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State Football: Burke wins first title

November 22, 2018

Class A: Omaha Burke 24, Grand Island 20

Husker recruit Xavier Watts caught third-quarter touchdown passes of 62 and 37 yards and the Bulldogs overcame a 14-3 deficit for its first football title in school history.

Grand Island opened the scoring with a 33-yard pass, Burke responded with a field goal then the Islanders put their ground game in motion and extended the advantage to 14-3 with 5:43 left before halftime. The Bulldogs nearly answered with a touchdown just before the break but an ineligible receiver call negated the play.

They finally did answer on Watts’ two scoring plays.

Grand Island began to turn it around on a fourth-down stop on its own 23 then marched 69 yards for a go-ahead touchdown with 6:49 left in the game.

Burke responded with 71 yards on nine plays and a 7-yard touchdown run. The Bulldogs then intercepted a pass with 1:14 left and Watts caught a 12-yard pass on fourth down to seal it.

Class C-1: Aurora 49, Ord 7

Baylor Scheierman and the Huskies stuck to what got them there and ended the season with their first state football title since 2009.

Scheierman tossed his seventh interception of the season late in the first quarter with Aurora trailing 7-6. It didn’t phase him in the least. Scheierman went on to complete three passes to the end zone finishing the year with 59 total touchdown passes as the Huskies scored 43 straight points to put the game away.

Kaleb Moural put together 84 yards rushing and 52 receiving in the first half with two scores.

Class C-2: Centennial 29, Norfolk Catholic 28 OT

Norfolk Catholic seemed destined to raise an 11th state championship trophy when the defense sacked Centennial quarterback Wyatt Ehlers for a 7-yard loss on second down in overtime.

The Knights scored first to open the extra period then had the Broncos backed up in third-and-17. But instead, Ehlers scrambled away from tacklers for 15 yards then connected with Jackson Hirschfeld in the end zone.

Ehlers found Hirschfeld again on the two-point conversion and celebrated its first-ever state football title.

Class D-1: Creighton 32, Burwell 30

Bryce Zimmerer stepped in for injured quarterback, and cousin, Brayden Zimmerer and led Creighton to the victory behind 54 carries for 320 yards.

Bryce had never played quarterback before but found just enough success behind the Bulldogs offensive line, capping a game-winning drive on a 1-yard plunge across the goal line with 4:04 remaining.

Burwell drove down to the Creighton 28 on the next possession but mishandled a snap and gave up the ball on a fumble with 2:17 left.

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