DWIGHT, Neb. — In the midst of two teams slugging it out in the mist Monday night, Camden Robley caught most everything that came his way to take East Butler to the Eight Man-1 championship game.
The East Butler senior snared eight passes from Dalton Bohac, three for touchdowns. He then sealed the 22-12 victory over previously undefeated Howells-Dodge with a pair of interceptions in the final eight minutes.
“It was awesome to see,’’ Tigers coach Shawn Biltoft said.
There’s no double coverage on Robley, either, when Trevor Havlovic lines up on the other side. Havlovic has 63 catches for 893 yards and 12 touchdowns this season.
“Trevor obviously is our guy,’’ Biltoft said, “but Camden is definitely right in there.”
Robley went past his teammate in touchdown catches with 14 and increased his season totals to 51 catches for 724 yards.
“That’s what makes them tough,’’ Jaguars coach Mike Speirs said. “A lot of times somebody has one good kid like Havlovic. And then to have Robley on the other side, it makes it tough on our level.”
No. 9 East Butler (10-2) avenged its season-opening loss to the Jaguars, who picked off Bohac twice in the final two minutes of that 26-20 game. The Tigers’ other loss was 6-0 to Palmer in the rain.
Since then, they’ve lost their starting left guard and their starting running back (Carter Stara) to injuries at the end of the regular season. Bohac is now the principal running threat, carrying 26 times for 45 yards against the Jaguars.
But the lefty can wing it. And Monday was when the Tigers needed it the most.
Bohac hit Robley for a 51-yard touchdown on third-and-6 early in the second quarter to open the scoring. They connected on a 17-yarder with 1:14 left in the half, with Bohac throwing a jump pass to Robley for the 2-point conversion and a 14-0 halftime lead.
“They were single-covering me with an undersized DB,’’ Robley said. “So we just aired it out to me and Trevor all night and it worked for us.”
The dagger play came on a fourth-and-goal from the 20 on the opening drive of the second half. Robley caught the ball in the far corner of the end zone.
“They made a couple big pass plays where they found a matchup that worked for them and their kids made some big catches,’’ Speirs said. “That one at the start of the second half, it looked like we had them stopped and the Robley kid makes a great catch to put us down 22-0.”
A Speirs team never lies down, and the Jaguars got a short-field touchdown courtesy of a tipped punt that Kade Hegemann returned 8 yards to the Tigers 14. Dylan Horejsi scored from the 3.
After a three-and-out, Dax VanLengen’s 17-yard touchdown pass to Jon Yosten cut the East Butler lead to 10 with 10:54 left. Still 22-12, the Jaguars got the ball back on downs at their 34 only to have Robley snag his first interception by dragging his toe inbounds.
No. 4 Howells-Dodge (11-1) then started its final two possessions at the 9 and the 1 following Havlovic punts of 43 and 54 yards.
The Jaguars held East Butler to 41 yards rushing but managed only 68, with Horejsi getting 64.
East Butler heads to Memorial Stadium for the first time to meet undefeated and No. 2 South Loup, which beat Medicine Valley 36-16. East Butler’s only championship was in 1989, when finals still were played on home fields.
Rouse powers Blue Hill
In Mullen earlier Monday (this game I watched on the National Federation online network), Blue Hill’s John Rouse directed the No. 3 Bobcats to the Eight Man-2 final on a 42-30 win over the host Broncos.
Rouse ran for 290 yards and three touchdowns from his side of the field on 27 carries and completed 6-of-7 passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns.
Blue Hill (12-0) scored on its first three possessions to lead 21-0 at halftime. Rouse had a 44-yard run and Lane Deisley a 6-yarder and Rouse threw a 9-yard pass to Joe Mackin, who also was 6-for-6 on extra points.
The Bobcats’ defense, meanwhile, held No. 5 Mullen (11-0) to 107 yards. Lane Edis had only 69 yards on 17 carries.
Mullen got back into the game with two scores from Edis, 60 yards and 3 yards, in the first six minutes of the second half, to make it 21-14. The Broncos didn’t get closer.
Rouse found McCoy Menke behind the Mullen defense for a 39-yard touchdown and a 28-14 lead on Blue Hill’s ensuing possession. It went to 35-14 on another 44-yard run for the quarterback and 42-22 on his 42-yarder in the final two minutes.
Edis finished with 196 yards and also caught one of Brady Gracey’s two touchdown passes in the late going. The other went to Zachery Sweet.
Another undefeated team awaits Blue Hill in the final — Bruning-Davenport/Shickley. It easily defeated defending champion Falls City Sacred Heart to stay undefeated and return to Lincoln for the third time in four years.
EAST BUTLER 22, HOWELLS-DODGE 12
Howells-Dodge (11-1)......0 0 6 6—12
At East Butler (10-2)......0 14 0 8—22
EB: Camden Robley 51 pass from Dalton Bohac (pass failed)
EB: Robley 17 pass from Bohac (Robley pass from Bohac)
EB: Robley 20 pass from Bohac (Trevor Havlovic pass from Bohac)
HD: Dylan Horejsi 3 run (run failed)
HD: Jon Yosten 17 pass from Dax VanLengen (pass failed)
Rushing: HD, Horejsi 26-64, VanLengen 5-0, Jordon Brichacek 1-4. EB, Bohac 26-45, Wilson Wright 3-(minus 1), team 3-(minus 3).
Passing: HD, VanLengen 8-17-2 80. EB, Bohac 14-23-0 188.
Receiving: HD, Yosten 3-26, Brichacek 3-37, Kade Hegemann 2-17. EB, Robley 8-147, Havlovic 3-20, Jaden Rhynalds 3-21.
BLUE HILL 42, MULLEN 30
Blue Hill (12-0).....14 7 7 14—42
At Mullen (11-1).....0 0 14 16—30
BH: John Rouse 44 run (Joe Mackin kick)
BH: Lane Deisley 6 run (Mackin kick)
BH: Deisley 9 pass from Rouse (Mackin kick)
M: Lane Edis 60 run (Luke Christian pass from Brady Gracey)
M: Edis 3 run (run failed)
BH: McCoy Menke 39 pass from Rouse (Mackin kick)
M: Zachery Sweet 63 pass from Gracey (Ty Kvanvig run)
BH: Rouse 44 run (Mackin kick)
BH: Rouse 42 run (Mackin kick)
M: Edis 27 pass from Gracey (Kvanvig run)
Rushing: BH, Rouse 27-290, Deisley 15-45, Macklin, 2-5. M, Edis 30-196, Stichka 9-24, Zachery Sweet 1-0.
Passing: BH, Rouse 6-7-0 118. M, Gracey 5-144-1 144.
Receiving: BH, Macklin 3-33, Deisley 1-41, Menker 2-44. M, Edis 1-27, Sweet 3-111, Luke Christen 1-6.
Which team will win the Eight Man-2 state championship?
Blue Hill defeated Mullen 42-30 and BDS earned a 50-16 victory over Falls City Sacred Heart to advance to the Eight Man-2 championship. Which team do you think will win?