GI Northwest QB Rans Sanders (#10/Center) was one man wrecking crew in the Vikings 49-13 win over Hastings last Friday night.
*Rans Sanders-Northwest Vikings (Grand Island) - Vikings quarterback tore Hastings apart last Friday by exploding for 196 yards on 18 carries and three TD runs covering 11, 12 and 42 yards in GINW’s dominating 49-12 win over Hastings High.
The versatile Sanders also was deadly accurate through air, hitting 13 of 17 passes for 155 yards. Rans has given Kevin Stein’s Vikings something they haven’t had in many moons. A Dual Threat Quarterback.
While Rans Sanders was taking the Hastings defense apart, the wicked Northwest defense was all over Tiger All-State quarterback candidate Garrett Synek, giving the gifted QB virtually no time to even think about throwing the football, let alone run it.
All-State linemen Grady Greiss may have only made three tackles all evening against Hastings, but two of those were demoralizing sacks and the guy was just a disruptive force on nearly every single snap.
And then there’s the exceptional Ty Heaton, who unlike Grady Griess, gets a head start from his middle linebacker slot, and man h man does Heaton make it sting. Against Hastings, the 180 pound commacozi machine administered 10 Excedrin headaches on defense and even came in on offense as a battering ram inside the 10 yard line to score a pair of touchdowns covering 1 and 8 yards.
And lest we forget, the Vikings have a budding defensive superstar in 6-1, 205 pound sophomore LB Aiden Davies, who only had one stop in the Hastings game, but was a total menace all night. A nightmare in the Tiger backfield.
Regular season totals for Rans Sanders; 96 of 150 passing for 1,243 yards, 2 TDs/3 INTs. 647 rushing yards/11 TDs. Grady Greiss; 95 tackles, 18 TFL, 7 sacks, 2 recovered fumbles. Ty Heaton; 103 tackles, 6 TFL. Aiden Davies; 95 tackles, 8 TFL, 3 sacks, 1 INT.
Northwest draws the #3 seed in the Class B playoff field and will host 12th seed Lexington (4-5) this Friday at 7:00 PM.
**1000 Yard Rusher Alert - State Record Setting Performance**
*Braden Eisenhauer-Bloomfield - 5-9, 170 pound senior quarterback shattered the Eight-Man football record for most rushes in single game when he carried the ball a grueling 59 times in the Bees 46-36 win over a tough Hartington-Newcastle squad.
The 59 carries eclipses the record of 56 held by a trio of players and equals the state record of 59, set by the great Drew Wagner of Madison in game against Columbus Scotus back in 2008.
Eisenhauer’s 59 totes carried him for 358 yards and a quartet of short touchdown runs of 2, 1, 1, and 2 yards, and helped lead Bloomfield to their 8th straight victory against no losses this season.
That vaults Braden over the coveted thousand yard rushing mark, setting his current ground yardage figure at 1,263 yards with 19 TDs.
The senior QB has also completed 33 of 53 passes (62%) of his passes for 436 yards and 5 TDs this year. This is just a reversal of Eisenhauer’s stat numbers from a year ago when he threw for 1,080 yards and ran for 648 with 11 TDs.
I might also point out that Eisenhauer compiled these rushing stats in just 7 games. He has also heated up the past three games, going off for 807 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground.
Unbeaten Bloomfield has secured th #2 seed in the East bracket of the Class D-2, Eight Man football playoffs and will have a home game Thursday against 4-4 Pender.
*Trevin Luben-Wahoo - The 5-11, 190 pound super back ran for 214 yards on 28 carries and scored four TDs covering 4, 41, 1, and 15 yards in the Warriors 49-0 win over Columbus Scotus last week. Colin Ludvig, a 5-6, 160 pound sophomore back, added 83 yards on just 7 touches and broke loose for touchdowns covering 13, 4 yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, Wahoo was, a usual, led by All-State linebackers Kole Bordovsky and Grant Kolterman. Bordovsky administered 12 Excedrin headaches, while Kolterman chipped in 7 more with a pair of sacks.
