February 8, 2023

Dawson County Journal

Dawson County, Nebraska

Hi-Line and Elmwood-Murdock meet in 2nd round of playoffs

ELMWOOD- After the Hi-Line Bulls defeated the Arapahoe Warriors 52-16 in the first round of the playoffs, they have now been re-seeded and will head to east to take on the Knights of Elmwood-Murdock. They most anticipated matchup of any postseason is usually the one with the seeds right after each other, and if seeds are any indication, this matchup with the 8th seeded Knights and 9th seeded Bulls should be a great one.

The Elmwood-Murdock Knights come into the contest 8-1, winners of their last six. Their only loss came to 7-1 Palmyra back on September 9th. They have won three games over teams that are above .500, 76-20 over 5-4 Freeman, 52-40 over 5-4 Weeping Water, and 59-26 over 5-4 Plainview in the first round of the playoffs. Their closest game was a 30-22 win over 4-5 Mead back on September 23rd.

The Knights are averaging 53 points per game, 150 passing yards per game, and 364 rushing yards per game. They are a very experienced team, with 10 of the 16 starters being seniors, the rest juniors with one sophomore. They are led by senior quarterback Reid Fletcher who is completing 59 percent of his passes for 1,340 yards, 14 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions. Fletcher has also rushed 95 times for 887 yards and 17 touchdowns. Senior Cade Hosier has 151 rushes with 1,704 yards and 27 touchdowns on the ground to lead the Knights rushing attack. Senior Henry Coleman leads the way receiving wise with 26 catches for 546 yards and 5 touchdowns. On the defensive end, Hosier leads all teams with 115 tackles, 35 of them solo, with an interception and a fumble recovery.

Listen to Jon Willis talking with Elmwood-Murdock head coach Lance Steffen.

The Hi-Line Bulls also come into the contest with a 8-1 record, winners of seven straight. Their one loss of the season came to 1st seeded and undefeated North Platte St. Patrick’s 56-16. They have won one game against a team above .500, winning 56-20 over 5-4 Alma. They won twice over 4-5 Arapahoe, 60-28 and 52-16 in the first round of the playoffs. They also had a 70-24 win over 4-5 Cambridge. Their closest game was on September 9th, winning 12-8 over 2-6 Sutton.

The Bulls are averaging 48 points per game, 74 passing yards per game, and 283 rushing yards per game. They are led by junior dual back Ryker Evans, who has played all over the field. After starting the year at quarterback, he has now moved to more of a back role, carrying the ball 116 times for 1,188 yards and 26 touchdowns. He has also caught 13 passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore quarterback Zach Whittaker has taken his place under center, completing 64 percent of his passes for 605 yards, 7 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. He has also ran for 220 yards and 5 touchdowns on 61 carries. Seniors Colton Stubbs and Isaiah Bullis will be two other backs to watch for, combining for 942 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns, along with 236 receiving yards and 3 total touchdowns. Defensively, junior Treyton Evans leads the way with 104 tackles, 59 of them solo, with an interception and a fumble recovery. Ryker Evans has also forced five total turnovers this fall.

Listen to Jon Willis talking with Hi-Line head coach Ben Spiegel.

So it will be Hi-Line and Elmwood-Murdock battling on Friday, October 26th, to try to keep their hopes of Lincoln and a state title alive. Kickoff is set for 5:00 PM, we will have pregame coverage beginning at 4:50 on 880 KRVN.

Source: Regional Sports