Kreikemeier finished with 736 yards receiving and 13 touchdowns while Guenther notched 696 yards receiving and 11 touchdowns.

Klitz led the way in tackles with 170.

GACC loses some talent in Kreikemeier, Plagge, Sheldon Disher, Herbert, Guenther, Damien Birchem, Slaughter, Klitz, and Danny Wordekemper.

These 9 seniors were so valuable to the Bluejays this year, and were a big reason why GACC had as much success as they did.

Minnick, Nate Yosten, Derek Petz, Michael Baumert, Mitchell Peatrowsky, Ross Klitz, Casey Doernemann, and Jacob Yosten all figure to help make up next year's team.

I think the Bluejays have a chance to have another very good season in 2017 as long as the returning players and newcomers work hard in the offseason, and new players emerge and develop from now until the start of practice in August.
GACC tops Creighton in State Semifinals
2016-11-16T12:21












Beemer-The Guardian Angels Central Catholic Football team outlasted Creighton 48-44 at home in the State Semifinals Monday night.

Jared Minnick led the Bluejays' rushing attack with 63 yards on 15 carries. Quarterback Nolan Plagge added 52 yards on 19 attempts.

Plagge was 6-11 passing for 170 yards passing with two interceptions. Cole Kreikemeier went 1-1 for 54 yards.

Kreikemeier hauled in 6 passes for 139 yards, and scored three touchdowns. Andrew Guenther had 2 catches for 57 yards while Kobe Slaughter hauled in a 55-yard TD pass.

Plagge made 18 tackles while Gage Herbert and Connor Klitz notched 16 and 15, respectively. Casey Doernemann added 9.

GACC amassed 349 yards of total offense, including 220 through the air.

Creighton had 441 yards of total offense, 307 coming on the ground.

Head Coach Dave Ridder.

"We've had this motto all year long...we don't have anybody great, we just have a bunch of kids that love to play together. Great team chemistry. Young kids, they really put in the effort this year. And they play well together. And basically our motto all year has been just ordinary average guys."

The Bluejays (12-0) advance to the Class D-1 State Championship Game against Burwell next Monday at 2:45 p.m. at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln.

The Longhorns topped Palmer 26-24 at home in their semifinal game on Monday.

Ridder says his team will approach this game with Burwell just like any other.

"We're just preparing to do as best we can. And the game is whatever happens, happens. And if we win a state championship that's great, but hopefully we can play our best game. We still haven't played our best game yet."

Ridder's seen Burwell play before.

"I did go watch them play last year. They're a tough physical team. So we'll have our work cut out for us again."

Ridder says the Longhorns are talented.

"They like to run the ball a lot, and they're a very physical team. They have a pretty good defense, and their offense is very good. And they're very physical up front with their line, and they have a very good running back. A big kid about 6'1, 205."

The Longhorns will certainly challenge GACC, there's no doubt about it, but time and time again, the Bluejays have rose to the challenge and been successful.

There's no doubt GACC can win again on Monday.

It would be such a special feeling for these players, coaches, and fans to experience another state championship.

I'm honestly excited for the Bluejays to play in another state championship game. This is what these kids have dreamed about their entire lives...playing at Memorial Stadium is a once in a lifetime experience for most teams.

GACC has to take it all in and play their game.

Burwell has more state championship experience from a player standpoint having been there last year, but the Bluejays should still be fine.

I really do think GACC has a good chance to bring home another state championship.

It would be quite the accomplishment for the Bluejays to win another state title, and I definitely think it can happen.

The players just have to be focused for four quarters and play their hearts out.

The higher the stakes, the better it seems GACC plays.

I'm sure there will be some pre/early game jitters and all that goes with playing in a state championship game, but once the Bluejays get all the butterflies out of their system, they should be ready to go.

The game will be carried on 107.9 the Bull.
GACC uses big second half to knock off Heartland in State Quarterfinals
2016-11-11T09:19











The Guardian Angels Central Catholic Football Team advanced to the Class D-1 State Semifinals by defeating Heartland 56-34 at home in the State Quarterfinals Tuesday night.

The Huskies led 14-8 after one and won the second quarter 20-18 to take a 34-26 lead into the locker room.

The Bluejays shutout Heartland 16-0 in the third quarter to lead 42-34 at the end of three.

GACC blanked the Huskies 14-0 in the fourth quarter.

Cole Kreikemeier paced the Bluejays with 98 yards rushing on 11 carries, including a score while Jared Minnick had 88 yards rushing on 13 carries, including a score. Nolan Plagge notched 78 yards on the ground on 16 attempts.

Plagge was 10-14 passing with 69 yards and four touchdowns.

Connor Klitz made a game-high 21 tackles while Michael Baumert and Plagge had 15 and 14, respectively. Damien Birchem and Andrew Guenther notched 10 apiece while Kobe Slaughter and Kreikemeier totaled 9 and 7, respectively. 

GACC amassed 415 yards of total offense, including 298 yards on the ground.

Heartland totaled 444 yards of offense, including 306 rushing.

Head Coach Dave Ridder says the Bluejays really came to play in the second half.

"Yeah we had to make some adjustments at halftime defensively, and well we weren't keeping our responsibilities as far as our defensive responsibility. And offensively we decided we needed to run the ball, and run at them, and mix in a little play action pass, and that seemed to work well for us."

GACC outscored Heartland 30-0 in the final 24 minutes after trailing 34-26 at the break.

The Bluejays (11-0) advance to take on Creighton (10-1) at home in the Semifinals on Monday at 6:00 p.m.

Creighton won 90-54 at home over Nebraska City Lourdes in the State Quarterfinals on Tuesday

Ridder says the Bulldogs have a diverse offense.

"It's going to take a great defensive effort because I think they have the number one offensive stats in the state. They pass it well, but they run the ball very well. And they move it around. Their quarterback does an excellent job of distributing the ball."

This game is definitely a battle between two heavyweights. This is a game for men, and for all the marbles.

Everything is on the line in this game. A chance to represent the East at the Class D-1 State Championship game at Memorial Stadium.

It's every players' dream to play at the Huskers' stadium.

Well GACC is now one game away from doing so.

Creighton is a really good team, there's no denying it, but so are the Bluejays.

GACC has defied the odds and played really well this season, and I think they can win on Monday.

It should be a good game. I think the game will come down to the fourth quarter, and perhaps be decided in the final minutes or even seconds.

Every possession, every play is critical and counts,  so the Bluejays have to be focused and locked in on every play.

Emotions will no doubt be running high throughout the game, but GACC has to do their best to remain composed and poised throughout.

The Bluejays can't afford to commit any costly and silly penalties like personal fouls and late hits.

GACC has to be the smarter team and force the Bulldogs to make mistakes.

This should be a great game, and I'm really looking forward to it.

Kickoff is set for 6:00 p.m. in Beemer, and the game can be heard on 107.9 the Bull with pregame starting at 5:40.
GACC steamrolls Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family in second round of playoffs
2016-11-08T02:50












The Guardian Angels Central Catholic Bluejays advanced to the Class D-1 State Quarterfinals again this year by knocking off Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family 53-18 in the second round of the playoffs Wednesday night.

GACC led 14-6 after one and outscored the Bulldogs 18-0 in the second quarter to take a 32-6 lead into the locker room.

The Bluejays won the third quarter 8-6 to go up 40-12 at the end of three.

GACC outscored Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family 13-6 in the fourth quarter to make up the final score.

Nolan Plagge was 11-19 passing for 175 yards and four touchdowns. Andrew Guenther hauled in 4 passes for 109 yards, and scored once.

Jared Minnick carried the ball 19 times for 183 yards, and scored three times. Plagge had 63 yards rushing on 15 carries, and scored once.

Kobe Slaughter had 13 tackles while Connor Klitz registered 12. Cole Kreikemeier and Michael Baumert totaled 11 apiece while Sheldon Disher and Guenther notched 10 and 8, respectively.

The Bluejays racked up 426 yards of total offense, including 251 on the ground, while the Bulldogs had 257 yards of total offense, all but 11 of the yards coming on the ground.

GACC played very well in this game. I must say I was pleasantly surprised by the Bluejays' performance. I thought the game would be much closer than it was.

GACC (10-0) hosts Heartland (9-1) in the State Quarterfinals Tuesday evening.

The Huskies downed East Butler 70-42 at home in the second round of the playoffs on Wednesday.

I must say, I was a little surprised Heartland beat the Tigers the way they did.

And given how well they played against East Butler, I can't say I really know what to expect in this game.

I think things could go either way. Both teams are playing at a really high level right now, and nothing would surprise me at this point.

I can see the Bluejays winning, but I can also see them losing.

It just depends on how well GACC plays and how bad they want it.

The Bluejays have to try and slow down Austin Stuhr, who had 334 yards rushing and 6 touchdowns against East Butler.

