Boone Central/Newman Grove's Wyatt Mazour (#20). The Magic Man.
Tuesday, November 25th - 2:45 PM (Memorial Stadium-Lincoln)
Ashland-Greenwood (12-0) vs. Boone Central/Newman Grove (12-0)
Ashland-Greenwood Season Record (12-0):
46 Wahoo 10
28 Syracuse 13
40 Falls City 0
55 Lincoln Christian 7
46 Arlington 7
35 Ft. Calhoun 7
66 Omaha Concordia 14
35 Boys Town 14
48 Douglas Co. West 7
48 *Central City 14
37 *Grand Island Central Catholic 7
34 *Cozad 7
514 Opponents 107
42.8 Opponents 8.9
Ashland-Greenwood Individual stats:
Rushing: RB-Trevor Nichelson (#34) - 1,643-241 (7.1) 24 Tds, QB-Bryce Chudomelka (#4) - 476-115 (4.1) 8TDs, FB-Ryan Schuster - 302-65 (5.7) 3 TDs.
Passing: Chudomelka - 76 of 143 for 1,419 yds (56%) and 25 TDs with 3 INTS. (18.7/completion).
Receiving: Tyler Craven (#2) - 29 catches for 554 Yds with 11 TDs (19.1/catch), Ben Stille (#3) - 16-538 with 10 TDs (33.6/catch), Cory Washburn (#7) - 19-228 - 4 TDs (11/catch)
Tackles: Brett Kitrell (#52)--97, Craven--90, Chudomelka--59, Stille, Nichelson--58 each, Schuster--57.
Tackles for Loss: Stille-19, Nichelson-18, Kitrell-16.
Sacks: Team-26--- Stille-10, Kitrell-5
Interceptions: Team - 20, --Craven, Washburn-6 each, Nichelson-3.
Fumble Recoveries: Team - 14--Schuster-3, Stille-2
Kicking: - Stille - 54 of 61 point after TD, 4 of 5 field goals (longest was 36)
Boone Central/Newman Grove Season Record (12-0):
31 Columbus Scotus 14
43 Columbus Lakeview 16
48 Norh Bend Central 8
49 Grand Island Central Catholic 18
30 West Point-Beemer 6
49 Pierce 21
61 Madison 22
41 Wayne 0
32 Norfolk Catholic 16
48 *Milford-Dorchester 7
23 *Norfolk Catholic 7
34 *Kearney Catholic 7
489 Opponents 158
40.8 Opponents 13.2
Boone Central/NG Individual stats:
Rushing: Wyatt Mazour (#20) - 1,384-167 (8.3) 24 Tds, Joe Brugger (#28) - 682-124 (5.5) 9 Tds.
Passing: Mazour - 96 of 173 for 1,734 Yds, and 22 Tds with 8 INTS (19.4/completion)
Receiving: Travis Kennedy (#7) - 14 for 471 yds. and 9 TDs (33.6/catch), Zac Glidden (#18) - 24-428 - 7 TDs (17.8/catch), Keaton Henry (#32) - 19-295 - 1 TD (15.5/catch)
Tackles: Colton Pelster (#25)--64, Michael Lipker (#62)--51 and 12TFL, Henry--45, Kyle Kramer (#14)--35.
Interceptions - Team-18, ---Glidden, Kramer, Scott Kettler (#6) - 4 each.
Fumble Recoveries - Team-14, --Glidden-4, Damien Backus (#2), Garrett Temme (#10) 2 each.
Kicking: Kyle Kramer - 33 of 45 point after TD, 1 of 3 field goals (FG was 36 yards)
Punting: Keaton Henry - 38.7/punt
How about this Tuesday lineup of games at Memorial Stadium? The C-2 matchup should be very good, Class B battle couldn't get a whole better, and this C-1 Title game is about as good as it gets with two 12-0 teams taking the field.
Boone Central/Newman-Grove has stamped itself as one of the elite football programs in recent years and if this Ashland-Greenwood keeps playing the way it has the past 2 seasons, the Bluejays will ascend to that lofty status before you know it. And with the all the young players on this A/G team, there is no reason to doubt this program is on the rise, and fast.
