The Sandhills/Thedford Knights are one step away from playing for a state football championship. S/T will host Falls City Sacred Heart in the Class D2 state semifinals on Friday. The Knights are now 11-0 on the season and have outscored their opponents by an average of 59-11. Through the playoffs Sandhills/Thedford has collected wins over Axtell in round 1 68-22, Loomis in round 2 60-16, and Pleasanton in the quarterfinals 50-8. Friday’s semifinal will be played in Dunning. With over 300 hundred miles separating the two teams, coach Josh Deines told KCNI/KBBN sports that it is nice to have the opportunity to play the game on their home field.
In the past, the 8 man football playoffs in Nebraska have been split into east and west brackets based on geography with the winners of each side advancing to play for the state title. This year the NSAA reseeded the teams after the opening round based on the NSAA point standings regardless of geography. Falls City Sacred Heart has long been one of the top 8 man football programs in the state. Since 1987, the Irish have qualified for the state playoffs every year and have won 8 state championships in the process. Coach Deines said that it is a great opportunity for his team to go up against such an established program but also a great opportunity to showcase the quality of football that is played in the western part of the state.
FCSH is the top seed in the D2 bracket and is 9-1 overall this season with playoff wins against Fullerton in round one (60-14), Creighton in the round of 16 (54-28), and Osceola in the quarterfinals (54-28). The Irish are explosive and balanced on offense as they ran for 256 yards and passed for 238 yards in their quarterfinal win against Osceola. Coach Deines said that one of the messages that he has challenged his team with this week is to “keep pounding” in the game on Friday.
Friday’s game will be broadcast on KBBN 95.3 FM and on kbbn.com with coverage beginning around 4:30 p.m. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m.
FULL INTERVIEW WITH S/T COACH JOSH DEINES