Stuhr was pretty much a one man wrecking crew, and is a player GACC has to really focus in on.

The Bluejays' have done a good job of shutting other teams' best players down this year, and you can bet Head Coach Dave Ridder will have a really good game plan.

If GACC can shutdown or at least limit Stuhr, then I think they're going to win, but if Stuhr goes off and has a big game like he did against the Tigers, then the Bluejays could lose.

GACC is in the same spot they were at this time last year...10-0 and in the State Quarterfinals.

I would say last year's team was better than this one is, but I would also say BDS was a better team last year than Heartland is this year.

I fully expect Plagge, Minnick, and Guenther to have big games for the Bluejays.

I think Plagge's passing ability could end up being the deciding factor in this game.

If he can be a threat running and passing the ball, GACC will only be that much stronger.

Kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m. on 107.9 the Bull with pregame at 5:10.
Oakland-Craig ends season with playoff loss to Battle Creek
2016-11-08T02:26












The Oakland-Craig Knights saw their season come to an end Friday night as they lost 49-21 at Battle Creek.

The game was tied at 7 after one before the Braves outscored the Knights 21-7 in the second quarter to go up 28-14 at halftime.

Both teams scored 7 points in the third quarter, and the score after three was 35-21 in favor of Battle Creek.

The Braves shutout Oakland-Craig 14-0 in the fourth quarter.

Evan Reinert was 12-26 passing for 260 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

Garrett Seagren brought in 6 passes for 185 yards, and scored three touchdowns. Kobe Benne hauled in 6 passes for 63 yards.

Hoss Smith had 85 yards rushing on 19 carries while Reinert ran the ball 9 times for 75 yards.

Smith, Zach Ahrens, and Ben Ward made 8 tackles apiece.

This was a really tough loss for the Knights. I thought Oakland-Craig had a pretty good chance to win.

The Knights wrap up the year at 9-2.

It was certainly a season to remember for Oakland-Craig, their biggest wins coming over Crofton, Fremont Bergan, and Doniphan-Trumbull, in my opinion.

This team seemed to rise up to the challenge on a weekly basis, and made the season very memorable for all involved.

Reinert finished up with 1,124 yards passing and 12 touchdowns. Seagren had 775 yards receiving, including 10 touchdowns.

Hoss Smith amassed 1,374 yards on the ground and had 18 touchdowns.

Josh Dixon led the way in tackles with 76 while Smith made 74.

Oakland-Craig loses Smith, Carter Thiele, Ward, Ahrens, Alex Pleuler, Isaiah Larson, Zakk Lierman, and Dixon.

These are very significant losses, but the Knights have to feel good and optimistic about next season given who they return.

Oakland-Craig brings back Seagren, Robby Mayberry, Jared Mulder, Reinert, Benne, Ben Smith, Marcos Quintero, Cole Bures, and Jarron Metzler, among others.

As you can see plenty of talent returns for the Knights, but Oakland-Craig will have to find a replacement for Hoss Smith, and that won't be easy.

Perhaps fans will see the Knights throw the ball a little more next season with Reinert and Seagren both back.

I look for the passing game to sort of carry Oakland-Craig at least in the early part of next season.

All returning players and newcomers have to get faster, bigger, and stronger in the offseason.

It's important for everyone to improve and hone their skills and work hard in the weightroom in order for this program to remain at an elite level.

I feel all the pieces will be in place for the Knights to have another good season in 2017, but there's a lot of work to be done from now until August when practice starts.
Howells-Dodge loses to Lourdes Central Catholic in 2nd round of Playoffs
2016-11-08T02:04

















Howells-Dodge saw their season come to an end Wednesday night as the Jaguars lost 42-36 at Nebraska City Lourdes in the second round of the Class D-1 Playoffs.

The Jaguars led 14-0 after one and 22-14 at halftime after the Knights won the second quarter 14-8. Lourdes also won the third quarter 14-8 to make it a 30-28 game at the end of three.

The Knights outscored Howells-Dodge 14-6 in the fourth quarter.

Here is the scoring recap:

First Quarter

Howells-Dodge 08:11 #28 Dylan Horejsi runs for 4 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion run by #28 Dylan Horejsi no good)

Howells-Dodge 06:05 #28 Dylan Horejsi runs for 50 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion run by #23 Jordon Brichacek good)

Second Quarter

Howells-Dodge 06:13 #28 Dylan Horejsi runs for 22 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion run by #4 Dax VanLengen good)

Lourdes Central Catholic H S 03:46 #10 Hayden Miller pass complete to #1 Thomas Ragland for 9 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion pass by #10 Hayden Miller to Team no good)

Lourdes Central Catholic H S 00:31 #10 Hayden Miller runs for 4 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion pass by #10 Hayden Miller to #1 Thomas Ragland good)

Third Quarter

Lourdes Central Catholic H S 11:14 #10 Hayden Miller pass complete to #1 Thomas Ragland for 32 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion pass by #10 Hayden Miller to #1 Thomas Ragland good)

Lourdes Central Catholic H S 04:08 #10 Hayden Miller pass complete to #1 Thomas Ragland for 34 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion pass by #10 Hayden Miller to Team no good)

Howells-Dodge 01:55 #4 Dax VanLengen pass complete to #23 Jordon Brichacek for 20 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion pass by #4 Dax VanLengen to #37 Zach Bayer good)

Fourth Quarter

Lourdes Central Catholic H S 10:27 #10 Hayden Miller pass complete to #1 Thomas Ragland for 21 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion run by #10 Hayden Miller good)

Lourdes Central Catholic H S 06:09 #10 Hayden Miller pass complete to #17 Colter Fulton for 40 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion pass by #10 Hayden Miller to Team no good)

Howells-Dodge 04:41 #28 Dylan Horejsi runs for 2 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion run by #28 Dylan Horejsi no good)


Dylan Horejsi led the Jaguars with 209 yards rushing on 33 carries and four touchdowns.

Quarterback Dax VanLengen threw two touchdown passes and an interception.

Ely Hendrickson racked up a team-high 13 tackles while Brichacek and Kade Hegemann made 8 apiece. Zach Bayer notched 7.

Howells-Dodge amassed 370 yards of total offense, 236 coming on the ground.

Nebraska City Lourdes had 387 yards of total offense, including 342 rushing.

The Jaguars definitely had their chances, but simply came up short. It was still a really good season for Howells-Dodge though.

The Jaguars end the year at 7-3.

The highlights of the season had to be the wins over East Butler, Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family, and Clarkson/Leigh.

I thought Howells-Dodge stepped up and did an admirable job in all their big games this year, regardless of if they won or lost.

The teams the Jaguars lost to were and are pretty darn good.

VanLengen had over 1,150 yards passing with 11 touchdowns while Horejsi led the team in rushing with 836 yards and 11 TD's. Brichacek added 775 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground.

Bayer led the way in receiving with 461 yards and 5 touchdowns. Brichacek had 426 yards receiving, including 6 TD's.

Bayer also led the way in tackles with 80 while Hegemann made 76.

A lot of this team is back next year, but Howells-Dodge does say goodbye to Bayer, Tanner Coufal, Brett Fiala, and Marcus Love.

These are significant losses, but the Jaguars have to be thrilled with who all returns next year.

Howells-Dodge brings back the likes of VanLengen, Brichacek, Hegemann, Ryan Macholan, Tristan Kleinschmidt, Hendrickson, Horejsi, Connor Blum, Josh Brester, and Lane Hegemann, among others.

Next year's Jaguars' squad appears to be loaded with talent, and I wouldn't be surprised if Howells-Dodge made another deep run in the playoffs in 2017.

There's a lot of work to be done from now until the start of next season, but you can bet these boys will be hungry and ready for more success next season.

This team was very young and more than played up to their potential this year, in my opinion. The players should be very proud of their efforts as should the coaches, fans, and communities of Howells and Dodge.

You can bet the Jaguars will be back next season. I would say Howells-Dodge has a good chance to make it past the second round of the playoffs next season as long as the returning players and newcomers work hard in the offseason.

Success does not come overnight...it's a process, and these boys just have to take things one day at a time in the offseason, and put in the work necessary to become an elite, championship level team.

Next year's squad is capable of extraordinary things if they play up to their potential again, in my opinion.
Oakland-Craig defeats Doniphan-Trumbull in first round of playoffs
2016-11-02T02:05












Oakland-Craig advanced to the Class C-2 State Quarterfinals by knocking off Doniphan-Trumbull 26-7 at home in the first round of the playoffs Friday night.

Hoss Smith had 92 yards rushing on 19 carries, including two touchdowns for the Knights (9-1). Evan Reinert was 9-14 passing for 109 yards with a touchdown..

Garrett Seagren hauled in 5 passes for 80 yards.

Oakland-Craig had 313 yards of total offense, including 176 on the ground.

