Class C1 Thru Six-Man Final Top Tens

Class C-1
1. Norfolk Catholic (12-1)
2. Boone Central/Newman Grove (11-2)
3. Pierce (10-2)
4. Adams Central (11-1)
5. Wahoo (9-2)
6. Kearney Catholic (10-1)
7. Wilber-Clatonia (8-2)
8. Fort Calhoun (9-2)
9. Grand Island Central Catholic (7-3)
10. Gothenburg (6-4)
Bob Sez: After a late-season bump in the road, a one-point loss to Pierce, Norfolk Catholic ascended to its usual spot, that at the top of the Class C-1 rankings, after winning its third consecutive state playoff championship. The three titles in a row is a first for a C-1 team. Boone's only two losses were to the champs, the latter in the C-1 final, 24-13, while Pierce lost to Norfolk Catholic in the semis, 34-14. Adams Central entered the postseason ranked No. 1 and did reach the semifinals for the third time in four seasons before losing to Boone, 21-14. No. 5 Wahoo lost to Norfolk Catholic and Pierce but reached at least the quarrterfinals for the third straight season. No. 6 Kearney Catholic suffered its only loss of the season in the quarterfinals, 28-7 to Adams Central, after finishing 2011 as C-2 runners-up. We go with Wilber-Clatonia at No. 7 as its only regular season loss was the Adams Central and the Wolverines were eliminated by No. 3 Pierce in the second round. No. 8 Fort Calhoun scored its first two playoff wins in school history before losing to champion Norfolk Catholic, 51-8, in the quarterfinals. GICC gave Adams Central a go in the first round, losing 12-6, while Gothenburg posted two playoff wins before losing to Boone in the quarterfinals.
What Norfolk Catholic football has achieved over the years, especially the past three years, is exceptional, all-time stuff. It took that kind of effort to beat Boone, which was a championship caliber team, while Pierce and Adams Central were outstanding, as always is expected of those programs. The rise of programs like Fort Calhoun, in particular, but also including Wahoo and Wilber-Clatonia was neat to see, helping round out what was an outstanding season of Class C-1 football.
Class C-2
1. Aquinas (13-0)
2. Lutheran High Northeast (12-1)
3. Sutton (12-1)
4. Archbishop Bergan (8-3)
5. Doniphan-Trumbull (9-3)
6. North Platte St. Pat's (10-1)
7. Crofton (7-2)
8. West Holt (6-3)
9. St. Cecilia (6-4)
10. Hershey (6-5)
Bob Sez: For a second straight season Aquinas rode a mighty defense to a state championship but not before getting the you-know-what scared of it in the semifinals in a 42-41 overtime win over No. 2 Lutheran High Northeast. Not only is that game an all-time classic it marked a sad end to the season for Lutheran High, which was good enough to win this class probably eight or nine of the past 10 years; just not this year. Sutton reached the finals for the first time since 1989 and represented itself well in a 35-20 loss to Aquinas. Bergan opened the season with losses to the No. 1 (Aquinas) and No. 2 (Lutheran High) teams in the class, then saw its season end in the quarterfinals with another loss to Aquinas. Doniphan-Trumbull couldn't figure out a way to beat Sutton, losing to the Mustangs twice, including a 36-18 defeat in the semifinals. St. Pat's was cruising until it suffered a 35-6 loss to D-T in the quarterfinals. Crofton lost to Doniphan-Trumbull, 49-33, but did hold a win over No. 8 West Holt, which was eliminated by St. Pat's in the second round. St. Cecilia's four losses were to No. 2 Sutton (twice), No. 5 Doniphan-Trumbull and Blue Hill, a team which had lost once prior to being upset by No. 1 Hershey, which earned its first two playoff wins on its way to the quarterfinals, where the Panthers lost to Sutton.
From summertime until the next to the last game of the season Aquinas and Lutheran High were on a collision course, season-long No. 1 and No. 2. Their playoff game was epic, the best of the playoffs, and that's saying something. Sutton's 12 straight wins was impressive while Bergan deserved a better fate, though No. 4 isn't bad, not bad at all. Doniphan-Trumbull's offense was a thing of beauty while having Hershey win its first two playoff games also marks a highlight, if you ask. Maybe even if you don't ask me...
