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Nemaha Central Football Caps 2019 Season on Top with 2A State Title
By Jonny Kane
Copyright: MSC Sports

After a 1-2 start to the season the Nemaha Central football team and head coach Warren Seitz knew they needed to make some changes in order to turn things around and have a shot to make a deep playoff run.

The Thunder not only moved to a 3-man front on defense to give the linebackers more space to fly around, but Coach Seitz also switched things up on offense and went to a single-back set with an h-back on offense.

It’s now safe to say those changes paid off as Saturday afternoon Nemaha Central racked up their 10th consecutive victory and a Class 2A State Championship with a 19-0 domination of Norton in Salina to cap off an 11-2 season.

The title is the first in football for the Thunder since the consolidation of Nemaha Valley and Baileyville B&B back in 2014.

Nemaha Central and Norton both struggled offensively in the first half with the only score coming on a 31-yard pass from Dylan Schultejans to Tyler Gerety giving the Thunder a 7-0 lead at halftime.

As they have all season the Thunder defense came up big in the first half with two interceptions in the second quarter while holding the Bluejays to just 46 total yards of offense.

Nemaha Central took control with two touchdowns in the third quarter on a 4-yard run from Gavin Duryea and a 17-yard pass from Schultejans to Bryce Uphaus giving the Thunder a 19-0 lead going into the fourth quarter.

The Thunder put the game away with two interceptions in the fourth quarter including one from defensive lineman Easton Emmons which gave the Nemaha defense five interceptions in the game while holding Norton to only 56 total yards off offense in the game.

Gavin Duryea had another big day on the ground for the Thunder with 130 yards and one touchdown, while Dylan Schultejans threw for 146 yards and two scores including one to Tyler Gerety who finished with four catches for 94 yards.

The defensive and offensive lines for Nemaha dominated throughout the game while Trent Schmitz was named our Farmers State Bank “Player to Bank On” on 92.1 KMZA with three sacks, one interception and multiple tackles for loss.

In the win the Thunder put themselves into the Class 2A record books with the second fewest yards allowed (67), sixth least rushing yards allowed (38) and tied for the most interceptions in a title game (5). 

The state championship victory was the perfect description of the Thunder with each guy stepping up and playing their roles and because of that Nemaha Central can forever call themselves Class 2A State Champions for 2019.

©2020 MSC Sports
Hiawatha, KS 66434
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