St. Paul RB Eli Larson is the state's leading 11-Man football rusher. The Wildcat senior is also a Division One prospect at the linebacker position.
*Eli Larson, Wildcats O-Line, Wildcats D-Line-St. Paul - It was a signature win for the Wildcats last Friday as they pulled off a great 25-10 win over traditional power David City Aquinas.
The state’s leading rusher, St. Paul junior Eli Larson rushed for 169 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown and logged 10 tackles on the defensive side in the playoff victory. That raises Larson’s rushing total to 1,987 yards with 30 TDs after 11 games.
Senior Jackson Seward added his usual running game support with 71 tough up-the-gut yards on 18 touches, and a pair of critical touchdowns. Fullback Trevor Dugan was able to chip in 50 yards in 10 totes against the gang tackling Aquinas defense.
St. Paul is another semifinal team that not only boasts a top notch offensive line, but also a stellar defensive line and linebacking corps that surfaced in 11-Man football this season.
The Wildcat offensive line of Nathan Sheer (6-1, 250, Jr.), Kaleb Peterson (6-4, 337, Jr.), Dawson Fox (6-4, 264, Soph.), Gunnar Nyberg (6-1, 170, Jr.) and Tyson Rasmussen (5-10, 170, Sr.) have been blowing open holes and leading the way on sweeps for Eli Larson and friends all year long.
And about that Wildcat defensive line and linebacking corps that has helped hold 11 opponents to a total of 85 points this season. That’s 7.7 per contest and I can guarantee St. Paul’s offense is putting up more than 7 points a game on offense.
The St. Paul defensive line consisits of DE Logan Vogal (6-4, 205, Jr.), DT Nathan Sheer (6-1, 250, Jr.), DT Kaleb Peterson (6-4, 337, Jr.), and DE Dawson Fox (6-4, 264, Soph.). Those linebackers; Jackson Seward (5-10, 173, Sr.), Eli Larson (6-0, 215, Jr.) and Trevor Dugan (5-10, 181, Soph.).
The Wildcats will face their toughest test of the season when they travel to Oakland-Craig in next Friday’s C-2 semifinals.
**1000 Yard Receiver Alert - 2nd Time Around**
*Jay Ducker, Zavier Betts, Nate Glantz-Bellevue West - Jay Ducker ran for 159 yards on 24 carries and 5 total touchdowns, while Zavier Betts was catching 4 Nate Glantz aerials for 111 yards and a terrific 87 yard TD reception in the Thunderbirds statement making 48-0 shutout of defending champion Omaha Burke..
The touchdown reception enabled Watts to establish a new Class A Career TD Reception record with his 45th career catch. That eclipsed former Bellevue West star CJ Johnson’s (2001-2014) record of 44.
The 111 yards receiving also pushed Zavier Betts over the 1000 yard receiving mark for the second time, giving him 1,044 yards (16 TDs) in 11 games this season. Betts had 1,035 yards receiving his sophomore year.
The incomparable Jay Ducker hit paydirt on rushes of 2, 2, and 18 yards and caught scoring passes of 27 and 11 yards from Glantz. The trio of rushing TDs gives Ducker 104 career total touchdowns, tying him with Omaha North’s Calvin Strong. It also leaves Ducker two TDs shy of breaking Moses Bryant (Elkhorn South) career mark of 105.
The three time Thunderbird 1000 yard rusher now has 1,709 yards on the season (33 TDs) and a robust 5,344 in his 43 game career at Bellevue West.
As for T-Bird QB Nate Glantz, another huge day at the office for Class A’s most prolific quarterback. The deadeye gunslinger hit 13 of 19 passes for 277 yards and 3 TDs in the Burke win. For 2019, Glantz has connected on 70% of his 229 pass attempts for 2,634 yards, 33 touchdowns with just one interception.
You can’t ever post a blog about Bellevue West withot including the Thunderbird offensive line, the Pigs in Purple, who have been responsible for the T-Bird offense putting up 6,105 Total Yards and an average of 53.6 points a game, are the best in the business.
Ditto for that Bellevue West defense, who help hold the vaunted Omaha Burke offense to 127 total yards. That group has recorded 110 tackles for losses, recorded 28 sacks, intercepted 18 passes, recovered six fumbles, blocked 5 punts and a pair of field goal attempts.
The Bellevue West “D” has allowed opponents just 3.2 points a contest this year, and last I checked the starting defense had not allowed a touchdown all season.
**1000 Yard Rusher Alert - 2nd Time Around**
*TJ Urban, Isaiah Harris-Millard South - Patriots QB and RB’s combined rushing total of 316 yards was too much for Grand Island to overcome, as Millard South overcame an early 10-0 deficit to take a 34-24 Class A quarterfinal win.
Junior quarterback TJ Urban looked stronger than ever, running for 175 yards on 26 carries and scoring touchdown runs of 16, 39, 1, and 29 yards. It was the sixth 100+ rushing game of 2019 for Urban and 10th of his young career. He now has 1,170 yards for the year with sixteen touchdowns.
The amazing Isaiah Harris raced for 142 yards on 28 carries and a 38 yard touchdown gallop in the victory over the Islanders. The GI rushing game runs Isaiah’s 2019 rushing number to 1,818 yards and 27 TDs. In the last 22 games, the Millard South back has run for 3,362 yards.
The Patriots are just a step away from the Class A finals, a place they haven’t been since losing the Class A championship 28-20 to Millard North. Coach Andy Means troops will have to beat a surging Omaha Westside team next Friday to get back to Lincoln.
Westside has smashed Creighton Prep 49-13 and shutout a top notch Lincoln SE team 35-0 thus far in the post season.
