COUNCIL BLUFFS — The cousins had never faced each other in a real football game.
Junior Brady Miller of Council Bluffs Lewis Central and senior Parker Sell of Glenwood met near midfield at game’s end on Friday night. They both held a healthy respect for the other’s team.
Glenwood, a huge underdog to the high-flying Titans, had the ball in L.C. territory with less than three minutes remaining, trailing only 28-14. But second-rated L.C. turned a Calvin Fricke interception into two late scores, sealing a harder-than-it-looks 42-14 Class 3-A, District 9 victory at Titan Stadium.
The Rams (4-4, 1-3) outgained L.C. 339-286, held a huge time-of-possession advantage and had 17 first downs to the Titans’ 13. But Lewis Central (8-0, 4-0) held at least a two-score lead from the middle of the second quarter on, clinching its seventh straight postseason appearance and 13th in all as the district champion.
“Hat’s off to the Glenwood kids. They played hard. They played physical,’’ L.C. coach Jim Duggan said. “Give credit to our kids, too. They did what they had to do to win. It was good for our kids to have to play four full quarters against a very competitive, hard-nosed football team.’’
Glenwood coach Cory Faust was asked if it was his team’s best performance of the year.
“Best game we played this year, probably, yeah,’’ he said. “I’m very proud of our guys. They battled to the end what I think is probably the most talented team in the state. I can’t complain about anything tonight.’’
Lewis Central scored on three straight possessions bridging the halftime break to take control. Mike Gittins scored on a 13-yard touchdown run, TCU recruit Max Duggan hit Josh Simmons perfectly in stride on a 27-yard scoring pass, and Duggan connected with Simmons again from 10 yards out to give the Titans a 28-0 lead with 8:49 left in the third quarter. Duggan finished 7-for-11 for 115 yards and two scores through the air, and added eight carries for 90 yards and a touchdown.
But the Rams scored on drives of 80 and 81 yards on their next two possessions to make it interesting. Glenwood relied on the power running of seniors Cooper Silvius (11 carries, 105 yards) and Noah Carter (16 carries, 82 yards). They each scored on short touchdown runs to cap those drives and make it a 28-14 game with 2:41 left in the third.
“I thought our kids believed that they could be successful, and then as they hung in longer and longer, I think more and more so,’’ Faust said.
The Glenwood coach said Sell, a 6-2, 245-pound senior, was instrumental in the Rams’ 275-yard rushing attack.
“That might not be something that you noticed from the stands, but we used him as kind of a flex tight end tonight, and he did a really good job for us,’’ Faust said.
Sell and Miller, a tight end/defensive end, are the sons of twins Ryan Sell of Glenwood and Holly (Sell) Miller of Council Bluffs. They lined up across from each other several times.
“Most of the time I was just putting him on his butt,’’ Sell said with a smile.
Miller, who had a 16-yard catch and a six-yard run along with some outstanding defensive plays, took the playful ribbing in stride and said he enjoyed the experience.
“It was a once-in-a-lifetime thing to play him,’’ said Miller, whose father, Dan, is the Titans’ head boys basketball coach and a football assistant. “It was like when we would play football in the backyard when we would have family gatherings. It was something we marked on our calendar for sure. They played very hard. They’re a very physical team.’’
Fricke’s interception led to two Titan scores in the final 2:45, but Sell said he was proud of his team’s effort.
“We played our hearts out,’’ he said. “Honestly, I don’t think the score shows how close that was. It should have been a lot closer. But they are a great team.’’
While Lewis Central will be in the playoffs, Glenwood will seek a winning record in the season finale against Creston.
“It’s always important to get over .500, and to send our seniors out with a win is really important to us,’’ Faust said.
Glenwood.........................(4-4, 1-3) 0 0 7 7 – 14
CB Lewis Central..........(8-0, 4-0) 7 14 7 14 – 42
LC: Mike Gittins 18 run (Drake Nettles kick)
LC: Gittins 13 run (Nettles kick)
LC Josh Simmons 27 pass from Max Duggan (Nettles kick)
LC: Simmons 10 pass from Duggan (Nettles kick)
G: Cooper Silvius 3 run (Alex Nusser kick)
G: Noah Carter 4 run (Nusser kick)
LC: Duggan 52 run (Nettles kick)
LC: Gittins 7 run (Nettles kick)
RUSHING: G, Cooper Silvius 11-105, Noah Carter 16-82, Zach Carr 18-45, Dominic Robertson 3-38, Colton Schutte 6-5. LC, Max Duggan 8-90, Mike Gittins 8-67, Dane Norville 1-8, Brady Miller 1-6.
PASSING: G, Zach Carr 6-11-1, 48 yards; Colton Schutte 1-1-0, 16 yards. LC, Max Duggan 7-11-0, 115 yards, 2 TDs.
RECEIVING: G, John Palmer 3-28, Zach Carr 1-16, Ryan Blum 2-13, Dominic Robertson 1-7. LC, Josh Simmons 4-89, Brady Miller 1-16, Thomas Fidone 1-8, Dane Norville 1-2.
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July 1: Air Force's Nic Ready hit a total of 55 home runs, including 21 in the final round, to edge Clemson's Logan Davidson in the College Home Run Derby.
June 28: Oregon State celebrates beating Arkansas 5-0 in Game 3 of the CWS championship series. The Beavers were down to their last out in Game 2 before a fielding blunder by the Razorbacks gave Oregon State a second life, which it took advantage of en route to the program's third CWS title.
