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Eagles can't handle Hemingford; State runners-up

After holding Hemingford to just one first down on the Bobcats' opening possession of the 2014 NSAA Class D-1 State Football Championship, Bruning-Davenport/Shickley marched the pigskin down field 35 yards and found themselves with first-and-goal on the four-yard line.
The Eagles failed to push the ball over the goal line in the next four plays and on the second play after the turnover on downs, Hemingford's Brady Turek scampered 76 yards to pay dirt.  Unfortunately for BDS, the 13-0 Bobcats kept running and running from there. Turek and hard-nosed running back teammate Ethan Skinner combined to rush for 423 yards, 190 and 233, respectively, in Hemingford's 52-8 win over the Eagles.
"Oh, that obviously didn't help us not scoring right away," BDS co-head coach Mark Rotter said.  "And yeah, it could've made things a little different...But, in the end, how much of a difference would it have really made?"
The Eagles picked up only one more first down in the first quarter, but held the Bobcats on their next two drives including an impressive goal line stand that saw Hemingford turned away on two cracks from the one-yard line.  Blustery cross winds and chilly conditions kept the BDS offense grounded unfortunately for the first half.  The Bobcats put together two scoring drives themselves to lead the contest 20-0 at half time.
Hemingford, who dropped last year's Class D-1 State Final to Exeter-Milligan 20-18, held BDS (11-2) to three-and-out to start the third quarter and never looked back scoring 16 points in both the third and fourth quarters.
"They just started to steam roll us," Eagle co-head coach Chris Ardissono said.  "They really took it to us in the third quarter.  They really did.  Our kids played hard here.  We just couldn't get it going."
The Bobcats out total yarded BDS 464 yards to 122, and had 18 first downs compared to just six for the Eagles.  BDS, which had punted just 12 times during its previous dozen games, punted seven times on Monday, November 24, at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Memorial Stadium.
Ardissono and Rotter were both impressed in what their opponent was able to do in the D-1 State Final.
"They were extremely fast and extremely physical," Rotter said.  "Not a good combination for us.  They're overall team speed is just impressive...they're just pretty dang good."
BDS, which was led by seniors Kamron Ficken, Tyler Anderson, Chris Rohr, T.J. Krupicka, Colton Lowery, Blake Stengel, Grant Norder and Nathan Hendrickson, also came into the D-1 State Final after having to battle ultra-talented Heartland in the State quarterfinals and high-flying Guardian Angels Central Catholic in the State semi-finals.  The Eagles prevailed over the Huskies 24-20 in freezing temperatures in Henderson and outscored the Bluejays 44-40.
"This game was no indication on how hard our kids try," Rotter said.  "Maybe, we pulled out some wins we shouldn't have...who knows.  I've just got to tip my cap to Hemingford today."
Eagle All-Stater Grant Norder completed just 4-of-13 passes for 18 yards in the swirling winds on Tom Osborne Field.  He paced the BDS offense in rushing with 44 yards.  The senior quarterback notched the lone Eagle score on a 22-yard fourth-quarter touchdown dash.  T.J. Krupicka hauled in a 20-yard pass and Riley Tegtmeier rushed for 20 yards.  Eagle Garrett Schardt picked up 35 yards rushing late in the fourth quarter. Ben Elznic paced the BDS defense with 20 tackles.  Sam Christensen was in one 15 stops and Tegtmeier was credited with 13 tackles.
"It was a great accomplishment to be playing in the (State) championship game," Ardissono said.  "The team will remember the 2014 football season for many years.  With the number of injuries we had during the game, I was impressed with our competitiveness to keep fighting."