Central Nebraska Football
Lexington Returns Veterans for this Season
Lexington made steps in the right direction last season after posting a 3-6 record in the 2017 campaign. The good thing for the Minutemen is that they return a large group of starters from that squad. "Our seniors have a lot of varsity experience as most have started since their sophomore season," said head coach Jeff Rowan.
A key to Lexington's success this season will be the ability to run the ball."In order to capitalize on our experience, we must improve at running the ball," said Rowan. The offense has potential to be very hi-powered as it will led by seniors Jake Leger at quarterback as he threw for over 1,000 yards and Logan Callahan as he snared 45 passes for 816 yards and nine touchdowns. Lexington will begin the season on August 24th against Crete.
Dusters Ready for New Schedule in C-1
After going 3-6 last season, Holdrege was ready to get rolling for this 2018 season. Holdrege returns five starters on both sides of the ball. Some of the players to watch for Holdrege are Aaron Drews, (5-10, 150, WR/DE, Sr.) Gage Holt, (5-9, 180, RB/LB, Sr.) and Blake Garrelts. (5-9, 240, OL/DL, Jr.) Also watch for Drake Johnson (5-11. 150, WR/DE, Sr.) as he returns to his defensive end spot.
Entering his 20th season at the helm, head coach Jason Hale and his squad are ready for the season. "We are very excited to get started. We look to be very competitive with a new C-1 schedule. We return a great deal of experience with 18 letter winners and five starters on each side of the ball." Hall also said size, speed, and depth will be key for them. "We have good size and speed. We will need to develop depth, especially on the offensive and defensive lines. The Dusters will begin the season on August 24th against Ogallala.
Quickness Key for Axtell Football
Axtell had a season in which they went 2-6 last year, but they have the tools to bounce back this season. The Wildcats will return five starters this season and a good amount of production. That includes Tyler Danburg (6-1, 170, QB/LB, Sr.) and Creighton Kring (6-2, 170, RB/S, Sr.). Those two will look to anchor both sides of the ball.
Head coach Dean Marsh likes the talent and mentions the youth of his team. "We are a young team that will be looking for some leadership from our upperclassmen." Marsh also mentions that the schedule is favorable this season. "Fortunately, our schedule is a little more favorable as we faced both last year's state champion and runner-up in BDS and Blue Hill. Axtell will begin the season on August 24th against Loomis.
Experience Returns for Eustis-Farnam Knights
Eustis-Farnam posted a 2-6 record last season, but this team returns a lot of depth for this year. The Knights will have to learn how to play the six-man game, but they have a lot of talent coming back. Head coach Bryan Fangmeyer returns eight starters in each side of the ball.
That includes Christian Timm (6-1, 180, RB/LB, Sr.) as he rushed for 1,000 yards and also had seven interceptions last season. Fangmeyer had this to say about his team, "We return a lot of experienced players, however, we are going to six-man and have to learn the game." the Knights will begin the season on August 24th against Creek Valley.
New Coach for Southern Valley
After struggling last season and finishing with a record of 1-8, Southern Valley has a new football coach. Russell Norton inherits a young team but has some talent as well. Carter Bose returns as the team's top passer as he threw for 350 yards last season. On the defensive side of the ball, AJ Weatherwax had 79 tackles last season. The Eagles will start the season on August 24th against Sandy Creek.
New Head Coach, But Experience Returns for Alma
Alma looks to bounce back from a down season last year with a record of 2-6. New head coach Brendan Johnsen looks to turn things around and thinks that this group can do that. "We have a strong group of kids returning this year. Most of them were kind of thrown into the fire last year without much experience. I feel all of them grew as players as the year went on.," said Johnsen.
Joesph Felix (5-6, 190, RB/LB, Sr.) and Tanner Kauk (6-0, 220, OL/DL, Sr.) will look to lead the way for the Cardinals this season. Johnsen also thinks that his team will be deep in a few spots. "We should be relatively deep at skilled positions." Alma will start the season on August 24th against Bertrand.
Vikings Return Number of Key Players
Bertrand had a tough season last year as they finished 1-7. But, there's reason to be very optimistic this season as they return seven starters. Head Coach Steve Colfack really likes the team he has this season. "We have seniors with good experience and hope that this will lead to success."