Doniphan-Trumbull totaled 274 yards of total offense, including 171 rushing.

Josh Dixon made 9 tackles while Smith and Ben Ward registered 7 each.

Head Coach Joe Anderson says he's proud of the way his kids played physical football against a great offensive team.

"They just run up and down the field on people. I think they average 430 yards a game, and put up a lot of points. They light up the scoreboard. So our guys really executed well. I thought our DB's played really well. We talked big about not giving up the big play. We've played really well on defense. At times we've kind of been a bend but don't break. And so our defense did a great job of not giving up the big play. And our guys up front did a nice job of stopping the run. But like I said there's just 11 guys flying around playing good team defense, and at the end of the day that's what got it done for us."

The Knights will travel to Battle Creek (8-2) Friday night in a game that can be heard on 107.9 the Bull.

The Braves knocked off Sutton 35-0 at home in the first round last week.

Anderson says while making the semis would be nice, his team isn't overlooking Battle Creek one bit.

"To be in the semis for the third year would pretty neat for our program, but we know that it's not going to be an easy challenge. We know if we would find a way to win we would be guaranteed a home game next round, but like I said it's just something you need to play for, it's just a little bit more incentive. But this is probably what I feel like is one of the top 2 or 3 teams in the state in Class C-2 so we know that it's going to be a battle going up there."

The Braves beat the Knights 21-12 in Oakland on September 2nd.

I think Oakland-Craig has a legit shot to knock off Battle Creek this time around though.

The Knights beat the Braves in the playoffs last year after losing to them in the regular season, and I think history can repeat itself.

It's not going to be a cakewalk for Oakland-Craig by any stretch of the imagination, but I feel Battle Creek is beatable.

The whole key to the game is stopping the Braves' run game, in my opinion.

The Knights have to be physical at the line of scrimmage and knock Battle Creek off the ball.

Oakland-Craig has to play with pure desire, determination, toughness, grit, fire, and tenacity.

The Knights have to want it more than the Braves.

I think Oakland-Craig has a fairly good shot to make the state championship again if they can pull this one out against Battle Creek.

Crofton or Valentine await the winner in the semifinals, but the Knights have already beaten the Warriors, and the Badgers are certainly beatable, especially since Oakland-Craig would get them in Oakland.

The higher the stakes, the better it seems like the Knights play, and I look for Oakland-Craig to play well Friday night, particularly on defense.

I think Reinert is going to need to make some plays with his arm and feet, and Smith is going to need to have a big game running the ball as well.

Friday's game is scheduled to kickoff at 7:00 p.m. on the Bull with pregame starting at 6:40.
Stanton falls to Wilber-Clatonia in first round of playoffs
2016-11-02T01:05











The Stanton Mustangs lost 21-6 at Wilber-Clatonia in the first round of the Class C-2 Playoffs Friday night.

The Wolverines led 7-0 at halftime by scoring a touchdown in the second quarter after neither team scored in the 1st quarter.

Neither team scored in the third quarter. Wilber-Clatonia outscored Stanton 14-6 in the fourth quarter.

Hunter Stallbaum was 7-23 passing for 117 yards and a touchdown.

Henry Bohac hauled in 2 passes for 53 yards.

Bohac led the way with 11 tackles while Mason King made 10. Gannon Tighe notched 9 while Trey Erbst and Gauge Erickson posted 8 each. Myles Nickolite recorded 7.

The Mustangs had just 131 yards of total offense, 117 coming through the air.

The Wolverines notched 322 yards of total offense, 293 coming on the ground.

Stanton did a great job to make the playoffs, but the Mustangs met their match against Wilber-Clatonia.

The Mustangs end the season at 6-4.

It was a solid season for Stanton, and the highlight without a doubt was upsetting Battle Creek in the regular season finale to get into the playoffs.

The Mustangs also had another nice win over Cross County in the regular season.

Stallbaum led the way with 1,171 yards passing and 12 touchdowns. Erbst was the team's leading rusher on the season with 613 yards and six touchdowns.

King had a team-high 138 tackles this year while Dylan Hunt and Bohac made 105 and 103, respectively.

Stanton was solid on both sides of the ball, and did some nice things this season. I'm sure it was nice for the Mustangs to make the playoffs this year after getting left out last year.

Stanton graduates Stallbaum, King, Erbst, Nickolite, Alex Schellpeper, Logan McKeon, Adam Dover, Hunt, Sam Christiansen, Tighe, and Bohac.

That's a lot of significant losses for a team to incur, but the Mustangs will simply have to rely on the returning players and newcomers to lead next year's squad.

Stanton brings back the likes of Erickson, Beau Wilke, and Ashton Flood.

The Mustangs will need to develop some skill position people and linemen in the offseason. I fully expect Stanton to do that though.

I think the Mustangs will find a way to be good again next year. Stanton has been a solid team in recent years, and I look for the Mustangs to find their way again in 2017.

There's a lot of work for the returning players and newcomers to get done, but I'm sure these kids and coaches will work hard and be dedicated in the offseason.

It's important for Stanton to work as hard as possible and go the extra mile though with only 16 teams making the playoffs in Class C-2.
Pender ends year with playoff loss to Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family
2016-11-02T12:30














The Pender Pendragons saw their season come to an end Thursday night as they lost 42-34 st home to Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family in the first round of the D-1 Playoffs.

The Bulldogs led 8-0 after one and shutout Pender 14-0 in the second quarter to take a 22-0 lead into the locker room.

The Pendragons won the third quarter 14-12 to make it a 34-14 game at the end of three.

Pender outscored Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family 20-8 in the fourth quarter, but it was to no avail.

Dylan Roth was 12-21 passing for 221 yards with 5 touchdowns and an interception.

James Bensen hauled in 3 passes for 88 yards while Tyler Nelson had 4 catches for 61 yards and a touchdown. Brady Oliver made 5 catches for 58 yards, and scored twice.

Bensen had 143 yards rushing on 18 carries.

Leland Bowder made 7 tackles.

The Pendragons totaled 409 yards of offense, including 274 through the air.

The defense surrendered 358 yards of total offense, 275 coming on the ground.

I thought Pender did a good job rallying in the second half, but it was just too late for the Pendragons to win.

Pender wraps up the year at 4-5.

I thought the Pendragons would go at least 6-2 again and maybe win the District Title, but Pender didn't do quite as well as I thought they would.

It was still a good season for the Pendragons though, and Pender has a lot to be proud of.

Roth finished the season with almost 1300 yards passing and 22 touchdowns while Bensen rushed for 741 yards, and scored 10 rushing touchdowns.

Defensively, Bowder led the way with 74 tackles on the year while Jesse Thompson made a total of 70.

The win over Wakefield had to be the highlight of the season for the Pendragons. Pender played really well against the Trojans.

The Pendragons graduate Roth, Bensen, Braden Peters, Brayden Bensen, and Bowder.

These five are significant losses, but that's not a lot of seniors to lose.

Pender returns the likes of Thompson, Layne Heese, Jaydon Jump, Jared Tyrrell, Brady Oliver, and Tyler Nelson.

I think the Pendragons have a chance to build on this year's success and have another fine season in 2017.

Pender graduates some of their big gins, but the Pendragons have to be excited about who all comes back.

I look for the returning players and newcomers to come together and maybe form another playoff qualifying team in 2017.

There's a lot of hard work for these players and newcomers to get done in the offseason, but I'm sure everyone will work hard and plug away in some fashion from now until the start of practice in August.
Howells-Dodge downs Johnson-Brock in first round of playoffs
2016-11-01T03:00














Howells-Dodge won their opening round playoff game at home on Thursday over Johnson-Brock, 48-24.

The Jaguars led 14-0 after one and doubled up the Eagles 16-8 in the second quarter to make it a 30-8 game at halftime.

Johnson-Brock blanked Howells-Dodge 8-0 in the third quarter to cut the lead to 14 at 30-16 at the end of three.

The Jaguars outscored the Eagles 18-8 in the fourth quarter to make up the final score.

Jon Yosten finished with 93 yards rushing on 21 carries, and scored once. Jordan Brichacek totaled 92 yards on 22 attempts, and scored twice. Connor Blum amassed 68 yards on the ground on 14 carries, and scored a touchdown.

Dax VanLengen was 6-8 passing for 57 yards.

Tanner Coufal made a team-high 9 tackles.

Howells-Dodge totaled 319 yards of total offense, including 262 rushing.

Johnson-Brock registered 229 yards of offense, including 178 passing.

Head Coach Mike Speirs says his players did a good job containing the Eagles' passing game.

"Yeah the kids played with a lot of effort in that game, and really did a good job of picking up what Johnson-Brock did. I don't know if I've ever been involved in a game like that. In the second half, Johnson-Brock ran 23 plays, and 22 of them were passes."

Howells-Dodge (7-2) makes the trek to Nebraska City on Wednesday to take on the Lourdes Central Catholic Knights (7-2) in the second round of the Class D-1 Playoffs.

