LINCOLN — Humphrey St. Francis put up some huge numbers in winning its first Eight Man-2 state title since 2015.
Seventy points. A 54-point win. Three interceptions by Trevor Pfeifer. Six total touchdowns by Pfeifer.
Zero punts, zero turnovers. Touchdowns on nine of 10 possessions. Two-point conversions after eight of the nine touchdowns.
Negative-3 yards rushing against its defense.
It added up to a 70-16 win for the Flyers over the finals’ ultimate underdog, Pleasanton, coming off a 2-6 season and playing in Memorial Stadium for the first time.
“Those kids are just tremendous athletes over there,’’ Pleasanton coach Ricci Westland said. “Their execution is flawless.
“It was fun to get on this big stage and play against a team like that.”
St. Francis (13-0) went wire-to-wire atop the Eight Man-2 ratings. The Flyers’ closest game was 24-16 over previously undefeated Falls City Sacred Heart in last week’s semifinals.
“We heard a lot of people saying, ‘Oh, that was the state title game’ and whatever,’’ St. Francis coach Eric Kessler said. “We just didn’t buy in to it as this is the biggest game we can play in. We were going to play well and we were focused on doing that.”
Pfeifer ran for 100 yards on eight carries and was 4 of 5 for 78 yards. He threw two touchdown passes to younger brother Tanner, a sophomore who figures to follow him next year as quarterback, and one to Landon Kush.
“That brotherly connection, it’s just so cool watching them play,’’ said senior Taylor Wemhoff. “Tanner steps up and plays so well for us.”
St. Francis ran its lead to 54-0 before Pleasanton scored. The 70 points and 54-point win are records for eight-man finals.
Don’t discount the huge number for Pleasanton. At 10-3, the Bulldogs made a 6½-game improvement over last year’s record.
“To turn things around like they did, and it came on them,’’ Westland said. “They wanted to figure out a way to get better. They brought it on themselves how to organize the weight room groups that they had. They put in the extra effort.
“The adversity that they responded to this year, when they are fathers and husbands they will know how to handle situations when they get older and just also dream big. If you can dream from 2-6 last year to making it down to Memorial Stadium, you can dream and do anything. That’s what I want the boys to remember they have the ability to do.”
Humphrey St. Francis (13-0)…...24 24 6 16—70
Pleasanton (10-3)….....................0 0 8 8—16
HSF: Taylor Wemhoff 4 run (Wemhoff run)
HSF: Tanner Pfeifer 16 pass from Trevor Pfeifer (Wemhoff pass from Tr. Pfeifer)
HSF: Ta. Pfeifer 23 pass from Tr. Pfeifer (Tr. Pfeifer run)
HSF: Tr. Pfeifer 2 run (Ta. Pfeifer run)
HSF: Landon Kush 5 pass from Tr. Pfeifer (Tr. Pfeifer run)
HSF: Tr. Pfeifer 1 run (Karen Hackerott run)
HFS: Tr. Pfeifer 9 run (run failed)
P: Kessler Dixon 1 run (Tyce Westland pass from Jakson Keaschall)
HSF: Austin Keifeld 1 run (Spencer Engel rush)
P: Westland 16 pass from Keaschall (Dixon pass from Keaschall)
HSF: Haustyn Forney 53 run (Isaac Classen run)
Rushing: HSF, Tr. Pfeifer 8-100, Wemhoff 15-69, Forney 2-55, Ta. Pfeiffer 3-22, Engel 6-8, A. Leifeld 3-6, J. Leifeld 1-3. P, Dixon 4-2, Brodrick Paitz 2-1, Keaschall 5-0, team 1-minus 6.
Passing: HSF, Tr. Pfeifer 4-5-0 78, Ta. Pfeifer 3-3-0 37. P, Keaschall 19-32-3 193.
Receiving: HSF, A. Leifeld 3-37, Ta. Pfeifer 2-39, Wemhoff 1-34, Kush 1-5. P, Treven Wendt 10-123, Westland 6-59, Dixon 2-8, Brady Klein 1-3.
Tackles (unassisted-assisted-total): HSF, J. Leifeld 6-1-7, Wemhoff 5-1-6, Forney 3-1-4, Ta. Pfeifer 2-2-4, A. Leifeld 1-2-3, Dustin Olmer 1-2-3, D. Wemhoff 1-2-3, Karter Welch 2-0-2, Tr. Pfeifer 1-1-2, Hackerott 1-1-2, Kolbe Classen 0-2-2, Engel 1-0-1, Kush 1-0-1, Evan Foltz 1-0-1, Colten Wietfeld 0-1-1. P, Keaschall 5-5-10, Westland 3-5-8, Dixon 4-3-7, Wendt 2-5-7, Klein 3-3-6, Conner Hand 3-1-4, Grady Chandler 3-0-3, Seth Eckel 2-1-3, Wyatt Reese 0-3-3, Chase Pawloski 1-1-2, Paitz 1-0-1, Riley Hadwiger 0-1-1.
Interceptions-yards returned: HSF, Tr. Pfeifer 3-48.