Blog: Week Six, Friday Night Lights Football Heroes – Part Two (10/4/22)


Norfolk Catholic RB Karter Kerkman (white jersey/left) and teammates aim for a return trip to the Class C-2 State Championship game at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln.

* Karter Kerkman – Norfolk Catholic – The Knights starters were able to stay on the field for an entire game in Norfolk Catholic’s 28-7 victory over Battle Creek. This is the first time in three weeks that this has happened.

RB of all states Karter Kerkman zipped for 184 yards on 19 carries that included touchdown passes for 37 and 54 yards.

The Knights senior also caught a 63-yard touchdown pass on a flat run where 3 Ballte Creek defenders shot Karter near the line of scrimmage but ended up seeing the number on his back as he exploded the rest of the way untouched.

Kerkman, who sprinted for 1,852 yards a year ago, upped his 2,022 rush total in the win.

Sophomore Max Hammond marked a high point for his collection of movie clips when he hacked a Battle Creek pass and turned it into a 63-yard Pick 6.

*Zane Flores, Caleb Schnell, Blayke Moore, Cameron Bothwell-Gretna – Flores orchestrated one of the fiercest wins in years when the Dragons overcame a 37-14 deficit to defeat Bellevue West 40-27 last Friday.

There were exactly 7 minutes and nine seconds left in the game when Zane Flores returned to the field 23 points behind the Bellevue West juggernaut with the ball resting on Gretna’s 30-yard line.

Going into the 4th quarter, the Thunderbird defense had done a decent job of keeping Flores in check, limiting Oklahoma State’s commitment to 10 of 21 passing for 156 yards. But, lightning was about to strike this baby and this is how the last 7:09 went……………..

7:09..Zane Flores escorts his team 70 yards down the field in one minute and 12 seconds, culminating in a 35-yard touchdown strike to Blayke Moore. The score is now Bell West 37-21 Gretna.

5:57..Cameron Bothwell recovers his own spot kick and the Dragons are back in attack.

4h48..Flores scores from the culminating one with a drive from 65 yards, Blayke Moore then catches a pass from Flores for the double PAT. Bell West 37-29 Gretna

2h32.. Gretna’s defense stops Bellevue West one foot from the Dragons 24.

1h30.. Flores hits Blayke Moore with a 45-yard TD pass. Moore lands an assist again for a two-point PAT. Bell West 37-37 Gretna

1h00..The “D” Dragons force a Bellevue West punt from the T-Bird 28. A Gretna defender gets a paw on the punt and the Dragons take over at the BW 42 yard line.

Last minute..Flores moves Gretna to the Bell West 8-yard line after passing to Tyler Bogonowski and Colin Sims.

0:04..Cameron Bothwell trots down the pitch and throws the Winning FG

Final: Gretna 40-37 Bellevue West.

*Brody Pederson-Millard West –The Wildcats guard rushed 14 times for 148 yards and a 54-yard touchdown in Millard West’s 40-13 win over Millard North.

*Broc Berry, Quinn Bailey-Chadron – In the Cardinals’ big 19-13 win over Sidney, QB Broc Berry completed 11 of 15 passes for 121 yards, including a 25-yard throw for Swallow Malachi. Berry also scored a rushing touchdown on a 3-yard run. Sophomore Quinn Bailey carried 34 times for 153 yards and a score.

Bailey now has 713 rushing yards this season.

*Tony Palmer-South Sioux City –Palmer had 216 yards with 1 and 57-yard TD runs, on 24 bins, but it wasn’t enough as the Cardinals fell just short of Omaha Bryan in a 23-21 loss. Tony has increased his total rushing yards since the start of the season to 649.

*Simon McFarland-Crofton – Had a pretty special game in the Warriors 82-14 win over Homer. The senior rushed for 144 yards on 14 carries, but SIX of those carries went for touchdowns covering 1, 42, 4, 23, 20 and 28 yards during the rout. Crofton QB was also 5-6 passing for 94 yards with TD strikes to Jace Panning (48 yards) and Braxton Foxhoven (12 yards)

*Spencer Albers-Hartington Catholic Cedar – Albers, who rushed 3 times for 37 yards in the Trojans’ previous 5 games, exploded for a whopping 198 yards on 17 carries with touchdown passes covering 5 and 90 yards in Cedar’s 42-0 win on West Holt.

*Corbin County Horner-Dundy/Stratton – The 2021 1,000-yard rusher carried 13 times for 99 yards and TD scampers of 10, 10, 14 and 19 yards and completed 3 of 5 passes for 70 yards and a pair of touchdowns, both going to Alex Enlot (18, 39 yards) in the Tigers’ 52-0 victory over Loomis.

*Jakin Neal, Ryan Kermoade-Alma – Was red on the air, completing 20 of 26 jumps for 195 yards and a pair of touchdown throws to Ryan Brugh (27 yards) and Alex Malzhan (14 yards) in Alma’s 68-32 loss to Cambridge. Ryan Kermoade paced the rushing offense with 106 yards on 17 carries and touchdowns covering 22 and 22 yards. In addition, he catches 6 passes for 53 yards and a TD.