The Knights beat Clarkson/Leigh 52-8 at home on Thursday.

Speirs says Lourdes has some good athletes on their team.

"Well they're just a very, very athletic team. The athleticism jumps out at you right away. They won state basketball a year ago. And a lot of the kids that are playing for them now were playing on that basketball team. So the athleticism and the speed that they present is going to be a challenge for us."

I think Lourdes has proven that they are a good team, but so has Howells-Dodge, in my opinion.

I really think the Jaguars have a fairly decent shot to win.

I think Howells-Dodge has gotten the most out of themselves so far this season, and the ride is not over yet.

It would be a big deal for the Jaguars to beat the Knights and be able to host Creighton or Tri-County in the quarterfinals.

I feel like both teams are playing at an elite level right now, and that should make for a really good game.

It's Northeast Nebraska against Southeast Nebraska, and there's a lot on the line in this game.

I think it's important for Howells-Dodge to have multiple players be effective in the ground game again.

I also think VanLengen is going to need to make some plays with his arm and feet.

It really comes down to the battle in the trenches though, in my opinion. I think whoever is more physical and plays a better game up front will win.

Kickoff is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on 107.9 the Bull with pregame scheduled to begin at 5:40.
GACC blows out Clearwater/Orchard in first round of playoffs
2016-11-01T02:31











The Guardian Angels Central Catholic Bluejays blew out Clearwater/Orchard 60-18 at home in the first round of the Class D-1 State Playoffs Thursday night.

GACC led 30-6 after one and shutout the Cyclones 14-0 in the second quarter to take a 44-6 lead into the locker room.

The Bluejays blanked Clearwater/Orchard 8-0 in the third quarter to make it a 52-6 game at the end of three.

The Cyclones won the fourth quarter 12-8.

Jared Minnick had 211 yards rushing on 9 carries, including three touchdowns. Danny Wordekemper scored a 54-yard TD for his only carry of the game.

Nolan Plagge was 4-8 passing for 66 yards.

Michael Baumert made 10 tackles while Mitchell Peatrowsky and Minnick notched 8 and 7, respectively.

GACC racked up 431 yards of total offense, including 365 on the ground.

The defense gave up 261 yards of total offense, 238 coming on the ground.

The Bluejays played a great game and were on top of things Thursday night. I would say this was one of GACC's best games of the season.

The Bluejays (9-0) travel to Lindsay to take on Humphrey/Lindsay/Holy Family (5-4) on Wednesday in the second round of the playoffs.

The Bulldogs downed Pender 42-34 in the first round.

Fans from both sides will no doubt be psyched and jacked for this game, and I suspect there will be a decent crowd on hand.

GACC has to play their game and do what they have done all year, which is win.

The Bluejays need to try and slow down Ashton Dohmen and Johnny Babl. Both had over 100 yards rushing against the Pendragons.

GACC has done a good job of stopping the other team's best player this year. The thing the Bluejays are running into now though is both Dohmen and Babl are good back so GACC has to come up with a game plan to slow both down.

If the Bluejays can at least limit one of them it might be enough to win.

I think GACC will find a way to win, but I think the game could be somewhat close.

The Bulldogs haven't beaten anyone with a record above .500, and I don't see the Bluejays being their first victim.

I look for Minnick and Plagge to have good games for GACC.

The Bluejays have to be physical at the line of scrimmage. I feel this game will be won by the running backs and line.

It will be important for both teams to get their pass games going too, but both teams' forte is run the ball, and that's what I expect both teams to do the majority of the time.

If GACC can get this one, they will host in the quarterfinals, which figures to be huge.

Kickoff between the Bluejays and Bulldogs is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.
Clarkson/Leigh falls to Nebraska City Lourdes in Playoffs
2016-11-01T01:59














Clarkson/Leigh team saw their season come to an end Thursday night as the Patriots lost 52-8 at Nebraska City Lourdes in the first round of the playoffs.

Clarkson/Leigh was led by Bradley Bunner, who ran the ball 20 times for 63 yards. Bunner added 130 yards receiving on 6 catches.

Anthony Bruhn went 12-23 passing for 187 yards for the Patriots.



Jacob Gall made 8 tackles for Clarkson/Leigh while Bunner notched 7.

The Patriots amassed 309 yards of total offense, including 187 passing.

The Knights racked up 373 yards of total offense, 201 coming on the ground.

Head Coach Jim Clarkson says his team just couldn't get into the game.

"We had some penalties early, couple turnovers that really hurt our momentum. We thought we moved the ball well, and we did some good things defensively, but we just hurt ourselves, and got ourselves in too big a hole to get out of."

"The kids played hard, the team played hard. And it's unfortunate to go down like this. We were hoping to give a better fight on the scoreboard, but proud of our team, and credit to Lourdes, and good luck to them." Clarkson added.

Clarkson/Leigh ends the year at 3-6.

The Patriots started off the season really well, but had difficulties down the stretch, and I think a lot of that was due to Bunner being banged up.

I honestly thought Clarkson/Leigh would go at least 4-4 and win a first round playoff game, but things just didn't work out that way.

The highlight of the season for the Patriots had to be the season opening win over Pender.

The Patriots lose some talent in Bunner, Blake Paprocki, Luiz Mayorga, Dan Arriaza, and Connor Brandt, and Paxten Indra.

Clarkson/Leigh brings back some talented players though, including Isaak Wiese, Gall, Derek Gurnsey, Hector Mendoza, and Anthony Bruhn.

I think the Patriots have a chance to be solid and make the playoffs again next year. Clarkson/Leigh has room for improvement on defense, and even on offense, in my opinion, but I think the Patriots are capable of making improvements on both sides of the ball.

The returning players and newcomers have to work hard in the offseason and get better from now until August.

Participation in other sports is great, but if a player isn't out for a winter and/or spring sport, they should be working on the game of football when they have time.

I know some of these kids probably work jobs, and that's understandable, but it's not good for the players to just sit around and do nothing.

Being active physically is so important for these players, and they need to do their best to stay in and/or get in better shape in the offseason.

With that said, it's important not to overdue things. Proper rest and hydration and things of that sort is critical to having a healthy body.
Emerson-Hubbard ends year with playoff loss to Humphrey St. Francis
2016-11-01T01:17











The season came to a close for the Emerson-Hubbard Pirates on Thursday as they lost 56-12 at Humphrey St. Francis in the first round of the playoffs.

I thought Emerson-Hubbard had a chance to be competitive and make things respectable on the scoreboard, but the Pirates just couldn't get it going.

Emerson-Hubbard ends the year at 4-5.

Making the playoffs had to be a good feeling for the Pirates. Sure Emerson-Hubbard would have loved to have won a playoff game or two, but anytime you end your season in the postseason, you're doing something right.

The win over Allen was huge for this team, and their biggest win of year, in my opinion.

The Pirates got blown out in their losses, but Emerson-Hubbard played some pretty good teams.

I think the seniors and other players for that matter can look into the mirror and feel proud of what they accomplished this season.

The Pirates graduate 8 seniors in Luke Stolze, Josh Sebade, Austin Carper, Caleb Gubbels, Nathaniel Parker-Diaz, Keaton Wreidt, and Noah Trenhaile.

I'm sure each and every one of these seniors was a big contributor in more than one way for Emerson-Hubbard.

I would say Sebade, Parker-Diaz, and Trenhaile are the biggest losses although graduating all 8 players is significant.

It's hard saying how good the Pirates are going to be next year, but I would say Emerson-Hubbard has a chance to make the playoffs again next season.

The returning players and newcomers need to work hard in the offseason, and spend a lot of time getting faster, stronger, and better at the game of football.

The more these players participate, the better they will be next season.

Everyone has to want to get better and have another good season in 2017. The more you play and work out and things like that, the better you will be.

It's like anything...the more repetitions you have at something, the better off you are the more successful you are likely to be.
Oakland-Craig routs Fremont Bergan to win District Crown
2016-10-27T03:23











Oakland-Craig rounded out their regular season Friday night with a 35-6 home win over Fremont Bergan, which gave O-C the district championship.

Evan Reinert was 9-13 passing for 138 yards with two touchdowns while Jerad Mulder went 2-3 for 51 yards.

Garrett Seagren hauled in 4 passes for 89 yards, and scored once.

Hoss Smith carried the ball 20 times for 88 yards, and put up a score.

Josh Dixon made 8 tackles while Smith and Ben Ward recorded 7 apiece.

Oakland-Craig totaled 348 yards of offense, including 189 passing.

Head Coach Joe Anderson says his team was ready for a tough battle.

"We thought it was going to be a good game coming in, and we knew we were going to have to execute very well, and that's one thing we really did early on. I know we had a couple mishandles. I think we turned the ball over on our first drive, but after that the kids really settled in."

