Nebraska Eight Man high school football second-round playoff capsules. All games are Wednesday, Nov. 6.
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Norfolk Lutheran (6-3) at No. 1 Howells-Dodge (9-0), 6 p.m. at Howells: The top-ranked Jaguars face the preseason favorites, who have gotten here despite several key injuries. H-D sophomore Levi Belina has had three straight 200-yard rushing games. Jaxson Kant and Ben Gebhardt lead Lutheran. Stu’s pick: Howells-Dodge. Radio: KQKX (106.7, Norfolk), KNEN (94.7, Norfolk).
Osceola-High Plains (7-2) at Creighton (6-3), 4: All-stater Brayden Zimmerer is back at quarterback for defending champion Creighton after a midseason injury. The Bulldogs take on the Stormdogs, whose Keaton Van Housen rushed for 219 yards and five first-half touchdowns in a 73-12 first-round win over Elkhorn Valley. Stu’s pick: Creighton. Radio: KBRX (102.9, O’Neill).
No. 10 Elmwood-Murdock (8-1) at Tri County (6-3), 6:30: Tri County’s defense must set up against Drake Spohr, who accounted for seven touchdowns in the Knights’ 74-16 opening win over East Butler. Stu’s pick: Elmwood-Murdock. Radio: none.
Cross County (5-4) at No. 3 Bruning-Davenport/Shickley (9-0), 6 at Bruning: Both teams are run-minded. In Cross County’s 60-26 win over Laurel-Concord-Coleridge, Isaac Noyd ran for 221 yards and Carter Seim 142. Dalton Kleinschmidt had three rushing touchdowns for BDS against West Point Guardian Angels. Stu’s pick: BDS. Radio: KOOL (103.5, 1370, York), KZEN (100.3, Central City).
Neligh-Oakdale (7-2) at No. 4 Cambridge (9-0), 1:30: Based on the first round, expect a high-scoring game. Cambridge’s Deryk Huxoll broke class playoff receiving records with six touchdowns and 227 yards, and his QB, Paxton Ross, accounted for 10 TDs. Neligh’s Hunter Charf threw for 305 yards and five touchdowns, three to freshman Aiden Kuester, as the Warriors rallied from 27 down against West Holt. Stu’s pick: Cambridge. Radio: KZMC (102.1, McCook).
Burwell (7-2) at Elm Creek (8-1), 5: Elm Creek hosts the rematch after the Buffaloes beat Burwell 36-28 on Sept. 27. Top rushers are Jase Williams for Burwell and Xavier Perez for Elm Creek. Stu’s pick: Elm Creek. Radio: KNLV (93.9, 1060, Ord), KXPN (1460, Kearney), KRVN (93.1, Lexington).
No. 7 Sutherland (9-0) at No. 9 Arcadia-Loup City (8-1), 5 at Arcadia: The only loss for either team was opening weekend by ARC. It got five touchdowns from Jadyn Scott and seven tackles for loss by Caden Kusek in a 68-32 first-round win over Alma. Sutherland coasted to a 32-16 win over North Central after Tayton Schuster threw TD passes to three receivers in a 32-point first half. Stu’s pick: Sutherland. Radio: KZTL (93.5, Paxton), KKPR (98.9, Kearney), KBBN (95.3, Broken Bow).
No. 5 Dundy County-Stratton (8-1) at No. 8 Fullerton (8-1), 6: Fullerton held Morrill to four first downs in the first round. DCS’s two-time 1,000-yard rushers Quade Myers and Serbando Diaz post a more formidable challenge. Stu’s pick: DCS. Radio: KIOD (105.3, McCook).
No. 10 Overton (6-3) at No. 4 Garden County (9-0), 4 MT: The host Eagles are concerned about Overton’s hefty offensive line and power-running game. Garden County won’t throw it much, either, with Chesney Stanczyk at 1,512 yards rushing and Austin Dormann at 1,241. Stu’s pick: Garden County. Radio: KRVN (880, 106.9, 98.5, Lexington), KMCX (106.5, Ogallala).
No. 5 Central Valley (9-0) at No. 9 Elwood (8-1), 4:30: Central Valley’s offense has been by committee, but Ty Nekoliczak at quarterback is the rudder. Elwood QB Conner Schutz and Trevor Jorges led an 86-25 opening win over Maxwell. Stu’s pick: Central Valley. Radio: KING (103.9, Ord), KAMI (92.7, 100.1, 1580, Cozad).
Mullen (4-5) at Twin Loup (5-4), 6 at Sargent: These are teams thankful that Eight Man still takes 32 to the playoffs. For Mullen, last year’s state runner-up, it’s gotten Ty Kvanig back after he was hurt much of the season. Twin Loup’s Quade Young and Colby Coons both are averaging more than 90 rushing yards a game. Stu’s pick: Mullen. Radio: KBRY (92.3, Sargent).
Pleasanton (7-2) at No. 7 Kenesaw (8-1), 6: Kenesaw’s loss was 54-42 at Pleasanton on Sept. 13. Jakson Keaschall powers Pleasanton’s air attack. Kenesaw sophomore Tyson Denkert is averaging more than 250 yards of offense a game. The Blue Devils are without injured running back/linebacker Wyatt Hansen. Stu’s pick: Kenesaw. Radio: KLIQ (94.5, Hastings).
Lawrence-Nelson (5-4) at No. 1 Humphrey St. Francis (9-0), 3: St. Francis has won the past three playoff meetings with the Raiders. Their physicality is something St. Francis may not have seen often while posting five regular-season shutouts. Stu’s pick: St. Francis. Radio: KRFS (103.9, Superior), KEXL (97.5, Norfolk), KLIR (101.1, Columbus).
No. 6 Plainview (8-1) at No. 8 Johnson-Brock (7-2), 4: Plainview hasn’t been to the quarterfinals since 2008, when it was playing in C-2. The Pirates must contend with state-record-holding receiver Ty Hahn, who caught 12 passes from Caleb Fossenbarger for 250 yards in the first round. Fossenbarger threw for 279 yards and five TDs. Stu’s pick: Johnson-Brock. Radio: KNCY (1600, 105.5, Nebraska City), KLZA (101.3, Falls City).
Clarkson/Leigh (7-2) at No. 2 Falls City Sacred Heart (9-0), 4: This matchup seemed unlikely when the visiting Patriots lost 1,700-yard-rusher Tommy McEvoy to a preseason injury, but it’s happened because junior quarterback Lance Paprocki and sophomore Eli Hays have kept their offense flowing. Sacred Heart is solid in all three phases of the game. Stu’s pick: Sacred Heart. TV: NCN South. Radio: KKOT (93.5, Columbus), KTIC (107.9, West Point), KTNC (1230, 107.1, Falls City).
Hartington-Newcastle (6-3) at No. 3 Bloomfield (9-0), 6: These quarterback-centered attacks have Shaye Morton for Hartington-Newcastle and Braden Eisenhauer for Bloomfield. The Bees beat the visitors 46-36 to end the regular season. Stu’s pick: Bloomfield TV: NCN North. Radio: KVHT (106.3, Vermillion, S.D.).