Oakland-Craig

Colton Thomsen gave Oakland-Craig an early lead with a first-quarter touchdown against Sutton.

LINCOLN — In the rain and sleet (no snow), Oakland-Craig’s defense delivered a state title Tuesday to the Knights.

Sutton managed 154 yards, all by rushing on the wet Memorial Stadium turf, as Oakland-Craig’s 19-0 win before 1,033 was its fifth shutout of the season and first of the playoffs.

“They love playing defense,” Knights coach Joe Anderson said. “They play together, they play with enthusiasm. That’s how it’s meant to be played.”

Oakland-Craig (13-0) broke a 23-year title drought. But this was its first win in the stadium. It won at Hastings St. Cecilia 27-13 in 1995 in a game played at Hastings’ historic Duncan Field.

Four years ago, it lost in the finals to David City Aquinas 36-7.

“Ever since, the guys have been really hungry. They were student managers for that team.’’ Anderson said. “This has been their goal all year. It was play 13, win 13. Mine was play 13, win 12, so, OK, you can have a slip and you can still reach your goal.

“But they were, ‘Coach, we’re going to win 13.’ And I’m like, ‘All right, let’s do it then.’ And they didn’t let me down.”

More than half of Sutton’s yards came from quarterback Cade Wiseman with 84. He got to 1,607 yards this season. Jackson Perrien, with 51, came up 8 yards short of 2,000.

Anderson said assistant Scott Guzinski put a “great” defensive game plan together and it targeted the two runners.

“We had guys in the right position many times, you know. Their Jimmys are better than our Johnnys, and sometimes that happens,’’ Sutton coach Steve Ramer said. “We hung in there as long as we could.”

“Our defense did, I thought, an outstanding job, we just couldn’t get it going on offense.”

The Knights led 6-0 at halftime on quarterback Colton Thomsen’s 1-yard run in the first quarter. He played the final two playoff games after missing the quarterfinals with a concussion from their closest game of the year, 28-26 over Hartington Cedar Catholic in a first-round rematch from the regular season.

The lead quickly doubled to 12-0 on a 23-yard touchdown by Jaron Meyer, playing with a protective wrap on his right arm for a broken wrist. He finished with 93 yards on 14 carries to finish his junior season with an 11.3-per-carry average on 100 attempts.

Sutton got into Knights territory only three times, and never past the 34. The Knights tacked on an insurance touchdown on Ian Lundquist’s 14-yard run late in the game.

Oakland-Craig (13-0)…6/0/6/7--19

Sutton (11-2)…0/0/0/0--0

OC: Colton Thomsen 1 run (run failed)

OC: Jaron Meyer 23 run (pass failed)

OC: Ian Lundquist 14 run (Meyer kick)

A: 1,033

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing: OC, Meyer 13-93, Lundquist 20-77, Thomsen 5-52, Caden Nelson 8-42, Coulter Thiele 6-28. S, Cade Wiseman 25-84, Jackson Perrian 15-51, Cory Carlson 4-12, Maury Baustista 1-7.

Passing: OC, Thomsen 1-5-0 3. OC, Wiseman 0-4-0 0.

Receiving: OC, Nelson 1-3. S, none.

Tackles (unassisted-assisted-total): OC, Nelson 4-6-10, Michael Brands 5-4-9, Lundquist 5-3-8, Blake Johnson 2-6-8, Thomsen 2-5-7, Wyatt Seagren 4-1-5, Michael Maline 3-2-5, Laurence Brands 1-3-4, Thomas Maline 1-2-3, Meyer 1-1-2, Thiele 1-0-1, Dawson Rhoades 0-1-1. S, Cory Carlson 8-6-14, Wiseman 3-7-10, Joseph Hinrochs 2-7-9, Baustista 4-48, Hunter Wiseman 5-1-6, Dawson Nunneka 1-4-5, Quenton Jones 3-1-4, Jarvis Smith 3-0-3, Eli Skalka 0-3-3, Matthew Davis 2-0-2, Claydon Claus 1-0-1, Tyler Baldwin 0-1-1.

Fumble recoveries: OC, Brands. S, none.

Fumbles forced: OC, Seagren 2, Lundquist. S, Carlson 2.

Interceptions: none.