Place kicker Jesus Zaragoza went 7 of 7 on PAT kicks
Luben, who rambled for 2,215 yards an 29 touchdowns a year ago, rushed for 1,453 yards and 27 TDs during the regular season this fall. The Wahoo running back appears to virtually unstoppable with that offensive line constantly clearing the way for the senior sensation.
Colin Ludvig is also having a great season for the Warriors, running for 648 yards on just 74 carries (10 TDs). Kole Bordovsky is the tackle leader on that Warrior “D”, having made 111 thus far. Grant Kolterman has made 76 stops, but also has a monster 16 TFL, 8 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, a defensive touchdown, a safety and a blocked kick. Kolterman is the type of player that can change the complexion of a playoff game in heartbeat with a big play.
And no opponent can forget about Jesus Zaragoza, who is basically automatic on PATS (54-57) and field goals (6/7), plus averaging 50 yards a boot on kickoffs.
Wahoo is the #2 seed in the upcoming Class C-1 playoffs and will face Boys Town (6-3) this Friday at home in first round action. The million dollar question about Wahoo, Pierce and Adams Central was answered Saturday morning when the C-1 parings were announced.
A/C and Pierce are in the upper half of the bracket, creating a scenario that sees Wahoo not possibly facing either team until the finals.
*Caleb Francl, Carson Cahoy, Broc Douglass, Jordan Hofeldt-Grand Island - This quartet, plus others defensively, came up huge in the Islanders come from behind 26-21 win over playoff bound Lincoln East.
Caleb Francl ran like a champ in that Seacrest nightcap, bolting for 154 yards on 26 carries and that clinching 2 yard touchdown with 1:10 left in the game. Carson Cahoy had his usual big aerial game, completing 19 of 31 passes for 202 yards and touchdown strikes to 20 yards to Broc Douglass and 27 yards to Blake Leiting.
Both of Cahoy’s TD passes came within 2:56 of each other of the 2nd quarter.
Jordan Hofeldt had 8 tackles for Coach Mike Tomlin’s defense, but none was bigger than the sack of East QB Noah Walters on the Spartans final drive of the contest. Other Islander defensive stars were Caleb Francl (12 stops), Ben Francl (10 tackles), Douglass (8 tackles) Daylon Keolavone (9 stops), and Kyle Sextro, who had 7 crunches.
GI draws the #6 seed in the Class A playoffs and will face #11 seed Lincoln Southwest, a team the Islanders just beat 34-14 on October 18th at Seacrest Field in Lincoln. Millard South lurks in the quarterfinals should they and the Islanders both emerge victorious.
*Eli Hustad-Elkhorn South - Jitterbugging running back blitzed Creighton Prep’s defense with 266 yards rushing on 25 totes and scoring runs of 36, 29, and 3 yards in the Storms 42-14 win over the Junior Jays.
Eli also caught a 17 yard TD pass from Storm QB Elliott Brown, who also ran for 99 yards on just 9 carries.
Eli Hustad, who has an unofficial rushing total of 893 yards on 126 carries with 13 TDs, is about as exciting a player there is in11-Man football with his sharp cuts and sweet dance moves on the gridiron.
Elkhorn South (6-3) draws the #9 seed in the Class A playoff field and will travel to Kearney Friday to face the 7-2 Bearacts. Kickoff is set for 7:00.
*Julian Hearn, Hunter Charf-Neligh-Oakdale - The Dynamic Duo of QB Hunter Charf and Julian Hearn just absolutely went crazy in Neligh-Oakdale’s shocking 86-50 win over a terrific Lutheran High Northeast team.
You may recall that Elkhorn Valley, a team Lutheran High NE beat 40-12 a week earlier in the season, had just beaten Neligh-Oakdale 28-20 the week before, so this may have appeared to be an easy win for Lutheran High NE on paper. Didn’t work out that way because, as we know, games are not won on paper.
The 5-11, 165 pound senior QB Hunter Charf, in his 3rd season as a starter for Coach Ron Beacom’s Warriors, blitzed the Eagles for 316 yards passing (14 of 28) and SIX TDs. Forget about the two interceptions when you won the game 86-50.
