Trevor Pfeifer

Falls City’s Branson Darveau trips up Humphrey St. Francis’s Trevor Pfeifer. Pfeifer was involved with ever one of the Flyers' four touchdowns. 

HUMPHREY, Neb. — The moment brought Trevor Pfeifer to tears.

Finally, Humphrey St. Francis was back in the Eight Man-2 state finals.

If the Flyers hadn’t held off Falls City Sacred Heart 24-16 Monday in the semifinal between the last two undefeated teams in eight-man ball, his senior class would have been the school’s first since the 2007 season not to play in Memorial Stadium at least once.

“Me and the guys have been dreaming about this one since we started football in fourth grade,’’ said Pfeifer, who accounted for all 24 points with two rushing touchdowns and touchdown passes to Tanner Pfeifer and Taylor Wemhoff.

“We’ve been dreaming about going to Memorial Stadium, and it didn’t even seem like it was real and going to happen.”

Their opponent at 2:45 p.m. next Monday will be unranked Pleasanton, which defeated No. 10 Overton 12-6 in the other semifinal.

With No. 2 Sacred Heart (11-1) slowing down Wemhoff, the Flyers’ leading rusher this season, to 71 yards, Pfeifer carried 25 times for 167 yards and threw for 119.

No. 1 St. Francis’ defense got an unexpected workout in the final 3 1⁄2 minutes on the turf at Ed Foltz Field when Pfeifer fumbled at the goal line with the Flyers ahead by eight. The Irish’s Del Casteel put his helmet on the ball as the quarterback was fighting for extra yardage, and Branson Darveau recovered the fumble in the end zone.

Five plays into the Irish’s drive, Tanner Pfeifer intercepted sophomore quarterback Jakob Jordan’s pass near midfield. Sacred Heart got a needed three-and-out as the Flyers had a strong wind in their face, and in the final 1:03 drove from its 11 to the St. Francis 12 before time ran out on a pass to Jamie Stice.

Had Pfeifer scored, that would have been the only touchdown going into the gusty northwest wind. St. Francis scored twice in each of the middle quarters but missed every 2-point try.

“After the first drive it did not look good,’’ Flyers coach Eric Kessler said “They stopped us three-and-out and then they score. But we showed some resolve. We have some seniors that have been here before, so they were not going to be denied.”

Irish coach Doug Goltz said Trevor Pfeifer was the difference.

“A lot of the time they just were running basically fake to the fullback and he keeps it. And he’s a load. We had a tough time tackling him,” Goltz said.

Falls City Sacred Heart (11-1).......8  0   0 8—16

At Humphrey St. Francis (12-0)....0 12 12 0—24

FCSH: Jake Hoy 3 run (Hoy pass from Jakob Jordan)

HSF: Trevor Pfeifer 5 pass from Trevor Pfeifer (pass failed)

HSF: Trevor Pfeifer 9 run (pass failed)

HSF: Taylor Wemhoff 71 pass from Trevor Pfeifer (pass failed)

HSF: Trevor Pfeifer 1 run (pass failed)

FCSH: Hoy 1 run (Jarrot Simon pass from Hoy)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing: FCSH, Jordan 14-94, Hoy 9-40, Del Casteel 12-46. HSF, Trevor Pfeifer 25-167, Wemhoff 22-71.

Passing: FCSH, Jordan 9-22-2 75. HSF, Trevor Pfeifer 4-8-0 119.

Receiving: FCSH, Jamie Stice 2-26, Casteel 3-27, Hoy 4-22. HSF, Tanner Pfeifer 2-30, Wemhoff 2-89.

Pleasanton 12, No. 10 Overton 6

Overton (8-4) led 6-0 entering halftime, but Pleasanton (10-2) scored two touchdowns in the second half to knock off the Eagles.

Jakson Keaschall scored both touchdowns for the Bulldogs, tying the game on a 17-yard fumble recovery and putting Overton ahead on a 1-yard run midway through the fourth.


Photos: Nebraska high school state football champions since 2004

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Reporter - High school sports

Stu is The World-Herald's lead writer for high school sports and for golf. Follow him on Twitter @stuOWH. Phone: 402-444-1041.

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