8-1 Oakland-Craig plays host to 7-2 Doniphan-Trumbull Friday night in the first round of the Class C-2 Football Playoffs on 107.9 the Bull. 

Anderson says the Cardinals' offense is as good as they come.

"What makes them so tough, and their offense is the best in C-2, I think they average 420 yards a game. And what makes them so tough is they're very very well balanced. They have a running back that's rushed for well over 1,800 yards, which is probably right up there in leading C-2. And then they have a quarterback that's thrown for 1,600 yards, which is probably right up there at the top of C-2." 

It's the 9th straight trip to the postseason for the Knights.

Oakland-Craig's defense has been tough this year, only giving up more than 20 points twice.

Doniphan-Trumbull has given up 20+ points on four separate occasions this season.

It's playoff time, and I look for the Knights to be at their best. The Cardinals have a great offense, but defense wins championships, and you can bet Oakland-Craig will be well prepared for Doniphan-Trumbull.

The Cardinals' defense has been much better since the team's 1-2 start though, and the fact Doniphan-Trumbull has won six in a row makes them a threat to win this game.

With that said, the Knights have won 7 in a row and are seasoned veterans when it comes to winning playoff games.

Oakland-Craig has made great playoff runs the last two years, and it wouldn't surprise me to see the Knights make another run.

The Cardinals are a real salty team, but I think Oakland-Craig will have enough to get the job done.

The winner gets either Battle Creek or Sutton, and that could make for a very interesting quarterfinal matchup for the winner of this game, especially if it is Oakland-Craig vs. Battle Creek.

The Knights have to focus on beating Doniphan-Trumbull first though, then Oakland-Craig can worry about a quarterfinal matchup with either the Braves or Mustangs.

Friday night's game is scheduled to kickoff at 7:00 p.m. in Oakland with pregame starting at 6:40 on the Bull.
Clarkson/Leigh falls to Howells-Dodge in regular season finale
2016-10-27T02:23














The Clarkson/Leigh Patriots fell 58-34 at Howells-Dodge Friday night to end the regular season.

The Jaguars doubled up the Patriots 12-6 in the first quarter, and won the second quarter 22-20 to go up 34-26 at halftime.

Howells-Dodge blanked Clarkson/Leigh 12-0 in the third quarter to lead 46-26 at the end of three.

The Jaguars outscored the Patriots 12-8 in the fourth quarter.

Here is the scoring summary:

First Quarter

Howells-Dodge 7:55    #4 Dax VanLengen runs for 23 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion run by #23 Jordon Brichacek no good)

Clarkson-Leigh High School 04:40    #32 Jacob Gall runs for 3 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion pass by #55 Anthony Bruhn to Team no good)

Howells-Dodge 03:45    #4 Dax VanLengen pass complete to #37 Zach Bayer for 65 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion run by #4 Dax VanLengen no good)

Second Quarter

Howells-Dodge 09:58    #4 Dax VanLengen runs for 1 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion pass by #4 Dax VanLengen to Team no good)   

Clarkson-Leigh High School 09:45    Kickoff by #43 Brett Fiala to the 21 yard line. #42 Hector Mendoza return for 79 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion pass by #55 Anthony Bruhn to Team no good)   

Howells-Dodge 06:02    #23 Jordon Brichacek runs for 5 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion pass by #4 Dax VanLengen to #37 Zach Bayer good)
   
Clarkson-Leigh High School 02:03    #32 Jacob Gall runs for 6 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion run by #9 Bradley Bunner good)
   
Howells-Dodge 01:50    Kickoff by #6 Blake Paprocki to the 26 yard line. #23 Jordon Brichacek return for 74 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion pass by #4 Dax VanLengen to #22 Jon Yosten good)
   
Clarkson-Leigh High School 00:29    #55 Anthony Bruhn pass complete to #9 Bradley Bunner for 15 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion run by #55 Anthony Bruhn no good)
Third Quarter

Howells-Dodge    06:31    #23 Jordon Brichacek runs for 2 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion pass by #4 Dax VanLengen to Team no good)
   
Howells-Dodge    02:25    #4 Dax VanLengen runs for 1 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion pass by #4 Dax VanLengen to Team no good)

Fourth Quarter

Howells-Dodge    11:32    #23 Jordon Brichacek runs for 5 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion run by #23 Jordon Brichacek no good)

Howells-Dodge    08:16    #23 Jordon Brichacek runs for 1 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion run by #5 Connor Blum no good)
   
Clarkson-Leigh High School    02:57    #23 Isaak Wiese runs for 54 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion run by #24 Derek Gurnsey good)

Head Coach Jim Clarkson says defense hurt his team.

"We haven't been as sound on defense as we'd like so we had a hard time getting them off the field. But we made them drive the ball down the field, but unfortunately we couldn't quite keep up with them scoring wise and weren't able to get off the field. So they ended up getting us in the second half, but I really liked the way our boys came out and played hard."

3-5 Clarkson/Leigh travels to Nebraska City on Thursday to take on 6-2 Nebraska City Lourdes in the first round of the playoffs.

Clarkson says defense is the key to winning the game.

"It's going to come down to our defense a little bit. We need to make sure we get some stops and get them off the field a little bit. So if we can do that, they have a pretty diverse offense, it's a lot different than probably what we've seen most of the year up in Northeast Nebraska. So hopefully if we're able to get some stops and do some things well on defense, hopefully our offense can get rolling, and hopefully (Bradley) Bunner can be healthy enough to give us a chance to score some points and give us a chance in the game."

The Patriots are making their 5th straight trip to the playoffs.

Bunner has been banged up with a hamstring injury and things of that sort so it will be interesting to see how effective he is against the Knights.

Like Clarkson said though, the defense is going to have to step up.

If they can, I think Clarkson/Leigh has a chance to spring the upset, but if the defense gives up big chunk plays and allows Nebraska City Lourdes to score quite a few points, it might be doom for the Patriots.

If Bunner was fully healthy I would say the Patriots could outscore the Knights, but right now I don't know if that's a real possibility.

Regardless of if Clarkson/Leigh wins or loses though I fully expect the Patriots to give it their all for four quarters.

Not every team makes the playoffs so this is a pretty big deal for Clarkson/Leigh.

The Patriots have been a mainstay in the playoffs the past five seasons and should be proud of the fact they're in the playoffs again.

Kickoff between the Patriots and Knights is set for 5:30 p.m. with pregame starting at 5:10 on 107.9 the Bull.
Stanton upsets Battle Creek to extend season
2016-10-26T02:49












The Stanton Mustangs earned a playoff berth with a 13-7 home upset of Battle Creek Thursday night.

After neither team scored in the third quarter, both teams traded touchdowns in the second quarter, and the game was tied at 7 at halftime.

The Mustangs added 6 third quarter points to lead 13-7 at the end of three. That was the final score as neither team scored in the fourth quarter.

Hunter Stallbaum was 7-14 passing for 208 yards with two touchdowns.

Myles Nickolite hauled in 5 passes for 144 yards.

Mason King racked up a game-high 21 tackles while Henry Bohac registered 16. Dylan Hunt added 14 while Nickolite Gauge Erickson, and Beau Wilke totaled 13, 11, and 10, respectively. Trey Erbst and Gannon Tighe notched 9 apiece while Nathan Arens and Stallbaum recorded 8 and 7, respectively.

Stanton registered 298 yards of total offense, including 208 passing.

The defense gave up 255 yards of offense, including 202 rushing.

Head Coach David Stoddard says his team played a great game.

"Our kids made plays on offense and played bend, but not break on defense. Battle Creek is a great team, they do so many things well. We were able to get timely stops. We knew that we were going to have to be great at all levels and that the secondary was going to have to come up and make some tackles. We have a group of kids that played every play and they finished the game."

The Mustangs (6-3) take on Wilber-Clatonia (9-0) in the first round of the playoffs in Wilber Friday night.

The Wolverines won 56-0 at Freeman this past Friday night to end the regular season.

Wilber-Clatonia made the semifinals in C-1 last year before losing to eventual state champion Columbus Scotus.

Stoddard says his team will need to play well throughout on both sides of the ball to have a chance.

"Wilber-Clatonia has the ability to run the football in many different ways. It will be much like every week. Our defensive line will have to use their hands and feet and get off blocks, the linebackers must continue to fit off lineman and kickout blocks with precision, and the secondary will have to fill to their keys and also get to their drops. Offensively, the gameplan is always determined by what the defense shows. We will once again need to play 4 quarters of great football."

As great as the win over Battle Creek was, beating the Wolverines might be even tougher.

Stoddard says his team is definitely battle tested.

"The team has been confident in their abilities throughout the year. They learned the hard way on occasion that you have to finish the game each week to ensure a victory. It's through trials that the grew and matured to earn a spot in the playoffs."