Charf hooked up with Julian Hearn, a 5-9, 153 pound junior, for touchdown strikes covering 18, 32, 64, and 29 yards in the contest. Hearn not only had just FIVE receptions for 169 yards, but managed to rush 10 times for 112 more yards and scoring runs of 16 and 15 yards.
Freshman Aiden Kuester, a name you will want to remember in the future, registered a Pick Six (26 yards) in the Warriors huge regular season finale win.
Neligh-Oakdale (6-2 and #8 seed), whose only other loss came at the hands of Howells-Dodge (40-20), will face #9 seed Atkinson West Holt (6-2) in Neligh this coming Thursday in the opening round.
Hunter Charf, by the way, has passed for an unofficial 1,626 yards and 22 TDs going into the playoffs.
**1000 Yard Rusher Alert**
*Andrew Bedner-Millard North - The rugged 5-10, 190 pound Mustang fullback churned out 192 yards on 32 touches with touchdown runs of 3 and 36 yards in Millard North’s 37-20 victory over Gretna. The huge night pushed the powerful fullback’s nine game rushing total to 1,327 yards with 14 TDs.
Pretty cool 2019 season for Millard North’s Andrew Bedner, who had only 98 yards rushing on 29 carries and 1 lonely touchdown through the first three games of the season. Coach Freddy Petito’s Mustangs were 0-3 at the time.
Bedner exploded for 254 yards on 34 carries with two touchdowns in game four, a 31-30 loss to Creighton Prep. Since game three, Andrew has run for 1,223 yards and 13 TDs.
Millard North (4-5) enters the 2019 Class A post season as the #12 seed and will travel to Omaha Burke Friday to face the defending champion Bulldogs, who are seeded 5th and sport an 8-1 record.
**1000 Yard Rusher Alert**
*Isaac Noyd-Cross County - 5-8, 145 pound junior tough guy went over the 1000 yard rushing mark with his 173 yards on 17 carries and three touchdowns in Cross County’s 70-12 trouncing of Exeter-Milligan/Friend.
Noyd recorded touchdown runs of 57 and 37 yards, and added a 78 yard kick return for his 3rd score of the night in the route. That increases Isaac’s 2019 rushing total to 1,105 yards on 130 carries with 15 TDs.
And how about 180 pound sophomore Carter Seim? This lad was injured this summer and did not play until game three of the season . Despite the odds, Seim has still rushed for 586 yards (57 totes) and 9 touchdowns, including long distance scoring jaunts of 65 and 60 yards that Exeter-Milligan/Friend game.
Cross County (4-4) draws the #7 seed in the Class D-1, Eight Man playoffs and will have a home matchup with #12 seed and 5-3 Laurel-Concord-Coleridge as part of the East bracket. Kickoff is set for 6:00 PM.
**6,000 Yard Career Passer Alert**
*Austin Endorf-North Bend Central - Sharpshooting Tiger quarterback completed 21 of 31 passes for 189 yards and a touchdown in North Bend’s 32-25 win over a pretty good David City High team.
Endorf not only connected with Breckin Peters for a scoring pass, but also ran for a pair of critical 5 yard touchdown runs with the Scouts keying on junior Ethan Mullally, especially in the red zone.
Mullally still managed to rush for 131 yards on 26 tries and a TD in the win. That swells his season rushing total to 1,197 yards (13 TDs)
Austin Endorf’s 2019 passing yardage numbers place him among the state’s premier quarterbacks. The 185 pound senior has hit 65% of his 255 pass attempts for 1,917 yards with 9 TDs. For Austin’s career; 486 of 792 passes for 6,077 yards and 63 TDs (26 INTs). Not many in Nebraska can top those numbers.
North Bend (8-1) earns the #4 seed in the Class C-2 playoffs and will host a 6-3 North Platte St. Patricks team on Friday. Right above the Tigers in the bracket? BRLD playing Wilber-Clatonia.