Jordan Holen (5-9, 195, RB/LB, Sr.) will look to build off of a strong season last year in which he was an All-District linebacker. Miles Peterson (6-1, 205, E/DL, Sr.) will also be a key factor as he was an All-District 2nd teamer last season as an end. Bertrand will begin the season on August 24th against Alma.
Wolves Bring Back Experience
Loomis finished last season with a record of 3-5 and will be looking to play at a higher level this season. The Wolves will be led by Issac Wahls. Wahls (6-0, 180, RB/LB, Sr.) is a speedy back and has started for the past couple of seasons. Issac Dunn (6-1, 250, OL/DL, Sr.) will look to hold things down on the offensive line.
Coach of the Wolves for 38 years, Denis Reese, has this outlook for his team this season, "We should be improved from a year ago. We will need to develop players that can play in the line. Our skill position players should be as good as anyone in our district. We will need to improve on defense to give our offense the opportunity to play up to our ability. Positive leadership by our seniors will improve our younger players much quicker so that they can help us as our season goes on." Loomis will open the season on September 2nd against Axtell.
Pirates Ready for Eight-Man Action this Season
After playing six-man football last season with the lack of numbers, Elwood will be back in the eight-man ranks for the 2018 football season. Elwood was able to find success last year as they played six-man football for the second straight season. The Pirates went 5-3 last season and will look to build off of a solid season.
Head Coach Patrick Ropers really like what his team has to offer this season. "We are looking forward to moving back to the eight-man game. We have a good core of guys with multiple years of experience that we will rely on." One of the athletes they will rely heavily on will be Raul Clouse (5-6, RB/LB, Sr.). Clouse totaled 493 yards rushing last season and 13 touchdowns. He also had 60 tackles. Zacob Evans (6-1, WR/S) had 28 catches for 401 yards and four touchdowns.
SEM Looks to Compete in Six-man Game
SEM will be making the transition from eight-man to six-man this season. His fifth-season at the helm at SEM, Brent Streeter likes the team he has this year. "We do have some experience coming back. Our biggest hurdle will be finding a system on both sides of the ball that will take advantage of our particular skill set."
With the transition to six-man, there will be new opponents for SEM. "Since we will not be familiar with our new opponents and their athletes, preparation and attention to detail will be critical," Said Streeter. Players to watch for SEM will be Tennyson Williams and Jacob Sleicher. SEM will begin their season on August 24th against Elba.
Defensive Side of the Ball Key for Swedes this Year
Gothenburg looks to continue to build this season, but it will help this year as they will have seven returning starters on both sides of the ball. With that type of depth, the Swedes are optimistic about this season. "We are certainly optimistic heading into this season. We played a lot of underclassmen and they came along great," said head coach Craig Haake.
"We can go six or seven deep at linebacker without a drop-off and we return our five leading tacklers from last year," said Haake. Three-year starter Vincent Nichols (6-0, 170, S, Sr.) will look to be a leader in the back end of the defense so that aspect of the defense will be solid as well. Owen Geiken was Class C-1 leading tackler last year and the 6-0 sophomore will look to build off that strong campaign from last year at his linebacker spot. The Swedes will open the year on August 24th against Chase County.
Elm Creek Looks for Young Talent to Step Up
Following last year's 7-3 season, the Elm Creek Buffaloes have a lot of holes to fill. Elm Creek graduated 10 players from last year's team that made an impact. Entering his 7th year at the helm, Jayce Dueland has complied a record of 49-15 and looks for young talent to be key for the Buffaloes. "We will have a lot of holes to fill this year with 10 graduating senior from last years football team. The nice thing is that we went undefeated at the JV level and a lot of kids got playing time at that level. Our depth will be a big key for us this year as we will not have as many guys out as we have had the last 5 years. The good thing is we have a good mix of talent from every class," Said Dueland.
An important part of the gridiron is the offensive and defensive line. Lucky enough for Elm Creek, those will be strengths as well. "Our O-Line and D-Line will be led by mostly seniors and our Backfield on both sides of the ball will be mostly underclassmen. Our strength has to be our offensive and defensive line as they have the most returning starters that have seen varsity action," Said Dueland.