By now every serious high school football fan knows this is the farewell game for Boone Central/NG head coach Arnie Johnson. The journey is nearly complete for the Cardinals. The players set their goals before the summertime weight room even opened and now are one magic game away from achieving that success. Johnson is looking for win number 338 to call it a career and certainly has the tools to accomplish it. The man that makes things jell is QB Wyatt Mazour, but then you knew that. Following in his older brother's footsteps, Mazour just continues to make heads spin with his clutch plays game in and game out, many coming at just the right time.
One player that can take some of the rushing load off Mazour is RB Joseph Brugger. This hard running senior can get the tough yards and has made more than one critical 3rd down conversion when the Cardinals needed it......see the Norfolk Catholic regular season finale.
Boone's offensive and defensive lines may be the best in quite while. And when Mazour take to the airwaves, he has two of the tallest, most athletic targets around in 6-5 Zac Glidden and 6-6 Travis Kennedy. These split ends have the hops and the length to out leap most defenders, although both will meet their match and more when they encounter Ashland-Greenwood's Tyler Craven. On defense, Kennedy is a tough-as-nails linebacker while Glidden is all over the field from his defensive back slot. Zac Glidden is just a freakish athlete on the gridiron. #18 seems to always be at the right place/right time for the Cardinals. When Mazour does target a receiver, opponents certainly don not want to see Kennedy make a catch for the simple fact he averages 33.6 yards a reception......yeah, that's right.
Since Albion became Boone Central, the Cardinals have NEVER missed the playoffs. Perfect slate since 2001 and when you throw in Albion's string from '98 to 2000, you have 17 consecutive appearances. As excellent as Boone has been, winning a state title has been elusive, the only one coming in the 2001 head 9-7 head knocker triumph over rival Pierce. So, as you can see, this team is on a mission.
On the other side awaits an Ashland-Greenwood team that is just a year removed from the C-1 state championship game. The Bluejays may have been a bit over matched when they played Cozad last season at Memorial Stadium, but they have rolled through this 2014 season with great precision and have such a marvelous head coach in Ryan Thompson. No way can you not like this man. Such an outgoing personality, great spokesman when he is on the air or quoted, and most importantly, is a smart football mind. Of course he is, Thompson is from St. Edward.
Quite a success story the way QB Bryce Chudomelka has developed this season. The senior signal caller hasn't played quarterback since his freshman season as a JV player. Last year he was a tight end. This season, Chudomelka is a team leader, and without a doubt and has a 180 pound frame that makes him a threat to lay the wood when he takes off on a run. The way Chudomelka has progressed this fall is amazing.
This football team also arguably has the best 2 sophomores in 11-Man football in RB Trevor Nichelson and OL/LB Brett Kitrell. Nichelson was a starter on the state finals team last year as a FRESHMAN DB. He also managed to "squeeze out" 668 yards rushing and 219 receiving yards on offense. This kid is a game breaker and can.....and has shown the ability time after time, to get tough yards right into the heart of the defense. And Kitrell.....good grief what a linebacker! The name Kitrell is just synomomous with linebacker/football toughness. His two older brothers were outstanding football players and Brett is all-state calibur as a sophomore, as is Nichelson.
If you want to match wide recievers with Boone Central/Newman Grove, the Bluejays have just the pair in Tyler Craven and Ben Stille. Craven can just flat out leap to the moon....maybe Mars. I never saw a defensive back play better this season than Tyler Craven. Against GICC, Craven frustrated and nearly shut down Wyoming recruit Youhanna Ghaifan. That's saying something. Boy would I like to see these 2 go at it on the basketball floor. Ben Stille is to Ashland-Greenwood what Travis Kennedy is to Boone. In addition to Stille's toughness, the 6-3, 205 pound junior is an outstanding place kicker who could boot a winning FG in the closing seconds of a game.
To me, this game is about as evenly matched as you could ever hope for. On paper, Aquinas and Cedar Catholic are the same way. So what is the X-factor in this C-1 title game? Can Boone Central/NG ride the Arnie Johnson Farewell Train all the way to a championship or will Ashland-Greenwood use their experience from a year ago at Memorial Stadium to grab a state title?
By the time darkness descends on Memorial Stadium next Tuesday, one of these teams will stay undefeated. Can you ask anymore that that kind of stakes?