*Hunter Washburn-Ashland-Greenwood - This is the guy that makes Ashland-Greenwood a dangerous football team. The 5-10, 165 pound senior quarterback went to the air 26 times against Lincoln Lutheran in the season finale and ended the night with a career high 315 yards passing and 3 touchdowns in the 41-19 win.
Washburn, who will not take of running out of the backfield too much, has connected on 96 of his 167 passes this season for 1,496 yards, 17 TDs with only 5 INTs. Hunter has already equalled his touchdown total from a year ago and has surpassed his 2018 passing yardage mark of 1,417 yards.
The Bluejays seem to be the mystery team of Class C-1, sweeping through the season unscathed against a schedule some have defined as “weak”. But as we all realize, Ashland-Greenwood does not control who they play during the football season. So until C-1 post season gets underway, this group will continue to drive opposing coaches nuts with all the “mystery” surrounding the team.
Personally, I think this is a pretty solid football team with a great head coach in Ryan Thompson, the St. Edward native.
Ashland-Greenwood was awarded the #3 seed in Class C-1 and will get a home game this Friday, facing a 5-4 Cozad squad. Awaiting the winner of this matchup will be the victor of the Wayne/Kearney Catholic tilt.
*Riley Shanaman-Gering - Rushed for 133 yards on 14 carries and scored all three Gering touchdowns (4, 45, 7 yards) in the Bulldogs 26-21 loss to Chadron.
*1000 Yard Rusher/1000 Yard Passer Alert**
*Caleb Allen-Ainsworth - Sophomore QB completed 15 of 19 aerials for 295 yards and five touchdowns in the Bulldogs 70-28 victory over Boyd County.
Allen, whose Ainsworth team finished just 2-6 this season, ended 2019 with 1,302 yards passing (21 TDs) and 1,084 yards rushing (13 TDs), 32 tackles on defense with 3 interceptions.
**1000 Yard Rusher Alert - 2nd Time Around**
*Serbando Diaz-Dundy County/Stratton - Despite seeing limited action in the Tigers 54-12 win over Southwest, the junior blazer still gained 108 yards on just 8 carries and raced for two touchdowns.
That put Serbando Diaz over the thousand yard rushing for the second year in a row for coach Mike Spargo’s Dundy boys. Serbando is now at 1,007 yards (19 TDs) and joins Sophomore QB Quade Myers in that Tiger backfield as two-time 1000 yard rusher.
Dundy County/Stratton (7-1) is seeded #8 in the Class D-1, Eight Man West bracket and will host Hemingford this Thursday at 6:00 MT. If the Tigers prevail, they will face te winner of the 2nd seeded Fullerton (7-1)/Morrill (4-4) matchup next Wednesday.
*Haydon Olds-Minatare - Holy cow, here is another guy that exploded that last half of the season. The 5-10, 165 junior back broke loose for 258 yards on 32 carries (2 TDs) in Minatares 52-26 win over Potter-Dix last week.
That gives Haydon Olds a final 2019 season total of 1,080 yards rushing with 15 total TDs. The junior really was a shiner on defense for the 2-6 Indians, who compete in Six Man football. Olds was all over the football field, making 97 tackles, recording 18 tackles for losses, and recovering a pair of fumbles.
*Rope Anders-Crawford - Had 19 tackles in the Rams regular season finale 62-21 win over Hyannis. That gives Rope 118 tackles for 2019 and 237 for his short 25 game career.
The 5-10, 160 pound senior captain has helped 5-3 Crawford reach the Six Man playoffs this season and the Rams will make the long 402 mile jaunt to McCool Junction to face the 4th seeded and unbeaten Mustangs this coming Friday.
Have to absolutely love that name “Rope”, especially if the dude lives on a ranch up there in Crawford.
And that first name is in a heated race for sandhills name of the year with a couple of Cody-Kilgore guys, Cactus Millar and Waylon Schneider.
Ah yes, Waylon. Now if only the Cody-Kilgore had a "Willie" to go with him, we’d be singing about Luckenbach, Texas with Waylon, Willie and the Boys.