Columbus Lakeview stars Cooper Tessendorf (#34), Adam Van Cleave (#28) and Kolby Blaser (#5) will attempt to reverse a regular season loss to Pierce in next Tuesday's Class C-1 State Championship game to be played at UNL's Memorial Stadium.
*Tuesday, November 23rd, Memorial Stadium/UNL, 10:15 AM
Pierce (10-2) vs. Columbus Lakeview (10-2)
*Pierce coaching staff: Head Coach: Mark Brahmer, Asst: Tyler Legate, Kyle Simmons, Grant Doerr, Les Painter, Carl Scholting.
*Columbus Lakeview staff: Head Coach: Kurt Frenzen, Asst: Jeff Bargen, Dan Krueger, T.J. Nielsen, Jimmy Biggs, Darren Reinhardt, Zach Lesiak, Aaron Rudoff, Matt Cross, Greg Kobza.
*Last Year’s Playoffs-Pierce is the defending State Champion, defeating Adams Central 28-19 in the C-1 Championship game. Columbus Lakeview did not make the playoffs a year ago.
*Rushing Yards: Columbus Lakeview - 268.2, Pierce - 266.3.
*Passing Yards: Pierce - 169.2, Columbus Lakeview -109.9
*Total Yards: Pierce -460.4, Columbus Lakeview - 378.1
*Passing: #17 Abram Scholting 103 of 160 (64.4%) for 2,003 yards/27 TDs, 9 INTs.
*Rushing: #3 Matt Christensen-1,042-151 (6.9)/16 TDs, #44 Michael Kruntorad 862-98 (8.8)/9 TDs, #17 Abram Scholting 467-86 (5.4), 3 TDs.
*Receiving: #15 Ben Brahmer 54 catches for 1,006 yards/12 TDs, #14 Kaden Johnson 6 for 225 with 6 TDs, #89 Max Cooper 10 catches for 214 yards/No TDs, #1 Ritter Oestreich 8 catches for 180 yards/5 TDs
*Tackles: #45 Tristan Kuehler 142 Total (27 solos, 115 assists, 1 sack, 1 INT), #44 Michael Kruntorad-92 (34 solos/56 assists, 5 sacks, 2 FR), #15 Ben Brahmer-71 (24 solos/47 assists, 2 INTs, 1 FR), #1 Ritter Oestreich 70 (25 solos, 42 assists, 1 INT). ------------------------------------
*Passing: #5 Kolby Blaser 69 of 126 (54.8%) for 1,295 yards/13 TDs/6 INTs.
*Rushing: #28 Adam Van Cleave-1,099-111 (9.9)/19 TDs, #41 Landon Ternus 612-94 (6.5)/9 TDs, #34 Cooper Tessendorf-529-84 (6.1) 5 TDs, #5 Kolby Blaser-414-91 (4.6) 11 TDs
*Receiving: #28 Adam Van Cleave 26 for 570/7 TDs, #13 Mason Viergutz 13 for 276 yards/3 TDs, #34 Cooper Tessendorf 13 for 168/2 TDs
*Tackles: #52 Jaden Jenkinson-55 Total (46 solos/9 assists with 8 sacks, 2 FR), #54 Eli Osten 45 (41 solos/4 assists, 7 sacks, 1 FR), #21 Braxton Borer 43 (34 solos, 4 INTs), #51 Estuardo 36 (28 solos, 8 assists), #13 Mason Viergutz-34 (29 solos, 5 assists, 5 INTs)
47 St. Paul 25
28 Columbus Lakeview 27
76 North Bend Central 32
58 Arlington 13
33 Boone Central 35 (Loss)
59 O’Neill 6
56 West Point-Beemer 41
6 Battle Creek 24 (Loss)
35 Wayne 27
27 Broken Bow 14
35 Ashland-Greenwood 28
21 Battle Creek 0
(Pierce 39.7 ppg - Opponents 22.2 ppg)
Columbus Lakeview (10-2)
37 Boys Town 6
27 Pierce 28 (Loss)
17 Wayne 30 (Loss)
49 Lincoln Christian 8
61 Central City 26
48 West Point-Beemer 9
42 North Bend Central 6
56 Schuyler 0
35 Columbus Scotus 0
42 Milford 20
23 Boone Central 20
31 Kearney Catholic 21
(Columbus Lakeview 38.7 ppg - Opponents 11.2 ppg)
…...A rematch of the September 3rd game that saw Pierce turn away a Lakeview two point conversion with under a minute left, pulling out a narrow 28-27 victory over the visiting Vikings. That sets up what should be another back and forth nail-biter to decide this C-1 championship.