Ryan Kermoad is a real double threat for the Cardinals. He’s a formidable running back and pass catching beast out of the backfield, as evidenced by his 31 receptions for 432 yards and 7 touchdowns this season.

*Trey Conne-South Wolf – Punished Hyannis with 165 yards and 5 touchdowns on just 11 carries in South Loup’s 54-6 win over Hyannis. Trey’s touchdown runs came from 25, 4 and 5 yards in the first quarter, then 54 and 40 yards in the 2nd stanza.

*Bryson Eledge-Randolph – Was a shining star in the 28-14 loss to Osmond, as he rushed for 171 yards on 33 carries and a 43-yard touchdown for the Cardinals.

*Jordan Mariska, Will Heitmann, Jayden Hissong-Thayer Central – The Bears, who pass as rarely as Howells-Dodge, shocked Exeter-Milligan-Friend by knocking out QB Will Heitmann 7 times. Doesn’t matter, you say?

It certainly was, as Heitmann completed 5 of those 7 throws for 77 yards and FOUR touchdowns in Thayer Central’s 46-14 win.

Jayden Hissong caught 3 of those TD throws (21, 22 17 yards) while Grant Wiedel fired the other covering 13 bigs.

Tough speedster Jordan Mariska escaped for 194 yards on 24 carries and three touchdowns in the game, increasing his season rushing total to an unofficial 979 yards.

This group from Thayer Central is GOOD!

* Davyn Jones-Papillion LaVista South – The talented RB ran for 144 yards on 15 carries and 4 touchdown passes covering 30, 1, 11 and 8 yards, during the (5-1) Titans 66-8 over Omaha South.

*Wiley Ziegler-Bloomfield – The sneaky, floating-footed Bees RB carried just 7 times, but came loose for 257 yards and 5 touchdowns (65, 46, 63, 31, 19 and 36 points) in the 56-12 victory of Bloomfield on Creighton. The multi-talented junior also caught 4 passes from Braeden Guenther, good for 36 yards and a TD catch of 19 yards.

That puts Ziegler at 989 rushing yards for the season and I’m telling you right now Wiley Ziegler is one of the most electrifying rushers in all of Nebraska 8-Man football.

Ziegler dances hard when he has a soccer ball in his hands and is as quick as a sneeze through a screen door. I love this kid.

*Carson Glunz-Wallace – This young man makes it look easy, folks. In the Wildcats’ 56-14 win over Wauneta-Palisade, Glunz snatched 300 yards on just 17 carries and 5 touchdowns. Carson also caught a pass, a 25-yard field goal and posted 7 tackles on defense. The Wallace star is just 210 yards away from his second season rushing thousand yards.

* Brady Cook-Fullerton – Rushed 22 times for 148 yards (mostly in the first half) in the Warriors’ 66-36 loss to Osceola. A rusher of over 1,400 in 2021, Cook has 638 yards heading into the final two Thursdays of the regular season for Fullerton and yours truly will be on the sidelines for both.

*Slate Michel-Twin Wolf – 6-0, the 195-pound senior fullback had an exceptional game in Burwell’s 38-14 conquest of Wolves. Micheel rushed 25 times for 163 yards and 3 touchdowns, caught a 26-yard pass and made 7 tackles on defense.

Slate now has 643 rushing yards for the year for the 5-1 Twin Wolf Wolves for future Hall of Famer Coach Mike Kozeal, one of the toughest and toughest 8-man players that I have ever seen. Already.

*Mario Lesiak-High Plains Community – 5-10 senior rushed for 135 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries in High Plains (Polk-Hordville-Clarks) 48-20 win over Palmer. Mario Lesiak now has 665 rushing yards in this 2022 season.

*Cash Wickersham-Niobrara-Verdigre – The 5-foot-4, 150-pound Wickersham certainly played his part in the Cougars’ 30-28 loss to Boyd County. Cash had 14 of 19 passes for 190 yards and TD throws to Walker Kutrous and Donte Justo. Wickersham also rushed for 69 yards and a touchdown (1-yard rush) in the contest.

*Quentin Morris-Centura – After winning the whole team from David City last week, not much has dropped for the Centura full-back. This week, Gibbon took the punch from Morris, who rushed for 236 yards and 3 touchdowns on 33 carries in the Centurions’ 33-0 shutout of the Buffaloes.

Not only is that 436 yards and 8 touchdowns over Quentin Morris’ last two games, but that puts him just 65 yards from the coveted One Thousand Yard Rushing mark with THREE regular season games to go.

*Hayden Umble, Cael Peters-Mitchell – 5-11, 200-pound senior RB carried 9 times for 136 yards with a pair of touchdowns in the Tigers’ 53-12 win over Alliance. Umble now has 796 rushing yards with 16 touchdowns for the undefeated Mitchell. QB Cale Peters, who rushed for 48 yards and three scores in the 41-point victory, has 635 yards rushing with 9 touchdowns, plus 409 additional yards through the air, though Mitchell only throws about 4 times per game.

The Howells-Dodge or the Thayer Central of 11-a-side football?

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