No. 7 Lincoln Southeast (7-3) at No. 1 Omaha Burke (10-0), 7 p.m.: The list of players out of this game because of knee injuries is staggering — Burke Super-State and Nebraska linebacker recruit Nick Henrich, