LYONS, Neb. — Sawyer Kean got his best workout of the year.
The 165-pound junior ran for 288 yards and six touchdowns — both career highs — on 20 carries in top-ranked Falls City Sacred Heart’s 56-14 win Wednesday at No. 6 Lyons-Decatur Northeast in the second round of the Eight Man-2 playoffs.
“He probably had only 75 carries before today,” Sacred Heart coach Doug Goltz said. “There’s been games where we haven’t had a whole lot of plays.”
The Irish (10-0), who will host Humphrey St. Francis (9-1) in Tuesday’s quarterfinals, shut out Lyons-Decatur in the second half.
Cougars quarterback Alex Brehmer, who threw 62 times in his first nine games, was 9 of 32 against the Irish for 124 yards with a touchdown and four interceptions.
He ran for 148 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries, finishing his senior season with 1,815 yards and 27 touchdowns for 8-2 Lyons-Decatur.
“He can make something out of nothing,” said Goltz, who marveled at Brehmer’s execution on the zone read.
The Cougars led once, 8-7, on Brehmer’s 10-yard run and 2-point conversion pass to Marcus Hegy.
Senior quarterback Chaz Dunn, who scored the Irish’s other two touchdowns, regained the lead for his team with a 39-yard run late in the first quarter.
Kean began his scoring with breakaways of 48 and 45 yards before the Cougars ended the half with a 9-yard scoring pass from Brehmer to Hegy.
Kean was Sacred Heart’s only ballcarrier in the second half before reserves entered the game. He had touchdown runs of 1, 57, 9 and 3 yards after the break.
“We knew their quickness in the defensive backfield was good,” Goltz said, “but we thought their lack of size up front would allow us to run.”
Lyons-Decatur coach Dan Maresh, who considers Sacred Heart his team’s best opponent, said he thought the Cougars were in the game until the third quarter.
Lyons-Decatur trailed 21-8 when it turned the ball over on downs at the Irish 21 and still was within three scores when Colin Niemeyer intercepted a pass on fourth-and-11 from the Irish 12 late in the third period.
Falls City Sacred Heart (10-0) ..... 15 14 20 7—56
At Lyons-Decatur (8-2) ............... 8 6 0 0—14
SH: Chaz Dunn 23 run (Yianni Haralabidis kick)
LD: Alex Brehmer 10 run (Marcus Hegy pass from Brehmer)
SH: Dunn 39 run (Sawyer Kean run)
SH: Kean 48 run (Haralabidis kick)
SH: Kean 45 run (Haralabidis kick)
LD: Hegy 9 pass from Brehmer (run failed)
SH: Kean 1 run (Haralabidis kick)
SH: Kean 57 run (Haralabidis kick)
SH: Kean 9 run (kick blocked)
SH: Kean 3 run (Haralabidis kick)