*Kale Bird, Tyler LeClair, Cayden Bluhm-Bennington - Trio made life tough for GI Northwest on opening night 2020. When all the smoke cleared at Viking Field northwest of Grand Island, Bennington had pulled off a 54-31 win over the Class B pre-season rated #6 Vikings.
The Badgers, rated #7 coming into the game, were paced by QB Kale Bird’s aerial show that included completing 11 of 21 passes for a monster 320 yards and a trio of TD tosses. Bird also ran the ball 14 times for 47 yards which included TD runs of 1 and 3 yards.
Tyler LeClair, a 6-2, 210 pound bruiser, rushed 22 times for a 166 yards and a pair of touchdowns covering 3 and 73 yards. 6-0, 160 pound junior Cayden Bluhm caught 4 of Bird’s aerials, good for a fat 187 yards and THREE touchdowns. Bluhm’s TD receptions came from long distance catches covering 70, 64 and 42 yards.
Junior Luke MacDonald led Bennington’s defense with 14 tackles, Tyler LeClair followed with 12 stops, TEN of which were solos. Senior Josh Coe added 10 tackles, while Cayden Bluhm and junior Austin Holtz both recorded interceptions in the game.
**Reece Bode, Payton Frederick-Battle Creek - Senior duo combined for 520 yards of offense in Battle Creek’s wild 58-50 win over Central City. RB Reece Bode ran for a staggering 309 yards on 38 carries and 4 touchdowns in the game. Quarterback Payton Frederick completed 18 of 20 passes for 221 yards and 4 touchdowns, targeting six different receivers in the game.
Junior Baron Buckendahl grabbed two Frederick passes, both touchdown receptions (31, 24 yards). Mason Mink also had a pair of receptions that resulted in touchdowns covering 36 and 3 yards.
Junior Rich Bauer had 4 catches for 45 yards, senior Chase Oltmanns latched on to 5 passes for 45 yards, junior Korlyn Battershaw caught 3 aerials for 31 yards and sophomore Phillip Carstens hauled in two passes for 20 yards.
*Koa McIntyre-Fremont Bergan - Speedy 6-0, 190 pound junior quarterback had a huge night in the Knights impressive 41-13 win over Class C-2 rated Yutan. McIntyre rushed for 167 yards on 17 carries with a pair of touchdowns and completed 10 of 20 passes for 95 yards and three more scores in the contest.
The multi-talented McIntyre also made 3 solo stops on defense and picked off a Yutan pass for good measure.
*Collin Ludvig-Wahoo - Defending Class C-1 champions picked up right where they left off in 2019 and that’s without 2000 yard rusher, Trevin Luben. No worries here, enter 5-10, 170 pound junior Collin Ludvig.
In the Warrior’s season 40-0 dominating win over pre-season #6 Columbus Scotus, Ludvig bolted for 220 yards on 28 carries and TD runs of 14, 3 yards. QB Tate Nelson, who completed 8 of 10 passes for 79 yards and a 30 yard TD toss to Cooper Hancock, added 74 rushing yards on 7 carries and a pair of scoring runs covering 40 and 2 yards.
Big Grant Kolterman had 10 tackles on defense, Gavin Pokorny added 7 stops and Collin Ludvig 5, as the Warriors limited Scotus to 194 yards of total offense.
C-1, #1 Wahoo has a great match up Friday night when always tough Adams Central comes to town.
**Brodey Johnson, Ethan Mullally-North Bend Central - Quarterback Johnson (6-1, 185, Junior) stepped into the starting North Bend QB role by hitting 20-25 passes for 230 yards and a touchdown in the Tigers 37-13 win over Fort Calhoun. Tough running Ethan Mullally, a 1000 yard rusher in 2019, continued his torrid rushing pace by gaining 128 yards on 25 carries with 2 touchdowns in the win.
*Jack Kildow-Bayard - In a nail biting 26-20 win over the Morrill Lions, quarterback Kildow completed 16 of 31 passes for 207 yards and 4 TDs (all the scores). Senior Trevor Reish caught 6 Kildow passes for 106 yards and a pair of TDs, 5-11, 175 pound senior Christian Leonard grabbed 3 aerials for 58 yards and a score and sophomore Trent Marquez had 6 catches for 43 yards and the remaining touchdown.
Leonard was also a defensive standout, recording 24 tackles (10 solos, 14 assists)
*Eli Larsen, Tommy Wroblewski-St. Paul - All-State RB Larson rushed for 152 yards on 24 totes and touchdown runs of 26 and 6 yards in the Wildcats opening game loss to Pierce. The lightning fast Larson also returned a Pierce kickoff 96 yards for his third touchdown of the night.