June 18: John Olson, and Mary Olson, of Joslyn, Missouri, take cover under ponchos during a rain delay at the College World Series. Weather provided a huge problem in the 2018 CWS.
June 15: Cam'ron Jones checks out Omaha.com, or perhaps Snapchat, during the Huskers' Friday Night Lights camp.
June 9: Terence "Bud" Crawford celebrates his knockout victory over Jeff Horn to win the WBO welterweight title.
May 19: Fremont's Lucas Arps celebrates after winning the Class A 400-meter dash.
May 19: Lincoln Lutheran's Josie Puelz celebrates after clearing 12-2 in the Class C girls pole vault final.
May 17: Omaha Roncalli's Thomas Alitz cheers after scoring the winning run in the Class B state championship on a hit by Logan McGill with two outs in the seventh inning.
May 17: Omaha Creighton Prep's Eric Allbery, right, jumps on the dogpile as the Junior Jays celebrate their Class A state baseball title.
May 16: South Sioux City celebrates after defeating Elkhorn South in the Class B state soccer championship.
May 16: Kearney's Christian Dakan hoists the Class A state soccer trophy alongside his teammates.
May 14: Millard North celebrates its Class A state championship win against Omaha Marian by kissing the trophy.
May 14: Elkhorn celebrates its Class B championship win against Omaha Skutt.
May 9: Creighton's Will Robertson celebrates with Jack Strunc, left, after homering the fifth inning. The Jays beat UNO 10-6.
May 6: The Omaha Storm Chasers play below the newly dedicated Steve Pivovar Press Box at Werner Park.
April 21: Nebraska coach Scott Frost leads the Huskers during the Tunnel Walk on Saturday.
April 19: Awardee Dante Pettis and former Nebraska football player Johnny Rodgers, right, pictured during the Jet Award dinner.
April 19: Former Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne attends the Jet Award dinner.
April 18: UNO's Malik Moore pitches against Nebraska. The Mavericks knocked off the Huskers for the first time since 1997.
April 11: Creighton's Will Robertson, left, and Thomas Luevano celebrate scoring on a triple by Jack Strunc.
April 11: Elkhorn South's Mo Gohr gains control of the ball in the Metro Conference tournament.
April 3: Scott Frost directs Husker football practice.
March 31: The boy campers pose for a photo at the Athletes' Training Center Futures Camp at Iowa West Field House.
March 27: Creighton defeats Nebraska 3-1 in the first matchup of the year.
March 25: Kansas' Malik Newman drives to the basket, drawing a blocking foul on Duke's Wendell Carter. The Jayhawks went on to defeat the Blue Devils in Omaha and advance to the Final Four.
March 17: Arizona State defeats Nebraska in the NCAA women's basketball tournament.
March 17: Nebraska Wesleyan celebrates winning the NCAA Division III men's basketball championship.
March 17: Creighton defeats Iowa in the NCAA women's basketball tournament.
March 17: Creighton's bench cheers as Michael Emodi hits a walk-off homer off Wichita State pitcher Chandler Sanburn in the Jays' home opener.
March 12: The Creighton women's basketball team celebrates making the NCAA tournament.
March 10: Wahoo celebrates winning the Class C-1 boys basketball title.
March 10: Nebraska City Lourdes' Quinten Vasa, center, holds up the trophy with his team.
March 9: Glenwood celebrates after winning its first boys basktball state title in school history.
March 3: Scotus' Maggie Feehan celebrates after winning the Class C-1 title.
March 3: Superior celebrates a Class C-2 championship win over Ravenna.
Feb. 25: Nebraska's Duby Okeke enters Pinnacle Bank Arena with his family at his side on senior night. The Huskers went on to defeat Penn State.
Nebraska's Duby Okeke enters Pinnacle Bank Arena with his family at his side on senior night.
Feb. 24: Creighton's Marcus Foster, left, and Davion Mintz celebrate Creighton's 89-83 overtime victory over Villanova.
Feb. 24: Omaha Creighton Prep's Colin LaFave competes in the 100 fly at the state swimming meet.
Feb. 24: Lincoln Southwest's Anna Heinrich, left, and Josie Ford celebrate their first and second-place finishes in the 50 free at the state swimming meet.
Feb. 17: Kearney’s Phillip Moomey is in the top 20 of his weight class in two national polls. Only a handful of underclassmen are ranked ahead of him.
Feb. 17: Omaha Burke's Jakason Burks does a backflip after defeating Millard South's Caleb Coyle during the 106-pound Class A final at the state wrestling championships.
Jan. 28: Omaha Lancers coach and General Manager David Wilkie talks with players during first-period action.
Jan. 26: UNO's Luke Nogard skates past the referee.
Jan. 16: Nebraska's Nicea Eliely gets excited during pregame introductions as the Huskers went on to beat Iowa.
Nebraska's James Palmer celebrates a home victory over Illinois with Isaiah Roby.
Jan. 9: Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, left, talks with former Nebraska coach Tom Osborne during the Outland Trophy banquet.
Jan. 4: Omaha Burke's Shereef Mitchell brings the ball up court in the Metro holiday tournament.
Jan. 1: In his final game with Central Florida, now-Nebraska coach Scott Frost raises the Peach Bowl title after defeating Auburn.