Creighton Prep QB AJ Hubner (#12)
Week 2 Friday Night Lights football Heroes - Part 1
There may be a few defensive coaches in the 11-Man ranks putting in some extra hours over this Labor day weekend given the offensive outbursts that took place last Friday.
In Class A, Omaha Burke edges Creighton Prep 38-37, South outscores Bryan 41-38, while down in Class B, Columbus pushes across a 2 point conversion to edge Bennington 50-49, while Elkhorn tops Blair 49-42.
So much for defense.
No better way to start the Hero list than to feature the two quarterbacks that combined for 835 yards passing and 8 TDs in that wild Burke/Prep matchup.
*AJ Hubner-Creighton Prep - The 6-1, 180 pound senior was efficient in Prep's 38-3 season opening win over Omaha Westside. But in the 38-37 loss to Burke last Friday, Hubner threw twice as many passes, nearly tripled his yardage output, and tossed 4 times as many TD passes. Impressive.
AJ fired 36 passes into the evening air at Burke Stadium, completing 20 of those for 441 yards, 4 touchdowns. The victory effort fell short, but the performance vaulted Hubner to the top of the 11-Man passing charts.
After hitting Grant Matthies with a 29 yard scoring strike in the 1st quarter, Hubner and the Bluejays staged a furious 4th quarter rally that saw AJ hit Matthies with a 7 yard TD strike, Nate Reinhart with a 15 yard score and Shannon Brewer with a spectacular 80 yard touchdown pass.
After just 2 games, the Creighton Prep senior has 606 passing yards, 6 TDs and a 55% completion rate.
*Tyler Chadwick-Omaha Burke - The 5-11, 165 pound Bulldog sophomore came in 2nd in the passing yardage dual, but ended up winning the scoreboard battle in that Burke/Prep dandy.
Chadwick, who already has thrown for 506 yards, connected on 17 of 27 passes for 394 big ones and 4 TDs while suffering only one pick all night.
The Burke sharpshooter hooked up with Chris Hickman for touchdowns covering 44 and 54 yards. He also nailed Alec Ellis with a 75 yard scoring toss and found Josh Baker with a 10 yard TD pass.
Matter of fact, Mr. Ellis hauled in 8 receptions on the evening for 147 yards, swelling his 2 game total to a Class A leading 241 yards.
*Andy Wasserman-Fairbury - With Syracuse focusing on 1000 yard rusher Jacob Johnson, the 6-2, 185 pound junior quarterback simply took matters into his own hands.
Wasserman scored on a 40 yard run, fired a pair of 22 yard scoring passes to senior Patrick Ondrak, and nailed classmate Jacob Johnson with a 46 yard TD pass.
In that Fairbury 34-20 win over the Rockets, Wasserman accumulated 122 yards passing, rushed 7 times for 53 yards, made 3 solo tackles while on defense and picked off a pass.
Oh, and Syracuse really did not shut Mr. Johnson down. The splendid junior thousand yarder rushed 18 times for 126 yards and a TD, caught 2 passes for 66 yards and another score, made 8 tackles and recorded a sack defensively.
*Colton Wolfe-Columbus - The 6-1, 195 pound state wrestling champion not only scored the critical closing touchdown for the Discoverers, but added the winning 2 point conversion with his powerful run. Yep, that was the 50-49 victory over Bennington that was so sweet for Columbus, who went 0-9 competing in the Class A wars a year ago.
The outstanding Wolfe ran for 122 carries on 18 touches and 5 touchdowns, recording scoring runs on 2, 1, 3 and 6 yards while adding a 12 yard scoring reception among his 40 receiving yards.
Columbus could make some noise in Class B, especially in District 5 where Blair, Schuyler, and South Sioux City will compete this season. Keep an eye on Wolfe, QB Landon Brabec and the Discoverer boys in 2016.
*Trevin Rezac-Wahoo Neumann - Despite battling nagging cramps all evening, the 5-9, 188 pound senior RB accounted for 4 touchdowns in Bishop Neumann's 34-14 win over Columbus Scotus.
In the battle between C-1's top two teams, the tough running Rezac scored on a 2 yard blast, recovered his own fumble in the Scotus end zone after rambling 18 yards, and caught 2 TD passes from Central Florida/D1 recruit, Noah Vedral. The scoring receptions covered 11 and 10 yards.
Yes, Wahoo Neumann is Number One.
*Leo Palomo-Kearney - Senior place kicker booted the winning 27 yard field goal in overtime to lift the Bearcats to that 20-17 win over Lincoln East. It was a golden kick for Palomo, who missed a 54 yard FG attempt as time ran out in regulation.
*Osceola Bulldog Backfield - Can you say 100 yard rushers times 3? The Bulldogs unleashed a furious 467 yard ground attack in a 58-3 route of Mead. Senior Peyton Watts led the charge with 207 yards on only 15 carries (13.8/carry) and 2 TDs. Junior Brennan Bryan carried 10 times for 102 yards (10.2/pop) and 2 TDs, while junior QB Caden Theis rushed 16 times 101 yards and 3 scores to complete the 100+ rushing trifecta.
