It was a fantastic year for all of the athletes on the offensive team. Talented quarterbacks, dynamic receivers and three running backs proved almost impossible to stop, not to mention the guys in the trenches who make it all happen.
The ITG teams are well represented on the offensive team this year, with 17 athletes named to the offensive side of the ball..
The 13-0 Class A state champion Bellevue West led the way with seven selections. Papillion-La Vista South, Gross Catholic, Papillion-La Vista and Platteview all have two selections. Ralston and Bellevue East have one selection each.
Nate Glantz from Bellevue West and Jake McGregor from Gross are the quarterback selections this season.
Glantz finished with one of the best seasons in the state at the quarterback position. He threw for 2,943 yards with 36 touchdowns and just one interception. He completed an impressive 70 percent of his passes as well. He averaged 226 yards per game. Glantz also ran for 521 yards and four touchdowns, giving him 40 total.
McGregor missed the end of the season due to an injury, but was still able to throw for 1,444 yards with 20 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He was a valuable piece to the Gross offense and a big reason they were able to make the playoffs.
Jay Ducker and Rashod Madden were the running backs selected for the team this season. Madden ran for 1,128 yards through nine games for 11 touchdowns. He averaged 125.3 yards per game and an impressive 7.3 yards per rush. Madden had to carry the Ralston offense on his back with a basically non-existent passing game. Madden is just a sophomore and will undoubtedly have a decorated career.
Ducker solidified himself as a top player in the state this season. The Thunderbird running back ran for 2,100 yards with 39 touchdowns. He ran for 161.5 yards per game and an unreal 9.8 yards per carry. The Northern Illinois commit also added 315 yards with 25 receptions and six touchdowns.
Zavier Betts and Keagan Johnson of Bellevue West, Gage Dengel of Bellevue East and Dylan Felty from Gross are the receivers on this year’s All-ITG offensive team. Papio South Tight end Will Swanson was also selected.
Betts is leaving Bellevue West as one of the most decorated receivers ever. He holds the Class A state receiving touchdown record with 46. This season he finished with 64 catches, 1,185 yards and 17 touchdowns, all of which were the most in Nebraska for Class A. He averaged an impressive 18.5 yards per catch and was lethal after the catch against defenses.
Johnson is a stellar junior for Bellevue West who got better as the season went on. Johnson finished the season with 52 catches for 652 yards and eight touchdowns. He added 93 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Johnson scored two touchdowns in the Class A state championship game in what was his best performance of the season.
Dylan Felty had a great season as well for the Cougars. Felty caught 29 passes for 432 yards and 10 touchdowns. The 10 touchdowns were tied for second in Class B. Felty played a key role in the Cougars’ run to the playoffs.
Dengel was the main playmaker for Bellevue East’s offense this season. Dengel caught 32 passes for 720 yards and a touchdown. In a shaky passing game, Dengel was the consistent go-to threat for the Chieftains. Dengel averaged an impressive 22.5 yards per reception and 80 yards per game.
Will Swanson, a Kansas State commit, was instrumental in the Titans’ success this season. Swanson caught 33 passes for 381 yards and three touchdowns. Swanson also averaged 11.5 yards per reception and 42.3 yards per game, both top in Class A for tight ends.
The five offensive lineman were all instrumental in their respective teams’ offensive game plans and rushing attacks. Caden Lind and Thomas Ault from Bellevue West, Joe Bianchi and Preston Kellogg from Papio and Paxton Swanson from Platteview are the lineman chosen.
Ault and Lind were critical to the Thunderbirds’ state championship and undefeated season. Ault recorded 27 pancake blocks while being effective in both the passing and running games. Lind recorded 51 pancakes and complimented Ault well, being effective at pulling out and blocking for Ducker.
Bianchi and Kellogg were also key pieces in the Papio running game that recorded over 2,000 yards rushing on the season and a 1,000 yard rusher in Cole Price. Bianchi recorded 42 pancake blocks while Kellogg recorded 54.
Swanson is a South Dakota football commit and helped Platteview to a winning record this season. He recorded 54 pancake blocks as well.
Nick Sich from Papio South and Braden Johnson from Platteview are the athletes selected. Sich was the running back for Papio South and was one the top rushers in the metro conference this season. He ran for 1,200 yards and 13 touchdowns, both good for fourth in the metro conference. He also was a good blocker and averaged 120 yards per game on the ground.
Johnson was the do-it-all guy for Platteview. He ran for 320 yards and a touchdown, had 76 receiving yards and a touchdown and he threw for 342 yards and five touchdowns. He also played defense, finishing with 38 tackles and two interceptions.
Cruz Jurado of Bellevue West was one of the top kickers in the state this season. Jurado averaged almost 50 yards per kickoff and recorded 63 touchbacks.
He also knocked home 68 out of 71 extra points. Jurado was also a top defensive back for the state champion Thunderbirds.￼