And the beat goes on for Class C-1's defending champs.
Fifth-ranked Norfolk Catholic was sharp throughout its 53-18 win Wednesday night over No. 9 Boys Town in the second round of the state football playoffs.
The Knights scored touchdowns on their first four possessions of the game, added a blocked punt return for a score and an interception return for a touchdown to run out to a 40-6 lead and cruise to the victory. They have eclipsed the 50-point mark in each of their two playoff games.
“They're every bit as advertised,” Boys Town coach Kevin Kush said.
Kush's group failed to earn a first down on five of its first six possessions. The Cowboys struck for two first-half touchdowns — both scoring passes from Josh Hayden to David Austin.
But Norfolk Catholic tallied six touchdowns before the break.
Riley Knake caught a jump ball in the end zone for a 7-yard score to get things going early. On the next possession, Michael Obermiller blocked the Boys Town punt, scooped it up and scored from 5 yards out for a second touchdown in less than two minutes.
Following the first Boys Town touchdown, the Knights set up another scoring drive with a 58-yard kickoff return. Jackson Love finished the drive with a touchdown run from three yards out. The next time Norfolk Catholic touched the ball it needed only two plays, the second being a 29-yard connection from Jordan Bellar to Allen Lewis.
Nick Arlt capped the next Norfolk Catholic possession with a 38-yard touchdown run before Brand Becker picked off Hayden and returned it 32 yards for a score.
“Anytime you get a pick six, a blocked punt and hit a deep ball, and you're down quick,” Kush said, “that's tough.”
Knights coach Jeff Bellar liked the way his team came out sharp.
“I think we played well early,” Bellar said. “We got things going right away for us. That was big for us.”
Bellar said he expected that kind of attention.
“We just have too much respect for Boys Town to come down here and expect that anything is going to be easy,” Bellar said. “Our goal was to come down and play with a lead because we knew they had very big-play capability. Any time you play Boys Town, they have people that can strike you at any time. We told our guys that we thought if we could really execute that we could move the football and put some points on the board, and I think we were able to do that.”
Norfolk Catholic scored on five plays on the opening possession of the second half to force a running clock. Boys Town would never get closer than 35 the rest of the way.
“We knew,” Kush said. “We knew going in that we were outmanned, and that was the case.”
Hayden threw for 151 yards in the first half for Boys Town, including the two touchdown tosses.
Norfolk Catholic advances to next Tuesday's quarterfinal round and will host Fort Calhoun.
Norfolk Catholic (9-1).........................20 20 7 6—53
At Boys Town (6-4)...............................6 6 0 6—18
NC: Riley Knake 7 pass from Jordan Bellar (Bellar kick).
NC: Michael Obermiller 5 blocked punt return (Bellar kick).
BT: David Austin 13 pass from Josh Hayden (pass failed).
NC: Jackson Love 3 run (kick failed).
NC: Allen Lewis 29 pass from Bellar (Bellar kick).
NC: Nick Arlt 38 score (Bellar kick).
NC: Brandon Becker 32 interception return (Bellar kick).
BT: Austin 19 pass from Hayden (pass failed).
NC: Love 11 run (Ethan Hale kick).
NC: Christian Sextro 1 run (kick blocked).
BT: Dresean Panky 11 run (run failed).
RUSHING: NC, Nick Arlt 6-15, Jackson Love 8-78, Kyle Schaefer 1-3, Isaac Pfeifer 1-minus 1, Allen Lewis 1-4, Christian Sextro 10-33, Nathan Brtek 3-14, Matt Miller 1-minus 5, Team 1-minus 1; BT, Dresean Panky 6-29, Trey Scott 11-15, Josh Hayden 4-0, David Austin 2-9, Andre Goynes-Wynn 2-0.
PASSING: NC, Jordan Bellar 9-11-0 157, Zach Pospisil 2-2-0 12; BT, Hayden 10-17-1 157.
RECEIVING: Lewis 3-45, Riley Knake 5-65, Dylan Field 1-47, Beau Schommer 2-12; BT, Austin 3-35, Christian Bingo 5-78, Kelson Charles 2-44.
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