The backfield has some uncertainty, but Dueland thinks that won't be an issue. "I think our backfield will be just fine even though there are a lot of new starters because most of the players filling in rolls have played special teams the last one-to-two years."
Karsten McCarter will be an athlete to watch form Elm Creek as he returns at the back end of the defense and on offense, he will play quarterback. The Buffaloes begin the season on Friday, August 24th against their rival Overton.
Elm Creek falls to South Loup
Elm Creek hosted South Loup in the second round of the D-1 playoffs on Wednesday night. The Bobcats got the better of the Buffaloes with the final score being 36-22. It was a tight ball game in the first quarter as South Loup struck first and led 8-0. Elm Creek was able to bounce back and score and at the end of the first period, it was 8-6 in favor of South Loup. In the second quarter, South Loup took over in the second quarter scoring two touchdowns. Elm Creek did counter with one of their own but trailed 22-16 at halftime. In the third quarter, Elm Creek tied it up at 22 heading into the final quarter. In the fourth, South Loupe didn't leave any doubt as they scored 14 points in the final period. For South Loup, Jack Rush had 138 yards passing with two scores and 124 yards rushing and two scores. For Elm Creek, Preston Walker had 146 yards passing and two scores and he also had 63 yards rushing and a score. South Loup moves onto 11-0 and will face CWCE on Tuesday. Elm Creek finishes the year at 7-3.
Arapahoe falls in first round of playoffs
Arapahoe hosted Giltner on Thursday in the class D2 state playoffs. It was an intriguing eight seed versus a nine seed, and the road squad, Giltner, won by a score of 58-50. It was a back and forth affair that the Hornets were able to win. Arapahoe finishes the year at 7-2. Giltner moves on to battle the number one seeded Mullen Broncos.
Monarchs are royal pains for the Swedes
The Gothenburg Swedes drew one of the toughest first round match-ups in the C-1 Playoffs. Aquinas Catholic is a senior-laden team even being ranked No. 1 at some points during the season. They proved to be too much for the Gothenburg winning 42-6.
Gavin Rech scored four rushing touchdowns and passed for two more as the perennial power Aquinas Monarchs built a 35-0 lead at the half. The Aquinas defense proved to be too much for the Swedes offense that often hurt itself. Gothenburg turned the ball over five times including four interceptions.
The Swedes got on the board in the fourth quarter with an eight-yard run by Maquire Bartlett.
The Swedes finish the season with an impressive 7-3 record. Aquinas moves on to the second round of the playoffs.
Overton falls in first round of playoffs
Overton, the 12 seed faced off against the five seeded Hemingford Bobcats and the Eagles fell 22-14. The Bobcats started the game strong as Miles Davis took the opening kickoff 76 yard to lead 6-0. Conner Swanson then scored for the Bobcats on a 56-yard touchdown to make the score 14-0. Swanson then scored from nine yards out in the first quarter to make it 22-0. In the second quarter, Overton did score and they trailed by two scores at halftime. In the second half, Overton tried to come back but it was too little, too late. Overton finishes the year at 5-4. Hemingford moves onto face Medicine Valley.
Elm Creek moves to the next round
Elm Creek faced the #6 seeded Burwell on Thursday night and the underdog Buffaloes won by a score of 14-12. Elm Creek jumped out to a 6-0 lead after one quarter of play. The score came from Preston Walker on a 46-yard run. In the second quarter, Devon Walker scored again this time from nine yards out and the halftime score was 14-0. Burwell looked like they were going to come back and take the lead, but a couple of failed extra points resulted in just 12 points. For Elm Creek, Devon Walker led Elm Creek with 108 yards and two touchdowns. Elm Creek moves on to play South Loup on Thursday. Burwell finishes at 6-3 on the year.
Overton moves onto 5-3
Overton battled against Ravenna on Friday night and the Eagles won by a final score of 58-24. Ravenna started quick with a long touchdown run from Drew Bolling, and then a 74-yard fumble recovery for a score and the Blue Jays led 16-0 just two minutes into the game. Overton then took over and dominated the remainder of the game in route to their fifth win. For Overton, Caleb Moore had a big-time game recording six total touchdowns while rushing for 187 yards and catching the ball for 45 yards. For Ravenna, Drew Bolling had 153 yards on the ground and a score. Ravenna ends the season at 1-7. Overton will face Hemingford on Thursday in the D-1 playoffs and that game can be heard on Kami 1580 AM, 100.1 FM, or krvn.com with pregame starting at 3:45 P.M.