Class D-1
1. Elgin/Pope John (13-0)
2. Exeter-Milligan (12-1)
3. BDS (10-2)
4. Howells-Dodge (10-1)
5. High Plains Community (9-2)
6. Guardian Angels Central Catholic (7-2)
7. Arapahoe (11-1)
8. Creighton (8-2)
9. Elm Creek (9-2)
10. Burwell (9-1)
Bob Sez: This Elgin and Pope John thing seems to be working out; two seasons, two state titles. The conduit to the pair, a stout defense and simple, superior running game, sort of man-on-man stuff. Exeter-Milligan, which reached its first-ever state playoff final, overcame an injury to its starting quarterback and managed to rally past BDS in the semifinals, 24-20, a few days after BDS sidelined then-No. 1 Howells-Dodge, 25-18. High Plains lost to Howells-Dodge in the regular season and to eventual runner-up Exeter-Milligan in the quarterfinals while Guardian Angels CC had two losses, both to Howells-Dodge, the second in the playoff second round. Arapahoe went 11-0 for the first time in school history before losing to eventual champion Elgin/Pope John in the semifinals and No. 8 Creighton lost only to Elgin/Pope John by 10 in the regular season and to BDS. No. 9 Elm Creek beat No. 1 Burwell, 42-40, in the second round before losing to Arapahoe in the quarterfinals.
The turning point in the D-1 postseason came on that night in Howells when BDS scored the quarterfinal upset, opening the door for somebody new to make a run at the title. The somebody new turned out to be somebody we already knew, defending champion Elgin/Pope John which just got better with each passing round of the playoffs. Gotta be happy for Exeter-Milligan (first final) and teams like Arapahoe, Elm Creek and Burwell, western teams which proved they could play with the big boys.
Class D-2
1. Giltner (13-0)
2. Humphrey St. Francis (12-1)
3. Falls City Sacred Heart (11-1)
4. Shelton (10-2)
5. Lindsay Holy Family (9-2)
6. Bertrand (10-1)
7. Medicine Valley (10-1)
8. Kenesaw (8-2)
9. Sterling (8-3)
10. Garden County (9-1)
Bob Sez: It just seemed right for Giltner to finally win a title after bumping its head on the glass ceiling these past few seasons; what a wonderful group of speedy, athletic players who understand and execute one of the most sophisticated offenses in any class. St. Francis would have won this class in a lot of other years but settles for reaching the finals for the third time in five years and seventh overall. Sacred Heart is indeed a worthy No. 3, it's only loss coming to St. Francis in the semifinals. Shelton had a year that will be talked about in town for a long, long time, winning its way to the semifinals before losing to eventual champion Giltner. No. 5 Holy Family lost to Sacred Heart in the quarterfinals and its only other loss was to No. 2 St. Francis. No. 6 Bertrand smoked No. 8 Kenesaw in the second round, 82-45, but then lost to Shelton in the quarterfinals. Med Valley reached the quarterfinals for a second straight season before losing to, you guessed it, Giltner. (Past two years Med Valley has lost in the quarters to the eventual state champs...) Sterling won two playoff games in the same season for the first time since 1992 while Garden County had its unbeaten season ended by Med Valley in the second round.
Giltner just never took its foot off the gas all season long, riding that high powered passing attack to its first state playoff title in nearly 30 years. Those top three teams were something special all season long while it was great to see good things happen for Shelton, a rising Holy Family, a taken-for-granted Bertrand and Med Valley, which has enjoyed more playoff success the past two seasons (four wins) than it had in the previous 37 years (three wins).
1. Wauneta-Palisade (11-0)
2. Sioux County (9-2)
3. Silver Lake (8-2)
4. Elkhorn Valley (7-3)
5. St. Edward (5-4)
Bob Sez: One year after going 0-8 Wauneta-Palisade completed a perfect season by beating Sioux County, 26-16, in the six-man playoff finals. Wauneta-Palisade reached the finals after beating Elkhorn Valley 51-16 in the semis while Sioux Count advanced to the final by beating Silver Lake 48-35. St. Edward reached the playoffs and owned a win over defending state champion Arthur County.