Defending champion Pierce and Columbus Lakeview have both suffered a pair of losses this season, but it’s Kurt Franzen’s Vikings that are riding a 9 game win streak after a Week three 30-17 loss to Wayne.
I was at that Wayne game and thought Lakview was a much better football team than what they showed that night. It just seemed as though something was missing from that Lakeview team, but I couldn’t put a finger on it.
Don’t get me wrong, Wayne earned that win, but I left The Hill thinking that Frenzen would find a way to pull things together, thus avoiding a 5 game skid that soured the past TWO seasons for the Vikings.
Frenzen and staff DID just that, something I saw first hand in Lakeview’s semifinal win over a fabulous Kearney Catholic football team. The Vikings defense was especially impressive that night, just a week ago Friday.
Ironically, I also saw Pierce drop their first game of the season at Boone Central on September 24th. It was a shocking loss for the Bluejays, as Boone laid 35 big ones on the defending C-1 champs with a backup quarterback directing the Cardinals to boot.
What many fans may not realize is the fact that 2020 All-State linebacker Colton Fritz approached me prior to that Boone Central game in street clothes, informing me he could not play because of a suspected torn ACL.
That’s one time in my life I felt like dropping to the ground. It killed me, so I can’t imagine how hard it was on that Pierce football team, who along with Fritz, found out about it right before the team bus left for Albion.
You cannot lose a player of that magnitude and rebound that quickly, not taking anything away from Coach Hud his fine Boone Central squad.
Pierce rebounded from that loss, with a clunker to a fine Battle Creek thrown in there, to finish 10-2 and gain the opportunity to defend their 2020 C-1 championship. And by the way, the Bluejays did avenge that Battle Creek loss last Friday, when they turned the tables with a 20-0 win over the Braves.
Pierce has one of the best O-Lines in the biz, but will have to fend off the same ferocious Lakeview pass rush that dogged Kearney Catholic. The Vikings, on the other hand, will have to once again deal with the depth that Coach Mark Brahmer always constructs at Pierce.
Talk about playmakers, this game will feature some of the best in C-1, setting up a perfect title game matchup. Pierce will have Husker pledge Ben Brahmer, who not only has 1,006 receiving yards, but is a brutal defender from his LB slot. His punting and kickoff skills can also put you in a hole to begin offensive possessions.
The Bluejay’s offense, who is directed by junior All-State quarterback Abram Scholting and his 2000 passing yards, also can come at you with a bevy of great running backs, including 1000 yard rusher, Matt Christensen and Michael Kruntorad, who needs just 138 yards to reach a thousand.
That Pierce defense definitely misses Colton Fritz, but does have junior Tristan Kuehler, who has filled Colton’s linebacker position rather nicely, compiling a monster 142 tackles.
Columbus Lakeview counters with their Swiss army knife player, Adam Van Cleave. The senior, who lines up as a slot or wide receiver, has rushed for 1099 yards and compiled 570 receiving yards and can kill you a hundred ways on offense or defense. If slick QB Kolby Blaser decides to hand the ball off, the Vikings will pound you with RB Cooper Tessendorf and FB Landon Ternus, who both run behind one of the finest offensive lines in C-1.
ALSO…...I don’t know if I’ve seen a Class C-1 football team that tackles any better than Columbus Lakeview. These dudes displayed some of the best rudimental tackling skills I have seen all season, regardless of class, especially the Defensive Line. Incredible technique.
This baby will not not be for the weak at heart. Do I hear Overtime(s)?