SHICKLEY, Neb. — The final seconds didn’t matter this time.
BDS’ sudden offense turned a highly anticipated matchup into a rout as the Eagles beat Falls City Sacred Heart 50-16 Monday to advance to the Eight Man-2 final against Blue Hill. BDS has scored 218 points in four playoff wins.
“A great team beat us,” Sacred Heart coach Doug Goltz said. “They’ve got everything. They’ve got size, speed, they’re physical, and they don’t make many mistakes. It would have taken a near-perfect game to have beaten them the way they played tonight.”
BDS quarterback John Christensen ran for 148 yards and two touchdowns and threw for 131 yards and three scores. He spent the fourth quarter on the sideline.
“I was surprised,” Christensen said.
The Eagles (12-0) were stopped on their first possession, then reeled off four touchdown drives that lasted 1:04, 0:18, 1:13 and 1:54.
Even the bad plays turned good. Caden Norder took a reverse for a modest gain and then fumbled, but teammate Thomas Mick scooped up the ball and ran about 30 more yards. The 43-yard play led to BDS’ fourth score. Christensen threw an interception — his only misfire in nine first-half pass attempts — but Christian Harring fumbled the ball back to BDS during the return. The Eagles scored four plays later to take a 36-8 halftime lead. A running clock was in effect for much of the second half.
This was the fourth matchup between the teams in the past two years. Sacred Heart’s only win was a 16-12 thriller in last year’s semifinal. In that game, quarterback Drew Bippes scored the winning touchdown on a sneak with 14 seconds to go.
“That was on our mind the whole season,” Christensen said. “Every. Single. Day.”
The Eagles will play in their third state final in the past four years; they won it all in 2015 and were runners-up in 2014.
Sacred Heart, which won its eighth state championship last year, lost 23-14 to BDS in the regular season. Monday the Irish decided to scrap their running game as Bippes threw 41 passes, completing 15 for 105 yards.
“They’re so physical and so big we were going to throw it, but we weren’t on,” Goltz said.
BDS coach Mark Rotter felt his team was fresher, having blown out three playoff opponents while Sacred Heart had to go the distance to beat Humphrey St. Francis and Bloomfield. Rotter also felt his team was more fortunate Monday.
“We got a lot of breaks,” he said. “Last year in the semifinal, we didn’t get any breaks.”
Round Five appears unlikely. Rotter expects his team to move up to Eight Man-1 next year.
“We’ve had four battles in two years and we’ll probably never see them again,” Rotter said.
Is that a shame?
“Depends on how you look at it,” Rotter said, exhaling.
FC Sacred Heart (10-2)......8 0 0 8—16
BDS (12-0)........20 16 8 6—50
BDS: Stengel 2 pass from Christensen (Norder run)
BDS: Mick 14 run (pass failed)
SH: Hoy 8 pass from Bippes (Bippes run)
BDS: Christensen 33 run (pass failed)
BDS: Christensen 3 run (Schardt run)
BDS: Norder 5 pass from Christensen (Schardt pass from Christensen)
BDS: Dickson 16 pass from Christensen (Schardt run)
BDS: Schardt 32 run (run failed)
SH: J. Hoy 6 run (Sells pass from Bippes)
Running: SH: Harring 15-77, Bippes 11-59. BDS: Christensen 21-148, Mick 6-57, Schardt 6-47.
Passing: SH: Bippes 15-41-2 105; BDS: Christensen 9-11-2 131.
Receiving: SH: J. Hoy 9-78, Arnold 4-24. BDS: Dickson 3-75, Stengel 3-23, Norder 2-23.