Blair's RB phenom, Ryan Randall
Blair's Ryan Randall is on a straight ahead course to hit the 2000 yard rushing mark for the 9 game regular season. After blasting for 258 yards on 31 carries last week at Schuyler, the Blair Junior has 1,702 yards on 202 carries and 25 TD's in 7 games. He is averaging 243 yards/game and 8.43 per carry and has more broken tackles than any opponent cares to tally. I have seen three of his games on film and the entire Blair football scene is more impressive than I had anticipated. Randall has already shattered the single season rushing record, and single season TD mark there. At this point it looks like the Bears last two contests are winnable and the Class B playoffs are in the future for Daren Harsin's crew. The early "if the playoffs were tomorrow" scenario would have Blair on a collision course with Waverly in the second round if things would work out with a first round win over Crete. All big IFS at this point.
Here is a peak at the eye-catching rushing totals for last week, which featured some weather in the western part of the State more suited for cross country skiing.
*Nick Turner-Perkins County - Now being dubbed "The Human Snowplow", Turner bulled his way for 240 yards on 29 carries and five TD's in the Plainsmen's 47-8 win over Morrill (at Morrill) in a game that started with 4 inches on snow on the ground and concluded with "above ankle deep" 8 inches of the white stuff according to PC coach Chip Kay. When I was a kid, we all prayed for a chance to play in the snow and these kids were probably no different. Turner said it didn't bother him, and the fact that he gained all but 22 of his team's total yards cements that fact. The guys from Morrill must not have found much humor in the weather having only mustered 12 yds total for the snowy evening. The 3 hour trip to Morrill turned into a 7 hour jaunt back to Grant for Perkins Co........maybe they DON"T want to do this again.
*Zach Taylor-Lincoln SE - After missing 3 games with a back injury, he returned to run for 167 yards on 32 carries in a 17-12 key win over district foe Lincoln SW. Taylor rushed for 123 in the first half. Can the post-Miz era magic continue?
*Aaron Knight-Conestoga - Rushed for 140-19 tries as his forces handed Omaha Christian it's first loss of the season 22-20. Been a long time since Conestoga has had much to smile about in the football world. Nice to see.
*Drew Schneider-Omaha Concordia - Junior has 223 yds on 33 carries and TD runs of 3, 3, 45, 4, and 70 yd kick return in a 38-34 loss to Mead. This is a school with a growing population and look for them to continue this trend with the strong Lutheran population in Omaha.
*Brandon Stolz-South Sioux City - Ran for 184 yards and scored on runs of 3, 15, and 3 yards in the Cardinals 33-7 win over Mt. Mike. Stolz hit the 1000 yard mark in the "W" and now stands at 1,097 for the year. He is headed for a showdown with Blair's Ryan Randall this Friday at Blair.
*Christian Dudzik-Omaha Skutt - Fueled up for the big Waverly game by completing 10 of 15 passes for a buck 50 and 3 Tds, two of which were nabbed by Michael Jablonski. Skutt beat Gretna 42-7.
*Justin Richter-Scottsbluff - Another one that admitted he actually wanted to play in a snowstorm and was granted his wish as the Bearcats whitewashed Sidney 27-0. Richter rushed for 116-24.
*Seth Behrens-David City - Became only the 2nd RB to rushed for over a 1000 yds.since 1990 as he shredded the Scotus 'Rocks for 200-42 and three Tds in addition to hitting the 1,097 mark for the year. He also caught 3 passes for 53 yards.
*Jonathan Houser-Creek Valley - His 137 yards and 4 scores in a 60-24 win over Leyton put him at 1,036 yards for the season and christened him the first 1000 Yarder for the recently combined school of Lodgepole/Chappell.
*Chad Stull and Andy Smith-McCook - Things must be back to normal for the Bison as Stull the QB rushed for 141-13 and Smith the IB ran for 119-16 tries as they ripped Lexington 35-0. Stull pulled a typical McCook QB option run and electrified the crowd with an 85 TD scamper. Bison spanked 35-0.