Elwood ends season with a big win
Elwood faced off against a solid Silver Lake team on Friday night and the Pirates were able to handle the Mustangs by a final score of 54-12. Elwood started their domination from the beginning as they posted 24 points in the first quarter. In the second quarter, Elwood kept it rolling as they scored another 16 points and led 40-0 at halftime. In the third period of play, Silver Lake did score a touchdown, but Elwood did as well and led 48-6 after the quarter. In the final period of play, each team scored a touchdown to round out the scoring. Elwood finishes the year at 5-3 and Silver Lake finishes their season at 4-4. Neither team qualified for the playoffs this season.
Holdrege finishes season with a win
Holdrege battled against Hastings on Friday night for their final game of the season and the Dusters played well. Holdrege took down the Tigers by a final score of 25-14. The Dusters bounce back and win in their season finale after dropping three straight games. Hastings ends the year with a final record of 4-5. Holdrege finishes the year at 3-6.
Wildcats finish season at 2-6
Axtell faced off against Giltner on Friday night and the Wildcats couldn't keep up with Hornets and fell 56-30. Axtell couldn't keep up with the Hornets and they finish the season with a final record of 2-6. Giltner now has a record of 5-3 and they take into the D2 state playoffs with a #9 seed and will face #8 seeded Arapahoe on Thursday.
Cozad finishes football season at 2-7
Cozad hit the road and went to the northwest part of the state to battle Gordon-Rushville. The Mustangs took down the Haymakers by a score of 37-8. In the first quarter, Gordon-Rushville jumped out to a 7-0 lead. In the second quarter, Cozad scored a touchdown and converted the extra point, but Gordon-Rushville maintained the lead and led 13-8 at halftime. In the third quarter, the Mustangs took over and scored 16 points and led 29-7 after three periods. In the final quarter, Gordon-Rushville scored eight more points. For the Mustangs they finish the year at 5-4. For Cozad they end their season with a record of 2-7.
Bertrand falls in season finale
Bertrand hosted Medicine Valley on Thursday night and the Vikings fell to the Raiders 56-8. It was a tightly contested battle in the first quarter as Medicine Valley scored eight points to Bertrand's zero. In the second quarter, Medicine Valley took over and scored 21 points and they led 29-0 at halftime. In the third quarter, Medicine Valley kept up the strong play, posting another 21 points. In the final quarter, Bertrand did outscore Medicine Valley 8-6. Medicine Valley is now 8-0 and is the #4 seed in the D1 state playoffs and will face the #13 seeded Cambridge Trojans. Bertrand finishes the season at 1-7.
Arapahoe takes down Eustis-Farnam
Eustis-Farnam hosted Arapahoe on Thursday night and the Warriors handled the Knights 66-20. Arapahoe started strong posting 26 points to the Knights zero. In the second quarter, Arapahoe held Eustis-Farnam to zero points again while scoring 34 points themselves. The Warriors led 60-0 at halftime. In the second half, Eustis-Farnam did outscore the Warriors 20-6 but it was too little, too late. For Arapahoe, Gentry Anderson was a dual-threat as he had 222 yards and three touchdowns through the air and 110 yards and two scores on the ground. For Eustis-Farnam Christian Timm had 79 yards and a score on the ground. Arapahoe is now 7-1 and will face Giltner in the D1 state playoffs. Eustis-Farnam ends the year at 2-6.
SEM loses to Central Valley
SEM was searching for their first win of the season on Friday night, in their final game of the season. SEM was unable to get the win as they fell to Central Valley by a final score of 64-6. Central Valley started fast putting up 22 points in the first quarter. In the second quarter it was much of the same as they scored another 24 points to SEM's six. In the second half, Central Valley tightened up on defense and scored another 18 points. Central Valley is now 3-5 and will face the #2 seeded Blue Hill in the playoffs. SEM finishes 0-8 on the season.