The Sandhills/Thedford Knights advanced to their first state football championship game as a co-op with a thrilling 36-26 win over Falls City Sacred Heart Friday night in the Class D2 state football semifinals. Dane Pokorny had a huge night with five touchdown runs. The Knights also came up with several big defensive stops inside the red zone during the game to help preserve the win. Falls City Sacred Heart had a chance to take the lead after their defense forced a safety to bring the Irish within two points at 28-26. The Irish would then drive deep into S/T territory but were turned away on a 4th down and goal from the seven with 4:29 left to go in the game. Sacred Heart would get one more chance to take the lead late in the game. After holding S/T on 4th down and 1, the Irish took over deep in Knights territory but the Sandhills/Thedford defense came up huge again as they came up with an interception to protect the lead. The Knights would then put the game away with under a minute to go as Dane Pokorny broke loose for a 46 yard touchdown run and then scored on the two point conversion to put the game out of reach. The Knights improve to 12-0 on the season and will now face Bruning Davenport Shickley for the Class D2 championship as BDS held off Central Valley to advance.
Unfortunately, it was announced by the NSAA Friday evening that this year’s state football championship games will not be played at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln. The NSAA stated that all championship games will be played at home sites with the higher seeded team serving as the host site and all championship games will now be played on Friday, November 20th. The only exception to this will be the six man championship game which be played as originally scheduled at Cope Stadium on the campus of UNK. This means that Sandhills/Thedford will play at BDS for the D2 title.