The Nebraska high school football championships conclude Tuesday with three more finals at Memorial Stadium. Here's a preview of the title games in Classes A, C-1 and C-2.
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No. 2 Omaha Westside (12-0) vs. No. 4 Gretna (11-1)
When, where: 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, Memorial Stadium
TV: Nebraska Public Media (formerly NET)
Radio: 660, Omaha; 93.7, Lincoln
When Westside has the ball: The Warriors’ offense took off when sophomore Anthony Rezac became quarterback. He’s thrown for 1,000 yards in eight full games and has a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 19-0. Grant Guyett (49 catches-770 yards-17 touchdowns) and Carter Hogan (27-448-2) are his top targets. Older brother Dominic Rezac has rushed for 1,385 yards and 17 scores. Mick Huber leads Gretna with 93 total tackles. Blayne Moore is next with 73 and also leading with four picks. Perry Demma has seven sacks.
When Gretna has the ball: Junior quarterback Zane Flores has three receivers with more than 500 yards — Joe Roll, Caleb Schnell and Tom Silliman — while throwing for 2,558 yards and 26 touchdowns. Huber is their primary rusher with 1,021 yards and 11 touchdowns. Flores has nine on the ground. Westside’s top three in tackles are Tommy Connelly, Curt Cubrich and Cole Haberman. Sophomores Caleb Benning and Teddy Rezac, Anthony’s twin, have four picks apiece and Haberman and Connelly five sacks apiece.
Road to Lincoln: Westside beat Papillion-La Vista South 49-0, No. 6 Omaha Burke 42-3 and No. 1 Bellevue West 41-26. Gretna beat Lincoln East 59-42, No. 3 Elkhorn South 14-7 and No. 7 Omaha North 34-0.
Stu’s pick: These are the two teams (not counting those in OPS) that improved the most during the season in Class A. Gretna has broken through to the finals after never getting there in Class B. But with the Warriors' experience and team speed — their defense is better than last year — they should extend their winning streak to 25 games and be back-to-back champions.
No. 1 Fremont Bergan (12-0) vs. No. 2 Norfolk Catholic (11-1)
When, where: 2:45 p.m. Tuesday, Memorial Stadium
Radio: 94.7, 97.5, 106.7, 88.3, Norfolk
When Bergan has the ball: Its main man is Wyoming pledge Koa McIntyre at quarterback, who has 1,869 yards and 29 touchdowns passing and 1,240 yards and 16 touchdowns rushing. A year younger is brother Kade, who’s caught 33 passes for 813 yards and 12 touchdowns. Lucas Pruss has 569 yards and six touchdowns receiving. Running back Jarett Boggs has 620 yards. Mason Timmerman’s seven picks lead Catholic. Kade Pieper and Caden Arens each have more than 100 stops, with Pieper notching seven sacks.
When Catholic has the ball: Karter Kerkman has stepped up as the Knights’ running back, gaining 1,696 yards and 22 touchdowns. Carter Janssen has thrown for 1,137 yards and six of his 12 touchdowns have gone to Brennen Kelley. Janssen has run for 560 yards and Kanyon Talton for 569. Boggs is Bergan’s leading tackler with 88 total stops and Koa McIntyre has five picks.
Road to Lincoln: Bergan beat Oakland-Craig 45-20, No. 3 David City Aquinas 38-7 and defending champion No. 6 Ord 20-0. Catholic beat Crofton 35-6, No. 4 Hartington Cedar Catholic 20-13 and No. 8 Wilber-Clatonia 35-12.
Stu’s pick: Bergan has been the class of the field but it’s never easy going against a team coached by the state leader in career victories, Jeff Bellar of Catholic. After falling short last year, Bergan should get its first state title since 1979.
No. 4 Columbus Lakeview (10-2) vs. Pierce (10-2)
When, where: 10:15 a.m. Tuesday, Memorial Stadium
Radio: 94.7, 97.5, 106.7, Norfolk; 93.5, Columbus
When Lakeview has the ball: Primarily a running team, the Vikings are led by Adam Van Cleave’s 1,099 yards and 19 touchdowns. Landon Ternus has 612 yards and Cooper Tessendorf 529. Kolby Blaser has thrown for 1,295 yards and 13 touchdowns against six picks. Tristan Kuehler, Matt Christensen and Ritter Oestreich are Pierce’s tackle leaders.
When Pierce has the ball: The Jays have one of the best passing offenses in the finals with 2,000-yard thrower Abram Scholting throwing to 1,000-yard receiver and NU commit Ben Brahmer. Christensen is a 1,000-yard rusher, with Michael Kruntroad at 862. Lakeview, which hands out assists sparingly, has Jaeden Jenkinson with 46 solo tackles and eight sacks and Eli Osten with 41 solo and seven sacks. Mason Viergutz has five picks, Braxton Borer four.
Road to Lincoln: Lakeview beat No. 8 Milford 42-20, No. 3 Boone Central 23-20 and No. 2 Kearney Catholic 31-21. Pierce beat Broken Bow 27-14, No. 1 Ashland-Greenwood 35-28 and No. 2 Battle Creek 21-0.
Stu’s pick: Yes, it was in error that Pierce wasn’t included in the last set of ratings but even then it would have been in the lower end. But the defending champion Jays have gotten healthier and own a 28-27 win over Lakeview from September. Look for them to pull out a season sweep.