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Eight Man-1 preview: Howells-Dodge takes on Cross County again. But now it's for the state title

Eight Man-1 preview: Howells-Dodge takes on Cross County again. But now it's for the state title

The title games have been set for 2021 Nebraska high school football.

“Sesame Street” isn’t likely to be preempted at 1 p.m. Monday on Nebraska Public Media by the Eight Man-1 final running long.

“Clifford, the Big Red Dog” at 12:30 might also be safe by what happens in Nebraska’s home of the Big Red at Memorial Stadium.

Cross County has attempted 49 passes in 12 games, Howells-Dodge 47.

“They’re going to run toss and that’s what they do, and we’re going to be in our Wildcat, single-wing scheme and we’re going to run the ball, too,” Cross County coach Hayden Delano said.

“The clock will be rolling. We might be out of Memorial before noon.”

Monday’s 10:15 a.m. game is a rematch of Howells-Dodge’s 40-38 home win over Cross County on Sept. 10.

“We were lucky the first time,” Howells-Dodge coach Mike Speirs said. “We built up a big lead and then had to withstand a pretty furious comeback in the fourth quarter. We had a 40-14 lead at the start of the fourth quarter. We have to tackle better this time, that’s for sure.”

The No. 3 Cougars (11-1) were without Carter Seim for that loss because of an injury. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound senior missed all three of their games in September but still has 1,874 yards rushing and 250 points this season and 5,402 yards and 622 points in his career.

In Seim’s absence they called on senior Haiden Hild, at 6-2 and 190 similar to Seim. He has 1,263 yards, including three 100-yard games when Seim was hurt, and 24 touchdowns.

Also emerging as a runner was quarterback Shayden Lundstrom, who has rushed for 635 yards.

“Shayden’s been quarterback for a couple years and made some plays,” Delano said. “Hayden, this is kind of his coming-out party. He had to carry the load for a while, became a 1,000-yard rusher and got a scholarship offer to Concordia a couple weeks ago. Now that Carter’s back we have two really capable backs.”

The No. 2 Jaguars (12-0) have Levi Belina, who’s 5-11 and 150 pounds, at running back. He has his third consecutive 1,000-yard season. With 1,884 yards and 33 touchdowns this year, he has 4,424 yards and 74 scores in his career.

Belina left their 56-18 win over No. 1 Burwell (which was trying to make the finals for the fourth consecutive season) with a sore hip.

“He took a blow to it and it was cold enough we just couldn’t get it loosened up,” Speirs said. “Lance Brester filled in for him and did a heck of a good job (156 yards, three touchdowns) so we didn’t push to get back in once we had control of the game. Let’s make sure he’s healthy for the finals.”

Omaha World-Herald: Nebraska Prep Zone

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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. Email

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