Wilber-Clatonia QB Tanner Sand has 515 yards passing and 428 yards rushing on the season for the Wolverines while Coltin Rezabek is the team's leading rusher with 650 yards on the year.

This is going to be a tough game for Stanton without a doubt.

With that said, it's the playoffs, and anything can happen.

Stoddard says it's nice to be back in the playoffs after getting left out last year.

"Our kids are very excited that they earned a spot in the playoffs. The road to the playoffs was very difficult this season. We knew that we had to prepare each week to the fullest to have a chance to win each game. "

I think being battle tested gives the Mustangs a shot at the upset.

Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m.
Pender loses final regular season game to GACC
2016-10-26T01:31















The Pender Pendragons dropped their final regular season game Friday night, falling 48-26 at Guardian Angels Central Catholic.

QB Dylan Roth was 12-25 passing for 251 yards with three touchdowns and an interception.

Jared Tyrell hauled in 5 passes for 114 yards, and two touchdowns.

James Bensen added 67 yards receiving on 4 catches.

Jaydon Jump had a game-high 15 tackles for Pender while Jesse Thompson made 13. Leland Bowder recorded 9 while Bensen notched 7.

The Pendragons amassed 299 yards of total offense, including 251 through the air.

The defense gave up 407 yards of total offense, 204 of the yards passing.

Pender struggled in another big game, but the good news is the Pendragons are hosting a first round playoff game.

Pender (4-4) hosts Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family (4-4) Thursday night.

The Bulldogs lost 55-16 at home to Neligh-Oakdale Friday night.

The Pendragons lost to the Warriors 59-8.

Based on that score and how both teams did against Clarkson/Leigh, one would think Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family would win, but it's the playoffs, the game is in Pender, and anything can happen.

It's a whole new season, and it's do or die from here on out.

Roth needs to have a good game running and passing the ball, and Bensen needs to get things going in the run game as well.

The Pendragons also have to try and slow down Ashton Dohmen and Johnny Babl.

Dohmen has 469 yards passing and 474 yards rushing on the season while Babl has 594 yards rushing.

These two players must be the focus point for Pender defensively.

Defense is going to make or break the Pendragons, in my opinion.

Pender has given up 48+ points in their four losses and has allowed 24 points or less in their four wins.

I think the Pendragons are capable of outscoring the Bulldogs and winning a shootout type game, but I'm not so sure that's the type of game Pender wants.

One way or another this is the Pendragons' chance. A shot to knock off Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family and have a rematch with GACC potentially.

Pender has to play a good game. Hopefully the Pendragons have saved their best for last because Pender is going to need to play their best game to knock off the Bulldogs, in my opinion.

Kickoff is slated for 7:00 p.m. in Pender.
GACC defeats Pender for District Title
2016-10-26T12:56












The Guardian Angels Central Catholic Bluejays defeated Pender 48-26 at home Friday night to end the regular season and win the District Title.

Nolan Plagge was 9-17 passing for 204 yards with two touchdowns. Cole Kreikemeier brought in 5 passes for 146 yards, and scored once.  Andrew Guenther had 3 catches for 58 yards and a score.

Jared Minnick notched 117 yards rushing on 23 carries, and scored twice. Plagge ran the ball 16 times for 67 yards, and posted two touchdowns.

Kreikemeier made 14 tackles while Guenther totaled 13. Connor Klitz added 11 while Plagge and Gage Herbert registered 9 and 8, respectively. Casey Doernemann and Damien Birchem made 7 each.

GACC racked up 407 yards of total offense, including 204 passing.

The defense gave up 299 yards of total offense, 251 coming through the air.

The Bluejays played a great game defensively, not allowing the Pendragons to get their run game going.

GACC (8-0) hosts Clearwater/Orchard (2-6) Thursday night in the first round of the playoffs.

The Cyclones lost 52-28 at home to CWCE this past Thursday night.

I think this game has a chance to be closer than a typical 1 and 16 matchup normally is, but I look for the Bluejays to win.

GACC has to key on QB Blake Hoke, who has 713 yards passing and 9 TD passes on the season so far.

The team's leading rusher is Creston Bertschinger, who has 346 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns.

The Bluejays have done a good job of taking teams' best players away, and forcing other players to beat them.

And so far, no team has beaten GACC.

The Bluejays made someone else besides Bradley Bunner do something against them in the Clarkson/Leigh game, and put a lot of pressure on Pender's Dylan Roth by stopping James Bensen.

GACC has to make someone else besides Hoke beat them on Thursday. That is the recipe for success for the Bluejays, in my opinion.

GACC has to start fast and never look back. The Bluejays can't let Clearwater/Orchard hang around and believe they have a chance to win.

The Cyclones are definitely battle tested though so it will be interesting to see if GACC can put them away early.

The winner gets either Pender or Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family, and I think the Bluejays have to like their chances of beating either one of those teams in the second round.

GACC can't get too ahead of themselves though and must take care of business against Clearwater/Orchard Thursday night.

Plagge has to have the same type of game he had against Pender. If he can do that the Bluejays should be in good shape.
Howells-Dodge knocks off Clarkson/Leigh in regular season finale
2016-10-26T12:06














The Howells-Dodge Jaguars capped off a 6-2 regular season with a 58-34 win at home over Clarkson/Leigh Friday night.

The Jaguars doubled up the Patriots 12-6 in the first quarter, and won the second quarter 22-20 to go up 34-26 at halftime.

Howells-Dodge blanked Clarkson/Leigh 12-0 in the third quarter to lead 46-26 at the end of three.

The Jaguars outscored the Patriots 12-8 in the fourth quarter.

Dax VanLengen was 6-7 passing for 159 yards with a touchdown.

Zach Bayer caught a 65-yard touchdown pass.

Jordan Brichacek had 171 yards rushing on 31 carries, including four touchdowns.

Tanner Coufal had 10 tackles while Kade Hegemann totaled 8. Brichacek and Ryan Macholan totaled 7 apiece.

Here is the scoring summary for the game:

First Quarter

Howells-Dodge 7:55 #4 Dax VanLengen runs for 23 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion run by #23 Jordon Brichacek no good)

Clarkson-Leigh High School 04:40 #32 Jacob Gall runs for 3 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion pass by #55 Anthony Bruhn to Team no good)

Howells-Dodge 03:45 #4 Dax VanLengen pass complete to #37 Zach Bayer for 65 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion run by #4 Dax VanLengen no good)

Second Quarter

Howells-Dodge 09:58 #4 Dax VanLengen runs for 1 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion pass by #4 Dax VanLengen to Team no good)

Clarkson-Leigh High School 09:45 Kickoff by #43 Brett Fiala to the 21 yard line. #42 Hector Mendoza return for 79 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion pass by #55 Anthony Bruhn to Team no good)

Howells-Dodge 06:02 #23 Jordon Brichacek runs for 5 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion pass by #4 Dax VanLengen to #37 Zach Bayer good)

Clarkson-Leigh High School 02:03 #32 Jacob Gall runs for 6 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion run by #9 Bradley Bunner good)

Howells-Dodge 01:50 Kickoff by #6 Blake Paprocki to the 26 yard line. #23 Jordon Brichacek return for 74 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion pass by #4 Dax VanLengen to #22 Jon Yosten good)

Clarkson-Leigh High School 00:29 #55 Anthony Bruhn pass complete to #9 Bradley Bunner for 15 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion run by #55 Anthony Bruhn no good)
Third Quarter

Howells-Dodge 06:31 #23 Jordon Brichacek runs for 2 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion pass by #4 Dax VanLengen to Team no good)

Howells-Dodge 02:25 #4 Dax VanLengen runs for 1 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion pass by #4 Dax VanLengen to Team no good)

Fourth Quarter

Howells-Dodge 11:32 #23 Jordon Brichacek runs for 5 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion run by #23 Jordon Brichacek no good)

Howells-Dodge 08:16 #23 Jordon Brichacek runs for 1 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion run by #5 Connor Blum no good)

Clarkson-Leigh High School 02:57 #23 Isaak Wiese runs for 54 yards. Touchdown! (Two point conversion run by #24 Derek Gurnsey good)

Head Coach Mike Speirs says his team played better in the second half than the first half.

"We were able to make some adjustments on defense that put us in better positions to make plays. I felt like a little bit of the 2nd half was we were able to wear them down some also."

Speirs adds a 6-2 regular season is a credit to the players.

"I think it says a lot about our kids. They started out 2-2 and had lost 2 games to good teams, but they never doubted themselves. Our kids do a great job of preparing for each opponent and this is just the pay off for all that work."

Howells-Dodge hosts Johnson-Brock (5-3) in the opening round of the playoffs Thursday evening.

The Jaguars and Eagles have one common opponent in East Butler, who Howells-Dodge beat 18-6, and Johnson-Brock lost to 50-40.

