Elkhorn South hits hard as they hit the road

Varsity football team upsets no. 8 Kearney in first round playoff game

Photo Courtesy of DCPostGazette

Photo Courtesy of DCPostGazette

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Elkhorn South Upsets Kearney in Class A Playoff Opener

Elkhorn South varsity football upheld tradition as they brought back a win from Kearney on November 1, paving their way to the second round of Class A playoffs. 

For the second year in a row, we’re the only Class A team to win on the road in the opening round of the play-offs. That’s a testament to the season-long work ethic and toughness of our players,” head coach Guy Rosenberg said.

The upset on the road proved the true testament of the team, proving themselves after a rocky couple of games and using the past several wins as a comeback.

Lesser men would have “dropped their shields” when we were going through a rough stretch earlier in the season, but these guys stepped up next to their teammates instead and tonight’s true road win was the result.” Rosenberg said. 

As they took the nearly three hour trip west on Friday, players and coaches already had their minds made up in how they wanted the game to go; end out on top. From the kickoff, this motivation was clear. 

“The starting offensive line of Teddy Procahzka, Colin McDonald, Isaac Zatechka, Ciaran Thompsen, and Gabe Whitten dominated from the opening snap.” Rosenberg said. “The defense got us a 3-and-out on Kearney’s opening series and the O-line seized control of the game.”

The 23-7 game was controlled by the Storm from the get go with 486 total offensive yards, led by no. 4 Eli Hustad with 186 rushing yards, followed closely by no. 14 Elliot Brown and no. 9 Ben Warren. 

We got two early scores and dictated the game script from there on out. Eli Hustad is running the ball as well as any back in the state right now and Ben Warren is a threat to score every time he touches the ball. Elliott Brown gave us an extra dimension as a running QB.” Rosenberg said.

The offensive performance was no surprise, though, as the team has run like this for half a decade under the leadership of offensive line coach George Drinnin Sr.

“Lesser men would have “dropped their shields” when we were going through a rough stretch earlier in the season, but these guys stepped up next to their teammates instead and tonight’s true road win was the result.””

“By the way, Coach Drinnin’s O-line has paved the way for a thousand yard rusher every season from 2014 to the present. We ran for 400 plus yards on the road against a top 10 team in the play-offs; that’s dominance up front.” Rosenberg said. 

When possession was turned, defense took charge and brought the heat. Four interceptions by no. 46 Jack Paradis, no. 5 Caden Ballard, no. 4 Hustad, and no. 1 Trevor Winterstein really proved the strength of the defensive unit. 

“They controlled Kearney’s All-State RB, pressured the passer, and came up with four big interceptions. They’re playing with passion and precision every snap. Coach Stanley and the defensive coaches cooked up a great plan and the players took it to the turf.” Rosenberg said. 

After the second quarter, with a 13 point lead, South continued playing hard and held their lead and Kearney’s line, stopping them from scoring the second half of the game. 

The opening drive we had to open the second half chewed up 6 and a half minutes and our Rhino package choked out most of the 4th quarter to finish the game.” Rosenberg said.

Looking into the upcoming battle against no. 2 Millard West, who beat Pius X 34-0 in their first playoff game, excitement and pressure are high. 

“We’re excited to have earned another week together in the play-offs. You know you’re doing something right when you get to practice under the “Monday Night Lights” after daylight savings time. That’s a point of pride and tradition for us at Elkhorn South,” Rosenberg said, “Millard West is complete team in all three phases of the game and we’re looking forward to taking our game on the road again next Friday night.”