They don’t always live up to the hype.
But on Friday night in Omaha, Scottsbluff defeated Roncalli, 63-56, in one that delivered on the week-long build up and then some as the Bearcats were able to advance to the Class B State Title game for the second straight season.
In a quarterback showdown for the ages, Scottsbluff’s, Sabastian Harsh, and Roncalli’s, Jack Dotzler, treated, what many were saying was the largest crowd ever at Roncalli to a night well worth their $7 entry fee.
The incomparable Harsh finished with an eye popping, emoji worthy stat line of 47 carries for 347 yards and five rushing touchdowns while also adding 254 yards passing and three more scores through the air. Somehow Harsh continues to raise the bar. He added two sacks on the defensive side of the ball for good measure.
It’s been said here since the preseason that the 6’3, 230 pound Harsh is one of the best football players in the state, regardless of classification, and Friday night was an exclamation point of proof.
Just take a look at his season long stat line (*unofficial): 203 rushes, 1,796 yards rushing, 8.84 yards per carry, 32 rushing TD’s, 885 yards passing, with 11 passing touchdowns.
When asked about the matchup with Dotzler earlier in the week this is what Harsh had to say…
One of the top dudes on the field? Mission accomplished. Now he’s got an opportunity on the biggest stage in the state to help raise a championship banner at Scottsbluff High School.
On the other side, it was Roncalli’s Jack Dotzler proving that you can be a championship player even in defeat. Dotzler, who in the matchup with Scottsbluff a year ago in the quarterfinals, suffered a nasty injury that knocked him out of the game before halftime, went off.
The 155 pound magician threw for a state 11-man playoff record 453 yards with six passing touchdowns while adding another 53 yards rushing with one score on the ground.
You really have to watch Dotzler in person to appreciate his game; the ability to move up, back, left, or right to keep plays alive. He’ll throw at the last minute on the RPO’s. He throws his receivers open constantly with defenders in the area.
Some of his highlights included an early 57 yard TD pass in the games first minute, along with a first quarter 99 yard TD pass and then in the fourth quarter a step up in the pocket delivery to the back, middle of the endzone that turned into a score.
This would have to go down as one of the great duals in state playoff history.
Scottsbluff, as always, got contributions from elsewhere.
Senior Jasiya DeOllos, who moved to the feature back roll in this game due to the season ending foot injury for Jacob Krul, picked up 30 yards rushing but was ultra-key in the passing game with three catches for 93 yards and a touchdown.
DeOllos also came up with the key play of the night when he blocked a punt and then found it to fall on in the endzone for a touchdown to stretch the lead to 57-33 in the third quarter.
The win sets up a rematch of last year’s title game in Class B against Omaha Skutt Catholic, who defeated Waverly 27-10 in other semifinal on Friday night.
Skutt showed their championship mettle coming out of the locker room at halftime as they scored 21 unanswered points to eventually go on to win 27-10.
Skutt defeated Scottsbluff in last year’s championship game by the final of 48-27.
The Rural Radio Network will have coverage from Lincoln on Monday, November 25th, starting at 5:15 MT with a one hour pregame show leading up to kickoff at 6:15 (7:15 kickoff time central time).
You can listen on 106.9 The Trail and KHYYfm.com.