Theis also recorded 12 stops on defense as the Bulldog "D" limited Mead to only 166 yards of total offense.
How about the terrific job head coach T.J. Nielsen has done in Osceola the past 4 years? Since taking over, Nielsen has improved from 3-6 to 4-5 to 5-4 to 8-2 a year ago. Prior to that, Osceola had gone 5-19 the previous three seasons and had not been in the playoffs since 2002. Coach Nielsen's Bulldog teams have made it to the post-season each of the past 4 seasons.
This man needs a raise!
*Kristian Shad and Finest Hampton-Papillion La Vista South - All the junior kicker Shad did was boot the winning 24 yard field goal as the Titans won the Battle of Papio by downing Papillion LV, 31-28.
Finest Hampton, the 5-9, 180 pound senior RB, tore the Monarchs apart in the half with his 102 yards but was not on the "finest" terms with coach Walt Olson, coughing up 2 fumbles in the process.
Finest would right himself in crunch time though, eventually running for 168 yards on 20 totes and scoring TDs on runs of 22, 3 and 80 yards.
*Tate Mazour-Doniphan-Trumbull - In a huge 33-30 road win at North Platte St. Pats, the senior field general hit 12 of his 18 1st half passes for 221 yards. Mazour ended up throwing TD passes to Marc Zeckser (20 yards) and Tom Pfeifer (56 Yards), plus running for a couple of scores himself, covering 1 and 3 yards in the win.
Mazour closed out the night by nailing 15 of 29 passes for 262 yards. Adams Central transfer Marc Zeckser carried the pigskin 29 times for 157 yards and a TD, giving him 361 yards after only 2 outings.
*Tanner Wroblewski-St. Paul - 5-8, 145 pound junior QB completed 7 of 13 passes for 180 yards and 2 TDs in the 'Cats 22-12 road win over Cross County. The elusive junior also rushed for 55 yards and another score as St. Paul moved to 2-0 to begin the 2016 season. Big Deal? Oh yes it is and you want to know why?
These 2 wins match the total number of victories St. Paul has notched the past 4 years combined, including an 0-9 record a year ago while laboring in Class C-1.
Wroblewski also had 3 tackles and an interception on defense. One of Tanner's pass completions was a nice 26 yard toss to 6-3, 190 pound sophomore Carson Morgan, an outstanding football/basketball prospect for the Wildcats.
*Trey Erbst-Stanton - Oh man can this 6-3, 180 pound senior play the game on both sides of the ball.
In Stanton's 48-18 win over Wisner-Pilger, Erbst rushed only 8 times, but gained 118 yards, scoring on 51 and 35 yard runs. On defense the rugged Erbst just simply disrupted that W-P offense all night.
Check this out. In Stanton's first 2 games, Trey Erbst has toted the football only 12 times, yet has rushed for 249 yards. That is 20.8 yards every time he gets the football. Against Elmwood-Murdock, he rushed 4 times for 131 yards and broke loose for an 80 yard TD scamper. How's that for efficiency?
*Drake Gilliland-Mitchell - The junior turf-burner ran 28 times for 176 yards and a TD in a 40-7 loss to Pine Bluffs, Wyoming. Gilliland also recorded 9 tackles for the 1-1 Tigers.
A year ago as a sophomore, the 5-7, 165 pound back rushed for 719 yards (5 TDs) and made 60 tackles on defense while playing in the shadow of his multi-talented brother Drew. The elder Gilliland sibling ran for over 1,200 yards and passes for another 600 while quarterbacking Mitchell in 2015.
*Nolan Plagge-West Point Guardian Angels Central Catholic - In a 50-14 victory over Clarkson-Leigh, the 6-1, 180 pound dual-threat QB completed 9 of 10 passes for 178 yards and 4 TDs. Plagge found Kobe Slaughter for a 25 yard scoring toss, connected with Cole Kreikemeier for 30 yard score and hooked up with Andrew Guenther for touchdown aerials covering 53 and 32 yards.
Plagge also reached paydirt on a 49 yard run and returned a kickoff 78 yards for another score and I will wager the dude made at least 9 stops from his linebacker slot. Pretty safe assumption there.
*Nolan Weiss-Douglas County West - 5-11, 175 pound senior QB was true on 5 of 9 passes for a whopping 203 yards and 4 TDs in a 46-17 win over David City. I'll do the calculating for you. That is 40.6 yards per complete pass. Um Hm.
Weiss was nearly as impressive with his per carry rushing average, running 5 times for 71 yards (14.2/carry).
The senior dandy hooked up with junior Spencer Hayes for touchdown throws of 71 and 41 yards, hit senior Tj Rivera with a 50 yarder and nailed nailed senior Lane Eggan for an 11 yard TD.
Nolan Weiss, incidentally, is in 4th season as a starter at that QB position for the Class C-1 Falcons. He has already thrown for 2,086 yards for a team that has only gone 2-24 the past three seasons, laboring in tough Class C-1.
BUT.......DC West is already enjoying a 2-0 slate in 2016. Keep up the good work, men.