MILLIGAN – On paper the Class D-1 quarterfinal matchup between High Plains and Exeter-Milligan appeared to be one of those games that might be called a classic before the final gun sounded.
Instead it ended up being a lopsided 58-24 win for the Exeter-Milligan Timberwolves who improved their record to 11-0 and will now take on BDS, an upset winner over No. 1 rated Howells /Dodge on Tuesday night by the final score of 25-18.
The semifinal game to determine who will make the trip to Memorial Stadium in Lincoln on Monday, Nov. 19 will take place Monday, Nov. 12 in Shickley.
The Timberwolves scored on their opening drive and after that the avalanche of points descended on the Storm, who could not find an answer to stop an array of offensive weapons that Exeter-Milligan head coach Dean Filipi threw at them.
By the time the middle of the first quarter rolled around the Exeter-Milligan offense had produced a 24-0 lead and quarterback James Sluka and his offense were just getting started.
Scoring for the T-Wolves was Sluka on a 2-yard run, Sluka then hit Derek Luzum on a 16-yard pass after Luzum had blocked the punt of High Plains' Tanner Fate. Capping the flurry of first quarter points was Kyle Jensen as he stepped in front of a High Plains receiver and went untouched 22 yards for the pick six.
In the second quarter the Storm could not get any offense going and following HP's fourth punt of the game, Sluka and Luzum hooked up again on a 25-yard toss that capped a four-play, 42-yard drive and with 4:49 to play before the break. Sluka hit Robbie Androyna on a 36-yard toss, then, throwing what looked more like a basketball chest pass, he hit Androyna on a 27-yard toss after it looked like the Storm's defense had the junior in its sights for a big sack.
Down 44-0 the Storm dotted the scoreboard on a 15-yard pass from Fate to Cole Klingsporn before the first 24 minutes elapsed.
The second half the Exeter-Milligan offense scored to open a 52-6 lead. With the continuous clock running almost the entire second half the Timberwolves and the Storm played out the rest of the game with High Plains picking up most of its 244 yards of total offense in the second half.
High Plains picked up 130 rushing and 114 passing as Fate was 5-of-16 with two interceptions. Leading the ground crew was Fate with 19 carries for 78 yards.
The Exeter-Milligan ground game produced a pair of 100-yard rushers. Jensen led the way with 122 yards on 19 carries while Sluka rushed for 103 and tossed four touchdowns.
The official time of Monday night's final at BDS will be posted later on Wednesday.
BDS's only loss this year was to D-2 Giltner 46-6.
High Plains (9-2)..............................0 6 6 12- 24
Exeter-Milligan (11-0)........................24 20 8 6- 58