AP NEWS

St. Francis hosts second round on Wednesday

October 31, 2018

Humphrey St. Francis football is getting ready for the second round of the Nebraska Football Playoffs where the Flyers will face off against Hartington-Newcastle.

The game will kick off at 5:30 p.m. tonight at Humphrey St. Francis.

HSF kept their undefeated record alive in the first round of the playoffs defeating Wausa 54-12 to improve to 9-0.

Hartington-Newcastle defeated Clarkson/Leigh 62-34 in the first round to improve their record to 6-3.

“They’re a very good team,” head coach Eric Kessler said. “We’ve watched a lot of film on them. They’re very impressive. They’ve got a lot of really good athletes and a lot of guys that excel in multiple sports. They have some guys that were at the state track meet last year. They have those types of athletes. They’re very well coached. They do some different things on offense to get their athletic players in space which is hard to defend. Then they’re very aggressive defensively. I’m very impressed with them in every aspect and we’ll have our hands full for sure.”

The Wildcats have shown a balanced offense this season rushing for 198 yards per game and passing for 124 yards each contest.

“They are very balanced with what they do,” Kessler said. “They do it out of a variety of formations, which is also a challenge to have your kids knowing where you want to line up and what we’re looking for, and then when they have good players on top of that it makes it even more difficult. We’ve been working hard this week trying to point some things out, making sure we got everything covered. I think we’ll play well.”

Hartington-Newcastle has only allowed an average of 21 points per game, but Humphrey St. Francis is averaging almost 59 points per game, so one side will have to give on Wednesday night.

“They’re a little different defensively than what we’ve faced most of the year, which will be interesting to see how we handle,” Kessler said. “They’re not very big up front, but they’re very fast and athletic and aggressive. They’re a little undersized, but they make up for it with aggressiveness.

“They’re hard-nose players that really get after it and flow to the football. It’s a little bit of a different animal defensively than what we have been seeing. They present some challenges in how they come about it. We’ve been working during practice to try to simulate what we think they’ll do, which is hard to do when they got so many good players. I think we have a good game plan and hopefully, we’ll be able to continue to move the ball.”

Peter Huguenin is a sports reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at sports@columbustelegram.com