The Eagles appear to be more of a passing team than a running team as QB Cole Fossenbarger has 922 yards passing and 12 TD passes on the season.

Devon Clark is the team's leading rusher with 458 yards on the ground and 7 TD's.

Speirs says the Eagles are tough.

"They are a very athletic team and they run a lot of formations."

Speirs says his team can get the job done if they play a good game.

"I think we have a good chance to be successful if our kids continue to prepare as they have been. Johnson-Brock will present some unique challenges to our defense so our level of success is dependent on our kids understanding what they need to do and where they need to be. We have to establish something offensively to help us out on defense also."

I think it's going to be important for Howells-Dodge to be able to both run and pass the ball.

Johnson-Brock will no doubt test the Jaguars' defense so the offense has to keep making plays.

Howells-Dodge has to try and keep everything in front of them on defense and not give up the big play.

The Jaguars must also get after Fossenbarger with the blitz and things of that sort.

The Eagles are a quality team, and Howells-Dodge has to be ready to play.

With that said, Johnson-Brock didn't beat a team with a record above .500 in the regular season, and I don't see the Eagles picking up their first win over a team above .500 in the playoffs.

I look for the Jaguars to win and advance to the second round.

Kickoff is set for 5:00 p.m. in Howells.
Emerson-Hubbard drops regular season finale to Randolph
2016-10-25T11:41












The Emerson-Hubbard Pirates lost 68-28 at home to Randolph Friday night to end the regular season.

I thought the game would be closer than it was, but perhaps Emerson-Hubbard is just happy to be in the playoffs.

The Pirates (4-4) take on defending Class D-2 State Champion Humphrey St. Francis (7-1) in the first round of the State Playoffs on Thursday in Humphrey.

The two teams met on September 16th with the Flyers winning 56-6 at home.

I don't know what Emerson-Hubbard can do differently this time around, but I think the game has the potential to be closer than the first matchup was.

It's the playoffs, and anything can happen. The Pirates need to feel optimistic about their chances because they can beat Humphrey St. Francis.

Any sort of upset is possible in the playoffs, and major upsets can never be ruled out.

Emerson-Hubbard has to get out to an early lead, and stay with the Flyers the whole game.

If the Pirates can hold a lead and/or remain within striking distance until the fourth quarter, Emerson-Hubbard may have a chance to pull the game out.

The season is on the line for the Pirates, and their play has to reflect that.

The winner gets Wynot or Fullerton so Emerson-Hubbard could potentially have a home game in the second round if they find a way to upset Humphrey St. Francis.

I know upsetting the Flyers and doing something in the next round may seem like a long shot for the Pirates, but Emerson-Hubbard has to play with the attitude that they can win.

If the Pirates don't expect to win then they won't.

Emerson-Hubbard has to be tough mentally and physically. The Pirates have to fire off the ball, and tackle well.

Emerson-Hubbard also has to limit penalties and turnovers, and create some turnovers themselves.

I don't think there's any doubt the Pirates are going to need to catch some breaks in this game if they are to win.

Emerson-Hubbard is definitely capable of getting the job done, but the Pirates may need to return a punt or kickoff for a touchdown to be in this game.

All facets of the game...offense, defense, and special teams....are important.

Kickoff is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. in Humphrey.
Scribner-Snyder drops final game to Cedar Bluffs
2016-10-25T11:23











The Scribner-Snyder Trojans lost 52-44 at Cedar Bluffs Friday night to end the regular season.

I thought Scribner-Snyder had a good chance to come away with a victory Friday night, but it just didn't happen and wasn't meant to be.

The Trojans end the year at 1-7.

It was a tough season for Scribner-Snyder, but I think the Trojans got better as the year went along.

The highlight of the year had to be the win over Winside.

Scribner-Snyder says goodbye to four seniors in Brandon Noel, Alex Nuno, Gunner Palmer, and Riley Meyer.

All four players were very valuable to this team, and will be missed without a doubt.

Scribner-Snyder appears to return some pretty good players next year though.

Back is Quarterback Jadyn Smeal, Sebastian Arnold, Josh McMillen, Teague Stewart, Hunter Adams, Harrison Riggle, Victor Zamora, and others.

Numbers and depth appeared to be an issue for the Trojans this year so it will be interesting to see if that is an issue next year as well.

I think Scribner-Snyder is capable of having a better season next year, and getting back to the playoffs, but the Trojans have a lot of work to do in the offseason.

Players need to devote proper time to weightlifting, camps, and staying active by playing other sports.

The more these kids are involved and participate in, the better off they will be for the 2017 season.

I don't know all who Scribner-Snyder has coning up from the Junior High ranks, but hopefully there will be some newcomers who can step in and have an immediate impact for this team next season.

All the returning players and newcomers will be a year older than they are now, and should all be better players than they were this year.

Everyone needs to work on becoming faster, stronger, and better football players in the offseason though.

There's still basketball, wrestling, and other sports to be played this year, but once that's all over, the mindset has to be improving and growing as football players.

The Trojans have to workout and play with enthusiasm in the offseason and next fall. The team has to generate it's own excitement and motivation if they want to be a better team in 2017.
Wisner-Pilger tops Tekamah-Herman in final game
2016-10-25T11:09











The Wisner-Pilger Gators blew out Tekamah-Herman at home Friday night, winning 72-26.

The Gators led 22-0 at the end of one and outscored the Tigers 26-8 in the second quarter to take a 48-8 lead into the locker room.

Wisner-Pilger won the third quarter 18-12 to go up 66-20 after three.

Both teams scored 6 points in the fourth quarter.

Cooper VonSeggern was 16-19 passing for 222 yards with three touchdowns.

Korrell Koehlmoos caught 6 balls for 123 yards, and scored twice. Hunter Waterman had 2 catches for 53 yards and a score.

VonSeggern added 225 yards rushing on 18 carries, including two scores. Cobe Porter had 145 yards rushing on 14 carries, including two scores.

The Gators racked up a school and 11-man state record 777 yards of total offense, including 531 on the ground.

That broke the school record of 590 set in 2011.
Wisner-Pilger also broke Omaha South's 11 man all-class record of 760 yards set in 1991.

In addition, it's the 18th highest total offensive output of all-time nationally, and the 2nd highest total offensive output nationally this season.
WOW. Simply put that's amazing.

Head Coach Brent Bauer says the win was a nice way to end the season after all the tough things the Gators had to go through this year.

"It was nice to see our team finally be able to put it all together. After all of our injuries and adversity this season our kids were ready to go play. I saw us starting to practice better during the Logan View week and knew we were starting to hit our stride. We have had so many players playing in positions that they hadn't practiced or rep'd in so many games that it was difficult for us to get into any rhythm on offense. It was also difficult for each player to really learn their defensive assignments when one week your a D end and the next week your an inside LB and so on. Getting a win to end the season felt great. Hopefully we have some great energy - attitude- effort going into our winter & spring sports and our summer workouts."

Bauer says it's a great feeling to set a record for once.

"It's fun. To know we broke a state record for total offense that was set in 1991 is something special.  As I look through the state records you'll find more than 1 record set AGAINST Wisner-Pilger. Especially in 1977 when Pierce set the Class B total offense record against Wisner-Pilger. It's neat to know that in 11 man football no one has gained more yards than we did in the history of Nebraska High School Football. However, it also shows you what we were capable of the entire season. We are really looking forward to playing with a HEALTHY team this summer!"

Wisner-Pilger finishes the 2016 campaign with a 1-8 record.

Bauer says there are a number of seniors he will always remember.

"I'll never forget guys like Nathan Hatterman who was the definition of a coachable player. Came to us as a freshman with very little athletic ability. Developed a love and passion for football that was second to none! He leaves here with a lot of college interest and is a player I will point to for future classes to see as an example of doing everything right. Cooper Von Seggern was a great leader as well. Very vocal and did all he could to get our team to practice and play the right away. Cooper was told twice this season that he was going to be out for the season. Going into our Crofton game with a thumb injury and then going into our Oakland Craig game with a stress fracture in his foot. He kept going and finished the season with all heart! I'll also always appreciate the toughness of Cobe Porter who put off shoulder surgery to finish his senior season. He was told during the week of our Hartington Cedar Catholic game that he would have to sit the rest of the season. Love and passion for the game kept him with us and he finished the season very well. We had 13 seniors out for football, but only had 4 that were 4 year players on our roster. Gage Riecken and Travis Keyes both transferred here as sophomores. They also added a lot of passion and pride to our team. I felt our seniors did the best they could and really exemplified what it takes to play football."

Other seniors include Brody Mattson, Kaden Henry, Jake Denton, Ryan McBride, Alexander Ausdemore, Braydon Kalkowski, and Devin Rasmussen.

Key returners for the Gators include Koehlmoos, Keegan Ruskamp, Waterman, Caden Schweers, Jayden Raabe, and Levi Otten.

