It was the night of broken records for the Thunderbirds as they defeated Burke 48-0 in the quarterfinals of the Class A state playoffs.
Jay Ducker finished with five touchdowns to tie the Class A career total touchdown record of 104. Zavier Betts caught a touchdown pass to break the Class A career receiving touchdown record with 45.
This was the second straight game Ducker finished with five total touchdowns. He ran for three and caught two more in this one. Ducker finished with 167 yards on the ground and 38 yards receiving. Betts would finish with four catches for 111 yards and a touchdown.
The Thunderbirds got on the board first, after a Ducker touchdown with 3:21 left in the first quarter to make it 6-0. Then, to start the second quarter, Nate Glantz thew a pitch pass to Betts and showed off some speed, taking it 87 yards to the end zone.
Ducker then scored on a screen pass from Glantz to make it 20-0.
Glantz finished 13-for-19 with 227 yards and three touchdowns. He did throw his first interception of the year, but followed it up with a touchdown pass on the next drive.
Head coach Michael Huffman was complementary of Glantz and the way he bounced back after the interception.
“He doesn’t get rattled at all. The thing that’s cool about Glantz is his grandpa was a high school football coach in Texas so he has been around it his whole life.”
Huffman added “He’s making a lot of checks out there and that’s what makes the offense so tough. I tell him all the time I am going to teach you what to look for but you have to be man enough to go do it. He goes out there and plays and put us in good position.”
The Thunderbirds took a 27-0 lead into the half and the story of this one was the defense.
The Thunderbird defense has yet to give up a point in the playoffs and protecting the zero is something that coach Huffman and the coaching staff have preached all season.
“We are really proud of our defense. For them to be playing like this and they read the press a little and listen to the radio shows. In this day and age they are going to hear it so we attack it.
“Our D line is awful tough to run against. The linebackers run really well. We are undersized at outside linebacker but they set the edge to make them turn back in and the safety play has been great.”
He added “It helps when you have kids like Cruz Jurado, our kicker as well, who I think is one of the best corners in the state, that can play with Xavier Watts”.
Watts is a Notre Dame commit for Omaha Burke and an absolute superstar, but was held to zero catches in the contest.
Bellevue West ran double teams on him all night to keep him out of the game. Coach Huffman had a simple answer as to why.
“The kid’s great.”
Along with Jurado, Jerome Houston and Devin Mills had great games in the secondary, holding quarterback Reid Burke to 5-for-17 passing for just 19 yards.
Bellevue West’s Wyatt Cooper also finished with an impressive late touchdown run to make it 48-0.
Burke’s Tonio Clark finished with 108 yards on 18 carries for the Bulldogs. Starting running back Jaylon Roussell left the game early in the first quarter after sustaining a leg injury. He did not return.
Bellevue West out gained Burke 498-135 in this one. The Thunderbirds are outscoring opponents 90-0 so far in the playoffs.
The Thunderbirds will head to Buell Stadium next Friday to face the No. 1 seed Millard West in the Class A state semifinal match up.