*Jack Dotzler-Omaha Roncalli - Class B standout completed 22 of 31 passes for 377 yards and three touchdowns in the Crimson Pride’s 41-17 quarterfinal win over Grand Island Northwest. That gives the Roncalli star athlete an unofficial 2,957 yards passing with 35 touchdowns and just 4 INTs in 2019.
Again, unofficially Jack Dotzler has 811 yards passing though two playoff games. The Class B record is held by Christian Dotzler of Omaha Skutt, who threw for 909 yards during the 2009 playoffs.
Roncalli gets Scottsbluff at their house this Friday after being eliminated by the Bearcats a year ago out west. If you recall, Roncalli led 38-14 at halftime before Dotzler was knocked out the game. Scottsbluff scored the next unanswered 46 points to win the bizarre contest, 60-38.
**1000 Yard Receiver Alert**
*Broc Douglass, Carson Cahoy-Grand Island - All-State WR/Athlete Broc Douglass closed out an illustrious two year career for Grand Island with a remarkable performance. Douglass did all he could to keep the Islanders in the game in that 34-24 loss to Millard South.
Broc caught 8 passes for an unofficial 165 yards and a trio of touchdown catches covering 77, 1, and 10 yards. The splendid senior accounted for all of GI’s touchdowns in the contest.
The 165 receiving yards unofficially gives Douglass 1,016 yards for the season and I cannot recall any receiver in history having 1000 receiving yards for Grand Island, but we’ll leave that to the official prep historian(s) to figure that one out.
Broc’s unofficial numbers for this season were; 60 receptions for 1,016 yards and 15 total TDs, 360 return yards (kick/punt) for a 1,326 total yards. He also logged 41 tackles (7 TFL) and made 3 interceptions for the Islander defense.
Last season, Douglass had the luxury of playing two more games, as GI made the Class A finals. His junior season All-State numbers; 907 receiving yards (9 TDs), 376 kick return yards, 462 punt return yards (2 TDs) for a Total Yardage number of 1,782 yards with 9 touchdowns. Broc also recorded 35 tackles in 2018.
Douglass finished his sterling career with an unofficial 3,108 Total Yards, 25 touchdowns and 83 tackles and a 1,001 other things on both sides of the ball you just never see unless you study film or watch every GI game.
Carson Cahoy stepped in to the starting QB role for Coach Jeff Tomlin this season and picked right up where his 2018 All-State predicessor, Cole Evans left off a year ago.
Despite the loss to Millard South in the quarterfinal game last week, Cahoy still hit 19 of 28 passes for 166 yards and two TDs. That gives Carson unofficial 2019 totals that read like this; 156 of 240 passes for 1,920 yards, 17 TDs and not a single interception. None.
The naysayers wondered if the son of Olympic gymnist Phil Cahoy could run the ball coming into this season.
He certainly did. Carson took off 78 times for 428 yards, third best on the team. That’s 2,348 All-Purpose yards, which placed Cahoy in the “Dual-Threat” category as the season rolled on.
*Mason Nieman and Backfield Buddies-Waverly - Waverly quarterback Mason Nieman broke loose for an early 76 yard touchdown jaunt enoute to 148 yards on 13 carries and another TD run of 55 yards in the Vikings 48-14 Class B quarterfnal win over Hastings.
Ethan Kastens added 97 yards on 13 touches and a six yard TD run, Evan Canoyer contributed 64 yards on 7 carries, and Zane Schwang chipped in 53 yards on 16 carries with touchdown runs of 48 and 7 yards. Schwang also caught an 8 yard TD pass from Nieman. Waverly rushed for 372 yards as a team in the big quarterfinal win.
The Vikings will travel to Omaha for a rematch against the Skutt SkyHawks this Friday. Skutt escaped with a 28-21 overtime win during the regular season in Waverly.
Mason Nieman incidentally, has 1,197 yards rushing with 13 TDs to go with his 438 passing yards (7 TDs).
*Tyson Gordon-Omaha Skutt Catholic - Incredible playmaker rushed for 153 yards on 16 carries and 62 and 8 yard runs in Skutt’s 41-14 win over Nick Bohn and Bennington.
The SkyHawk defense held Bohn to 202 yards passing and picked him of three times in the game. The sturdy Skutt defense made sure this time around with Bohn was a far cry from opening night back in August when the Badger QB burned the Skyhawk “D” with his 44 of 66 passing for 407 yards/4 TD night.
It was also reported by an Omaha source that Tyson Gordon is over a thousand yards rushing and passing this season.
*Sebastian Harsh-Scottsbluff - Bearcats quarterback returned with a vengence after sitting out the opening playoff game for the Bearcats. Harsh bolted for 275 yards on 43 grueling carries and hit paydirt from 2, 4, 16, 3, and 8 yards out in Scottsbluff’s 49-28 win over Norris. That gives the All-State QBLB 1,449 yards with 27 touchdowns for the season.
Jasiya DeOllos, who has been heating up as of late, added a 14 yard scoring jaunt in the Bearcats 21 point win.
*Nick Bohn-Bennington - The state’s most prolific 11-Man passer ended his 2019 season with an unofficial 3,116 yards, 38 TDs and 13 INTs. In just two seasons as the starting QB for Bennington, the southpaw gunslinger compiled an unofficial 4,455 yards, 52 TDs with 19 INTs.
Nick Bohn threw an incredible 640 career passes, completed 390 of those (61%) for those 4,455 yards and 55 TDs. An average game for Nick Bohn the past two seasons looked like this; (21 games; 19 of 30 passes for 264 yards and 2.5 touchdowns per outing.
Outstanding, and don’t forget he also ran for 792 yards and 11 more scores.