SHELTON, Neb. — Jake Findley’s first pass resulted in a 74-yard touchdown, and No. 3 Giltner rolled to a 60-20 victory over Shelton and a berth in next Monday’s Eight Man-2 state final at Memorial Stadium.
Giltner’s defense opened the game with a three-and-out, then the Hornets (12-0) started on their 6-yard line.
After Findley didn’t gain a yard on a rush, the next play struck big.
He hit Ryan Kleier about 12 yards downfield, and the running back raced into the end zone just 2:16 into the game.
“That’s what we like to do,” Giltner coach Jeff Ashby said. “We like to get up early and keep the pedal down and keep going. (We) make it so the other team gets frustrated.
“We like to score quick. If we can get those quick scores, those long plays, it kind of deflates the defense. We like to take the air out of the other team and keep scoring.”
Giltner has gotten off to quick starts all season, and it continued the trend with a trip to the finals on the line.
“We were all jacked,” running back/linebacker Garrett Poppen said. “We knew we had to score right away to send a message.”
Wide receiver Kyle Hawthorne said the quick touchdown was an early momentum boost.
“It really threw them down a little bit,” he said. “It set the tempo passing on them, running on them.”
Hawthorne’s four touchdowns came on a 55-yard run, receptions of 65 of 33 yards, and a 79-yard kickoff return to open the second half and begin the running clock. Hawthorne amassed 330 total yards on 15 touches.
Giltner (12-0) ................. 14 22 18 6—60
At Shelton (10-2) ................. 0 6 8 6—20
G: Kleier 74 pass from Findley (Poppen pass from Findley)
G: D. Hastings 11 pass from Findley (pass failed)
G: D. Hastings 9 pass from Findley (pass failed)
S: Stoppkotte 32 run (pass failed)
G: Hawthorne 55 run (Hawthorne pass from Kleier)
G: Hawthorne 65 pass from Findley (Poppen pass from Kleier)
G: Hawthorne 79 kickoff return (pass failed)
G: Hinrichs 41 pass from Findley (pass failed)
S: Mueller 32 run (Stoppkotte run)
G: D. Hastings 26 pass from Findley (run failed)
S: Glenn 11 run (pass failed)
G: Hawthorne 33 pass from Findley (run failed)
RUSHING: G, Hawthorne 6-103, Findley 12-70, Kleier 5-30, J. Hastings 1-7, Eastman 2-3, team 1-minus 2. S, Stoppkotte 15-64, Glenn 25-59, Mueller 6-49, Jimenez 1-7.
PASSING: G, Findley 19-27-0 361. S, Stoppkotte 0-3-0 0.
RECEIVING: G, Hawthorne 8-148, D. Hastings 5-56, Kleier 3-100, Hinrichs 2-50, Poppen 1-8.