*Keifer Messersmith-Hayes Center - Another snowstorm success story as Messersmith cracked the 1000 rushing plateau by going off for 251 big ones against Paxton on only 16 carries. His 1,066 yards thus far put him in the exclusive company of Levi Tran, the Lawsons, Bret Brown and HC's very first, Shannon Messersmith.
*Mason Fischer-Cozad - When DOESN'T Cozad have a good RB? Mason scored every point in the Haymaker's 20-7 win over Ainsworth. He ran 152-27 in the game.
*Matt Korus-Humphrey St. Francis - The Flyer "flier" scored on runs of 4, 56, 1, 2 and a 60 yard kick return in St. Frans 68-8 win against Holy Family. Korus is probably headed for a thousand this Friday afternoon, or next week at the latest. Like this kid....a lot.
*Jordan Gall-Clarkson - Another school with very capable RB's, Clarkson's Gall rushed only 9 times and scored TD's on runs of 23, 3, 66 45, and a 28 punt return. He rushed for in the 64-0 "Howells warm-up" win over Lyons Decatur NE.
*Matt Ostrand and Jared Maslowsky-Arlington - A pair of 100 yard rushers in the 21-0 win over North Bend. Ostrand went for 143 on 18 totes and Mas rushed for 212-15.
*Cameron Morgan-Omaha Westside - Sophomore signal caller certainly didn't run like a rookie as he tied a Class A single game TD record by scoring SIX times on runs of 14, 4, 5, 59, 30, and 11 yards in the Warriors 42-29 win over Bryan.
*Dillon Glause-Palmer - Slippery RB rushed for 150 yards on 24 carries and returned a punt 70 yards for a score in the state's premier D-1 match-up with Shelby. Tigers won the game 44-31 and a shot at Howells way down the line in Lincoln on a Monday afternoon at 2:45 has to be in the back of those boy's minds. Lots of football to be played before that though.
This and That.......
*One just has to hope the "snowstorm bowls" were a one time deal whether the kids like 'em or not. Makes for some less than attractive games, especially for the fans.
*Anybody that figures out Class A is a genius.
*Am I foolish enough to pick a Championship match-up in each class at this point?
You know better than that.........here goes nothing' (probably what it's worth)
Class A - Millard South vs. Millard West....
What If..... Omaha North could just decide to play as a unit EVERY outing, the magic could just continue for Lincoln SE, Elkhorn could continue to develop their passing game....
Class B - Aurora vs. Waverly/ Omaha Skutt winner Friday.
*What If.... Waverly could pass anytime they pleased to go along with their super 'Bone, if Adams Central was convinced they could play with schools much larger than themselves, if nobody COULD ever stop Ryan Randall's Blair Cinderella squad.
Class C-1 - Boys Town vs. Hastings St. Cecilia
*What If.... Chadron could play football like they play basketball, Wahoo Neumann's Dylan McGill continued the "dream" comeback with a magical ride all the way to Lincoln.
Class C-2 -Hartington Cedar Catholic vs. Ponca
*What If....Blue Hill's defense was yet again impenetrable, Ronnie Mimick has convinced his Aquinas forces that they are as good as anybody (might already have), Bergan's little guys can believe they have the oomph to get to Lincoln again, if Ravenna could pass.
Class D-1 - Howells vs. Palmer
*What if......Nate Most could throw one more TD pass on Palmer, Bancroft-Roaslie believes the first Howells win wasn't a fluke andthey can beat Howells WITH Prusa, Silver Lake decides they really ARE that good?
Class D-2 - Humphrey St. Francis vs. Pleasanton/Sargent winner
*What if....Ewing decides that this is the swan song and State Title opportunity will never come again.. if Scottie Jorgensen's Hayes Center squad decides to take it one step further than a year ago...if Sterling's Jets decide THEY can play football as well as basketball?
Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained. With the 3-A-Day State Championship schedule in Lincoln this year, it will almost be just the perfect day for the 1000 Yard Guy. Four would be just right. (or 5, or 6...)
We'll be seeing you on the sidelines Thursday, Friday, and Saturday...........no snow flakes please!