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10/22/2017 - From The Press Box: Class A Football Playing Field Wide Open

From The Press Box

After this past Friday night, the door is wide open for any of the 16 teams remaining in the Class A football playoffs to go on a run and capture the title.

Lincoln Pius X's 28-14 upset of previous No. 1 Omaha North shook the Class A landscape and established undefeated Kearney as the overall top-seed in the Class A playoffs that start this Friday.

Had Lincoln High not lost to Millard West, then it likely would have meant either the Links would have moved up to being a second seed or possibly the No. 1 seed.  Lincoln High, though, still gets a first round home game and a highly respectable No. 6 seed against No. 11 seed Millard South.

The 6-vs-11 matchup with the Links and Patriots could make for an interesting game Friday at Seacrest Field.  A winnable game for each, but heavily in the favor of Lincoln High, trying to bounce back from numerous penalties and at least three key turnovers in the loss to Millard West.

In talking with Links coach Mark Macke prior to last Friday's game, his main concern was penalties and taking care of the football against the Wildcats.  His concerns came true and hopefully, Lincoln High can respond during practice this week. 

Cedric Case and his receiving core of Zion Perry, Morgan Perry, CJ Jones and Jaden Davis all need to be in top form.  Jack Buchanan, Ethan Bruha and the rest of the Links defense certainly need to carry over their third quarter effort to this week against the Patriots.

An estimated 2,500 to nearly 3,000 people showed up to the Beechner Athletic Complex for the Lincoln High-Millard West game.  Terrific, in my opinion.  That's what high school football should be all about with our city schools, regardless of win-loss record.  Now, with a bigger venue at Seacrest Field for this week's playoff game, that should allow more Links fans who couldn't make it last week to come out and root for their team, who is on the cusp of having their best season since 1992.

Chris Schmidt will have the Lincoln High-Millard South game Friday starting at 6:50pm on KFOR FM103.3/1240AM.

Pius X's upset of Omaha North is still hard to wrap my head around, but somehow it doesn't surprise me they pulled off one of the biggest wins in school history.

The quarterback duo of Thomas Robertson and Austin Jablonski, plus the Barrett Ruud-esque running back in Chris Cassidy led an incredible charge early and were able to maintain leads at halftime and late in the game.  The Thunderbolts will be tested again this Friday in their playoff opener against Omaha Westside, in an 8-9 seed matchup.

Aside from LHS and Millard South, the Westside-Pius X game may be another great game to see.  You can join me for that Friday at 6:55pm on ESPN FM101.5/1480AM. 

After a couple of road bumps, Lincoln Southwest is playoff bound again.  The Silver Hawks finished the regular season with a 10-3 win over Lincoln North Star, the lowest point total LSW has accumulated in a game this season.

Southwest heads to defending state champ Bellevue West this Friday as a No. 13 seed against the fourth-seed Thunderbirds.  For the Silver Hawks, this is a winnable game but it won't be easy. 

Bellevue West is still very talented and has a good group of skill position players similar to a year ago, minus Jaylin Bradley.  The key for Southwest is to execute their offense and hope they have players like Caden McCormack and Jacob Buckner to be fully healthy.

We'll have coverage of the Lincoln Southwest-Bellevue West game here on Friday starting at 6:50.

So, who could win Class A?  A very good question that will be answered in a few weeks.  I think this is a wide open field and any of the top eight teams seem to be likely candidates to make big runs.

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In Class B, it's been a great year for the Waverly Vikings, who have made their third playoff appearance in the past four years.  Rallying back to win 36-34 in OT at Crete, the Vikings are now heading to McCook to face an 8-1 Bison team. 

This will mark the first time the two teams have faced each other since Waverly beat McCook 14-7 to win the 1980 Class B championship at Seacrest Field.

Waverly has improved offensively through the course of the season, with Rhett Jordon going over 1,000 yards of total offense during the Norris game.  Hunter Lee, Kaleb Canoyer and Jay Adams are other skill position players that have contributed a great deal.

In Class C1, Lincoln Christian clinched a playoff berth and will play at Boys Town Friday at 7pm.  The Crusaders are riding on momentum off a 54-0 shutout of Southern.  Treyson Bigler, Alex Schreiner, Reid Houchin and Joe Dworak are offensive threats that need to be at the top of their game to try and handle the highly talented Cowboys.

Lincoln Lutheran makes the C2 playoffs and heads to North Platte St. Pat's on Friday night.  The Warriors are 7-2 and had won six straight games until last Friday's loss to Yutan.

Parkview Christian is the final Lincoln area team to make the playoffs, entering into the D2 eight-man bracket facing powerhouse Falls City Sacred Heart at the fame Jug Brown Stadium. 

The next four weeks should be interesting.  Follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter @LNKPrepSports.

Jeff Motz is a columnist and part-time announcer for and sports director at KFOR Radio.

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