State champs start new year on sour note

All seven state champions finished last season with perfect records. Not all were perfect to open 2019.

Three of last year’s champs lost openers, including Class C-1 winner Aurora. Fourth-ranked Adams Central took a 21-0 halftime lead en route to the 24-8 win over the No. 1 Huskies. Adams Central quarterback Evan Johnson was 22 of 32 for 225 yards and two touchdowns.

Eight Man-1 champ Creighton rallied in the second half but fell 28-22 to Wakefield. Eight Man-2 winner Johnson-Brock lost 74-42 to Elmwood-Murdock, which led 60-20 at halftime.

Omaha Skutt (B) and Centennial (C-2) earned decisive wins, while Class A champ Omaha Burke needed a blocked field goal in the closing seconds to edge Lincoln Southeast by two Thursday night.

Six Man champ Wilcox-Hildreth also won its debut.

Other surprises, too

Aurora and Creighton started this year No. 1 in their class, as did David City Aquinas in C-2. But the Monarchs were shut out in the second half as C-1 Columbus Scotus rallied for a 27-19 win.

Also in C-2, No. 4 Battle Creek lost 7-3 to Shelby-Rising City, which made a goal-line stand to finish the win.

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Tigers roaring out of the gate

One of the most surprising scores Friday was in McCook, where Hastings rolled to a 30-7 win over the Class B No. 3 Bison. It was Hastings’ first win against McCook since 2000, snapping a 17-game losing streak.

Hastings pitched a shutout until McCook scored with 35 seconds left.

Mother Nature wins

Lightning affected games in the Panhandle and the north-central part of the state. CWCE’s game with Hartington-Newcastle was halted early in the second half with CWCE up 14-8. It will completed on Sept. 20.

Grand Island Northwest’s 43-0 win at Gering was stopped by weather in the fourth quarter. The Scottsbluff-North Platte game also was halted.

Top performances

Wyatt Collingham, York: Scored a pair of long touchdowns in the second half as York pulled away to a 30-9 win over Alliance. It was 9-9 at the half when Collingham returned the opening kickoff of the second half 94 yards. He also scored on a 49-yard run in the fourth quarter.

Blake Thompson, Columbus: Kicked a 30-yard field goal in overtime to give the Discoverers a 27-24 win over Norfolk. Columbus blocked Norfolk’s field goal attempt.

Nick Bohn, Bennington: Quarterback was 44 of 68 for 414 yards and four touchdowns in a 49-28 loss to Omaha Skutt. Skutt QB Tyson Gordon had 296 yards of total offense and scored four touchdowns.

Eli Larson, St. Paul: Rushed for 218 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries in a 34-13 win over Central City.

Connor Floyd, Sutherland: Rushed for 163 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries in a 38-34 win over South Loup.

Caden Egr, Yutan: Rushed for 270 yards and four touchdowns in the Chieftains’ 29-14 win over Freeman.

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