Up Next: East Butler vs Nebraska Lutheran at Shelby, 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1.
DWIGHT — There was only one downside for East Butler quarterback Dalton Bohac after guiding the Class D-1 No. 10 Tigers to a 46-point halftime lead Thursday night in the first round of the eight-man state high school football playoffs.
It meant the senior had to stand and freeze on the sidelines while the younger Tigers finished off the 52-20 win over Hartington-Newcastle with temperatures dropping into the upper 30s and a stiff 35- to 40-mph north wind bringing the wind chill under 25 degrees.
“I'd sit on the sidelines and let the younger guys get in there any day if we can play like that in the first half,” said Bohac, who rushed for 103 yards on 15 carries and three touchdowns and hit 6 of 9 passes for 96 yards and three more scores, all in a first half that East Butler (7-2) dominated 52-6.
“We came out ready to go. The defense forced a couple turnovers and gave us good field position, and we were able to take advantage,” Bohac said.
Two of East Butler’s (7-2) first three touchdowns — a 3-yard run by Wilson Wright and a 1-yard sneak from Bohac — were set up by fumble recoveries by Brandon Rezac (at the H-N 15-yard line) and Ryley Spatz (at the H-N 23). A 1-yard sneak by Bohac was sandwiched in between those as the Tigers cashed in after an 18-yard punt into the stiff breeze.
The Tigers took full advantage of the wind to their backs in the opening period as Bohac found Camden Robley for a 17-yard TD pass to make it 28-0 with 57 seconds left in the quarter. A 6-yard punt gave East Butler possession at that spot.
East Butler, however, scored 24 points into the wind in the second quarter on a 14-yard pass from Bohac to all-state tight end Trevor Havlovic, a 16-yard run by Bohac and a 23-yard screen pass and run by Robley, which came one play after Spatz recovered a fumble on the kickoff with 1:15 left in the first half.
East Butler’s defense held Hartington-Newcastle to 135 total yards, 78 of which came in the final half of the fourth quarter when Ethan Koch scored on a 16-yard run and Wildcat quarterback Shaye Morten broke a 53-yarder to the end zone to produce the final score with 1:16 left. Morten threw a 23-yard TD pass to Lincoln McPhillips for the Wildcats’ lone score in the first half.
“I thought our guys handled the conditions well,” said East Butler coach Shawn Biltoft, whose team is without senior starting running back Carter Stara because of a knee injury. “With weather like this, you want to take control early and put pressure on them to come back.”
Up next: Nebraska Lutheran
The Tigers will play Nebraska Lutheran on the field in Shelby at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 1.
The Knights improved to 8-1 thanks to a dominant rushing attack, defeating Thayer Central 68-16. Kyle Richert ran for 125 yards and four touchdowns and completed one pass for a 46-yard touchdown to Joao Godoy. Ben Riegsecker added 111 yards rushing and two more scores. The Knights led 60-0 at halftime. Isaiah Keilwitz rushed 42 times for 157 yards and both of Thayer Central's (4-5) touchdowns.
East Butler defeated the Eagles 50-28 on Sept. 29.