The Sandhills/Thedford Knights fell just short Friday night in their bid to claim the programs’ first state football championship as they fell to Bruning Davenport Shickley in the Class D2 state title game 36-28. S/T jumped out on top first when Reece Zutavern broke loose for a 55 yard touchdown run to put the Knights on top 6-0 late in the opening quarter. After BDS took the lead 8-6 on an Easton Weber 30 yard touchdown run, Grant Ahlstrom scored on a 56 yard touchdown run to quickly give the Knights the lead back at 12-8. BDS would take the lead back thanks to a 55 yard touchdown run by Dalton Kleinschmidt but S/T would put together a 65 yard touchdown drive right before the half as Grant Ahlstrom scored on a 2 yard touchdown run to give Sandhills/Thedford a 20-14 lead at the half. In the second half, BDS forced S/T into a three and out on their first possession then took advantage of the short field scoring on a 1 yard touchdown plunge by quarterback Dominic Phillipi to tie the game early in the third quarter 20-20. The turning point in the game came later in the half when S/T marched down the field but were held on fourth down and goal from the 5 yard line. BDS took over on their own 2 yard line and would put together a 78 yard touchdown drive to reclaim the lead 28-20. The Eagles then made it 36-20 when Dominic Phillipi connected with Eric Schroeder on a touchdown pass with 2:48 to go in the game. The Knights fought back and quickly marched down the field and scored on a 5 yard touchdown pass from Grant Ahlstrom to Drew McIntosh with 1:10 left and would get to within 8 after Dane Pokorny ran in for the two point conversion. S/T attempted the onside kick which was recovered by BDS as they secured the win and the Class D2 championship. The Knights finish the season as state runners up with an overall record of 12-1.
Other state final results from Friday
Dundy County Stratton 42, Burwell 36 (2OT)
Ord 28, Archbishop Bergan 7
Pierce 28, Adams Central 19
Elkhorn High 42, Aurora 19
Omaha Westside 37, Elkhorn South 21
McCool Junction 70, Sterling 20