Hitchcock County, Clarkson Leigh, and Omaha Westside Win State Football Titles

Three Nebraska state football championships were claimed Monday at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln.

Hitchcock County collected its first ever NSAA state football championship trophy Monday when they knocked off perennial 8 man football power Howells/Dodge 22-12 to claim the D2 state title at Lincoln’s Memorial Stadium. The two teams battled through a defensive slugfest. Howells/Dodge led 12-8 at the half but Hitchcock County held Howells/Dodge scoreless in the 2nd half to come back for the win. Hitchcock County quarterback Keynan Gaston connected with Trent Kisker on a 45 yard touchdown pass early in the third quarter to give the Falcons the lead at 16-12. It was Gaston’s only pass completion of the day. Late in the 4th, Hitchcock County converted on a 4th and 3 with under 2 ½ minutes to play and would score later on a 4th down and goal from the one on a Drew Scott touchdown run with 58 seconds left to seal the win and conclude the season undefeated. Keynan Gaston finished with 99 yards rushing to lead Hitchcock County and Lance Brester finished with 172 yards rushing on 34 carries for Howells/Dodge.

Clarkson/Leigh claimed the Class D1 state title. Neligh Oakdale jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the opening quarter but it was all Clarkson/Leigh after that outscoring Neligh Oakdale 48-6 the rest of the way for a 48-20 victory. The star of the game was Clarkson/Leigh’s Kyle Kasik who finished with 320 rushing yards on 45 carries and six touchdowns.

The Class A championship was a high scoring classic. Oklahoma State quarterback recruit Zane Flores led Gretna back from a 31-14 first half deficit to take a 41-40 lead with just under 2 minutes remaining. Omaha Westside quarterback Anthony Rezac led Omaha Westside down the field to give his team a chance at a game winning field goal. Westside kicker Tristan Alvano drilled a 45 yard field goal on the final play of the game to give Westside the win 43-41. Alvano finished the game 5 for 5 in field goal attempts a state playoff record.

Three more championships will be decided Tuesday at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln. The Class C2 championship will kickoff at 10:15 a.m. and feature 9-3 Hartington Cedar Catholic vs undefeated Norfolk Catholic. The Class C1 and Class B championships will feature a battle of unbeatens. Aurora will face Pierce for the C1 championship Tuesday afternoon and Bennington will go up against Omaha Gross Catholic for the Class B championship Tuesday night.