Bauer says kids need to be more involved if this team is going to have the type of season they hope to next year.

"We MUST have better multi-sport participation. That is number 1. We need kids out for basketball or wrestling, track, and baseball. Our multi-sport athlete numbers are pretty low in regards to the successful schools in our conference. We also need to get our summer lifting / camp numbers back up to where they were 2 years ago. We had averaged 97% attendance rates for football players in our Summer Gator Power program. This past summer was the lowest attendance percentage we have had in my 9 years here at Wisner-Pilger (Under 70%). Our camp attendance was low as well.  We also must get healthy and take better care of our bodies. So many of our injuries came from previous seasons or other sport injuries in which the kids didn't get the injuries addressed when they should have. That caused many of our early season injuries.  And last but defiantly not least, we need to practice with better energy - attitude and effort. This was a big issue for this team. Regardless of your team situation if you practice great you'll play great."

I think that simply says it all in terms of what the players must do better to have success next season.
Logan View wins regular season finale over BRLD
2016-10-25T10:53












The Logan View Raiders knocked off BRLD 49-48 in overtime on the road Friday night.

The Raiders led 7-6 at the end of one. Logan View won the second quarter 12-8 to take a 19-14 lead into the locker room.

Both teams scored 7 third quarter points. The Wolverines outscored the Raiders 21-16 in the fourth quarter to force overtime.

Logan View put up a touchdown in the extra frame and stopped BRLD on a two-point conversion to win the game in thrilling fashion.

Jacob Polk was 14-18 passing for 176 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Brady Hull caught 7 passes for 103 yards, and scored once.

Polk added 103 yards rushing on 23 carries, and scored four touchdowns. Grant Meyer notched 87 yards on the ground on 5 carries, and punched the ball in the end zone once.

Meyer made 9 tackles while Hull, Polk, and Armando Valencia registered 8 each. Brett Hull, Connor Miller, and Nolan Miller recorded 7 apiece.

The Raiders had 433 yards of total offense, including 257 on the ground.

The defense gave up 500 yards of total offense, 320 coming through the air.

Head Coach Dustin Sealey says getting this game was huge for the seniors.

"We always want to win the game. The importance of the win was for our seniors. I am glad that they were able to end their football careers winning."

Sealey adds stopping the Wolverines on the two-point conversion was huge for the team.

"It was definitely a thrill. It was a a thrill we could have lived without. However, our team was resilient and fought the entire game. Everyone was proud to be a Raider. Again, we always want to win on Friday night. This was another step in the right direction for our football program."

Logan View finishes the 2016 campaign with a 4-5 record.

Under the old format, the Raiders would have made the playoffs, but the new format didn't allow for that.

Logan View still had a good season though, and I definitely think this team and program is headed in the right direction.

The Raiders handled a Palmyra team that ended up 5-4, but I thought the biggest win of the season by far was the victory over BRLD.

Logan View had some tough non-district losses, but I felt the Raiders were at their best during district play.

Polk finished with 646 yards passing and 508 rushing. Brady Hull added 478 yards rushing.

Brady Hull led the way in tackles this year with 66 while Nathan Taylor notched 64. Brett Hull posted 56 while Valencia and Nolan Miller had 50 apiece.

Sealey says this year's senior class was really good to work with.

"I really enjoyed the seniors. I know it is not ideal for a new coach to come your senior year. I could not of asked for a better group. They worked hard and really helped their team and teammates move in the right direction. I really like the people on our team this year. A great bunch of guys that worked hard and had fun. I think we learned what level we have to prepare, practice, and play at to be competing in November."

Logan View loses Andrew Poppe, Valencia, Brett Hull, Max Christensen, Meyer, Tyler Mulliken, Layne Goreham, and Connor Miller.

These 8 seniors meant a lot to the success of this year's team and past teams without a doubt.

Sealey says he and his team know what they need to do to keep building this program.

"We will have a good group coming back. We had a relatively small senior class (as far as numbers). Next year, we need to get better in all phases of our program, and we will. Our guys are willing to do it what it takes. Our off-season needs to be consistent. We need to get good and being good. And this starts in the weight room, in the classroom, in winter/spring sports, and the summer."

Key returners in 2017 for the Raiders will be Polk, Nathan Wacker, Nolan Miller, Taylor, and others.

I think the future of this program is bright as long as the kids continue to work hard and buy into what Sealey is trying to teach them.

It was a solid first season for Logan View with Sealey as their Head Coach, and I look for things to only be better in the future.
Winnebago defeats Homer in final game
2016-10-25T02:36













The Winnebago Indians knocked off Homer 42-12 on the road Friday night to end the regular season.

Winnebago led 22-6 after one. The Indians blanked the Knights 6-0 in the second quarter to go up 28-6 at halftime.

Winnebago outscored Homer 14-6 in the third quarter to make up the final score. Neither team scored in the fourth quarter.

The Indians gave up 244 yards of offense, including 141 rushing.

Winnebago ended the season on a high note. This was definitely the way for the Indians to go out.

Winnebago ends the season at 3-5.

That record may not seem like it's that great, but given where this program has been in the past, I think it's respectable.

The Indians didn't really have any signature wins, but I think you could say Winnebago competed hard in all of their games, and had a good offense this year.

The Indians graduate a number of players, including Cedrick Blackdeer, Drake Gorrin, Josh Miles, Tristen Larush, Miguel Baker, Sage Primeaux, Jaylen Harden, Angelo Suarez, and Nick Saunsoci.

All these players will definitely missed and have meant a lot to Winnebago Football over the years I'm sure.

The Indians are set to return some talent next year in T.J. Frenchman, Tyrese Gorrin, Nicholas Painter, Gavin Farmer, Ezekiel Walker, Evander Bass, and others.

I look for Winnebago to have a season in 2017 at least as good as this year if not better.

The Indians are losing some key contributors, but returning some solid players as well.

The biggest thing Winnebago needs to do is get better on defense.

The Indians gave up too many points and yards this season.

With that said, Winnebago is definitely capable of making improvements on that side of the ball.

If the Indians can become a stronger defensive team, they might be able to become a power in time.

It's probably not going to happen right away or overnight, but if Winnebago can keep making strides as a program, perhaps they can get to the point where they feel they can be competitive in C-1 or whatever class they would be if they didn't opt down to D-1.

There's a long way for this program to go yet, but improvements are being made, and future success is definitely possible for these kids.

I know basketball is huge in Winnebago, but if the Indians can find some time to devote to football, they will be better off for it.
Tekamah-Herman drops final regular season game to Wisner-Pilger
2016-10-25T01:37











The Tekamah-Herman Tigers saw their season come to an end Friday night as they lost 72-26 at Wisner-Pilger.

The Gators led 22-0 at the end of one and outscored the Tigers 26-8 in the second quarter to take a 48-8 lead into the locker room.

Wisner-Pilger won the third quarter 18-12 to go up 66-20 after three.

Both teams scored 6 points in the fourth quarter.

The Tigers gave up 777 yards of total offense, a school record for the Gators, and unofficially a state record for 11-man. Tekamah-Herman also surrendered 531 yards of total offense.

It was another difficult season for the Tigers that started out with so much promise, but didn't end the  way Tekamah-Herman would have liked.

That season opening win over Omaha Brownell-Talbot seems like a distant memory at this point, at least to me.

The Tigers wrap up the 2016 campaign with a 1-8 record.

Tekamah-Herman had a tough time competing in all of their losses this year.

This year was still better than last year though so that has to be encouraging for the Tigers.

Tekamah-Herman graduates Cody Hopkins, Dustin Pickell, Drew Schmidt, Dillan Beaumont, Luke Green, Ben Metzler, Trenton Elliot, Colton Morrow-Merrill, Mitchell Moniff, Cory Leonard, Sarah Stang, and Brayden Drummond.

The Tigers certainly lose some valuable members of this year's team, including Hopkins, but it will be time for others to step up once next season rolls around.

Tekamah-Herman brings back Jayden Kellogg, Luke Wakehouse, Matt Hawkins, Clay Beaumont, Max Hansen, Sage Penny, Luke Rogers, Cody Arnold, Gage Drummond, and Mack Braniff, among others.

So a lot of talent returns for the Tigers, but Tekamah-Herman needs to have a good offseason.

It's important for the Tigers to perform well in the weightroom and on the field during camps and things of that sort.

These players have to spend the proper amount of time honing their skills and game if they want to have a better season next year.

Tekamah-Herman has to enhance every aspect of their games in the offseason, and come back strong in 2017.

Next year will be a new year, and I look for the Tigers to be even better next year than they were this year.

Tekamah-Herman really needs to get after things in the offseason though. The way the Tigers ended this year definitely has to leave a sour taste in their mouths.

I look for Tekamah-Herman to use this year's struggles as motivation in the offseason and turn them into success next season and beyond.