Throughout the summer, The World-Herald will prepare you for the high school football season with a story previewing a new team or teams each day. This week, Eight Man-1 is featured, with Nos. 5-10 today.

In front of an amped-up, overflow crowd at O'Neill High School, top-seeded Ainsworth flipped a 27-5 first-half deficit with a 17-2 run that gave it a 51-46 lead with just under three minutes left. But the fourth-seeded Cyclones scored the final five points of regulation, never trailed in overtime and hung on for the win.

Humphrey St. Francis built a 21-19 halftime lead over Clearwater-Orchard here with defense. Sprinkling a little offense in over the final 16 minutes, the Class D No. 1 Flyers pushed their lead to 45-29 midway through the fourth quarter before holding of a late Cyclone rally for a 52-47 win in a rematch of a first-round game at last year's Class D1 state tournament.

It took a rare November thunderstorm to end an even more unusual sight Monday. As lightning and rain approached, the first ever onfield celebration of a Burwell football state playoff semifinal win finally came to a close.

The saying could just as well be, “When the going gets tough, the Clearwater/Orchard seniors are in their comfort zone.” Countering Elgin Public/Pope John’s punishing ground game, led by running back Andrew Fangman, was no small task. Fangman carried the ball 33 times for 140 yards and two touchdowns and paced the Wolfpack with two touchdowns.

A disappointing 1-7 season in 2014, with several close losses and an absence from the playoffs, resulted in a regrouping by this year’s Clearwater/Orchard seniors that continues to motivate the team during this year’s playoff run.

Elgin Public/Pope John turned a pair of third-quarter interceptions into 14 points, then turned that momentum into a 36-14 win over Clearwater-Orchard here Thursday.

Friday gave Andy Kerkman one more day to play with his summer league teammates. “I love my OSA guys,” said Kerkman, a 6-foot-8 post who played for the Omaha Sports Academy Crusaders. “I’d play year-round with them if I could. It’s so much fun.”

A relentless defensive effort sent Humphrey St. Francis into the semifinals as the Flyers turned back Clearwater-Orchard 62-53 here in the opening round of the Class D-1 state tournament at Lincoln Southeast on Thursday.

With Humphrey St. Francis doing everything it could to grab the momentum early in the fourth quarter, Clearwater/Orchard turned to its Flyer-swatter.

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