WR Tommy Wroblewski caught three Brenden Knapp passes for 162 yards, which included TD grabs of 89 and 70 yards.
On defense, 6-3, 175 pound junior Jackson Klinginsmith led the ‘Cats with 12 tackles (7 solos), Tommy Wroblewski added 10 tackles, Eli Larsen added 8 more (7 solos) and Logan Vogel made 6 stops with 3 coming behind the Pierce line of scrimmage.
Trevor Dugan, Kaleb Peterson and Vogel all recorded sacks in the 55-38 loss to Class C-1’s 2nd rated Pierce.
*Nolan Wetovick-Cozad - Versatile junior QB rushed 17 times for 128 yards and a pair of touchdowns and completed 8 of 10 throws for 107 yards which included an 18 yard scoring toss to senior Jacob Engel, in Cozad’s opening night victory (35-7) over bitter rival Gothenburg.
Quinston Larsen-Grand Island Heartland Lutheran - Arguably Six-Man football’s top player for 2020, Larsen lived up to his tag by scoring SIX touchdowns in the 1ST QUARTER in the Red Hornets 63-32 win over Elba.
Larsen, who not only rushed for over a 1000 yards a year ago, but also amassed over a thousand receiving yards, a rare occurrence at any level of football.
Larsen, who played for Red Cloud as a freshman and sophomore, ran for touchdowns covering 6, 46, 2 and 9 yards in the 1st stanza. He also caught a 38 yard scoring pass and retuned a punt 69 yards for another TD before the opening quarter was in the books. And you realize they only play 10 minute quarters in Nebraska 6-Man football games.
Quinston added a 7th score in the 2nd quarter when he returned a fumble 42 yards for a touchdown, then notched his 8th of the afternoon on an 18 yard run in the 3rd.
So, the final stats saw Larson rush for 119 yards on just 7 touches with 5 TDs, catch 2 passes for 66 yards and a score and hit the endzone on defense and special teams as well.
*Jacob Diessner-Spalding Academy - Diessner, who will rival Heartland Lutheran’s Quinston Larsen for “Best Player in Nebraska 6-Man Football, was a one man wrecking crew in the Shamrocks 47-40 opening night win over defending 6-Man champion Harvard.
The 5-9, 145 pound Diessner ran 31 times for 265 yards and FIVE touchdowns, completed 4 of 8 passes for 138 yards and two scores, caught one pass for 8 yards, made 14 tackles on defense with 11 solo stops, caused a fumble, made an interception and blocked a field goal in the game. No, Diessner didn’t drive the bus home only because the game was in Spalding
*Braedyn Ollendick-Elkhorn Valley - Ollendick, one of 8-Man football’s top rated quarterbacks, certainly looked like it in Elkhorn Valley’s 38-12 win over Summerland (Clearwater/Orchard/Ewing).
Ollendick completed 13 of 18 passes for 194 yards and 4 TDs, rushed 12 times for 85 yards and 2 TDs (1,5 runs) and just simply looked in control the entire way while leading his team to a big halftime advantage.
Adam Miller was on the receiving end of three Ollendick scoring strikes which covered 20, 14 and 13 yards. Maye Decker made the other touchdown catch of 25 yards.
*Jared Drake-Elmwood-Murdock - 143 yards on just 10 carries with touchdown dashes of 48, 1 and 41 yards plus a 55 yard TD pass from Reid Fletcher in E/M’s 43-6 win over Mead.
**Logan Wiedel, Dominic Stewart-Thayer Central - Running back Stewart (5-6, 160, Sr.) and QB Wiedel combined to make it a long evening for Shelby/Rising City as the Titans outscored the Huskies 58-46.
Stewart broke loose for 268 yards on 21 carries and 4 touchdowns (10, 52, 12, 46 runs) while Logan Wiedel, one of Nebraska’s finest Track and Field athletes, was completing 8 of 19 passes for 194 yards and 3 touchdowns and rushing for 93 yards on 11 carries and yet another score.
Wiedel’s favorite pass target in the win was Trey Fischer, who caught three passes with two going for touchdowns (65, 63 yards). Andrew Heinrichs had 2 catches for 58 yards and a TD (10 yards).
Sophomore Gunnar Mumford and Dominic Stewart led the defense with 20 tackles apiece, while Andrew Hinrichs recorded an interception.
*Caleb Busch, Barak Birch-Burwell - Busch ran for 137 yards on 14 carries and 3 touchdowns in the Longhorns 50-15 victory over Atkinson West Holt. Quarterback Barak Birch completed 7 of 9 passes for 76 yards and 2 scores to make life tough on the Huskies in the 2020 curtain raiser.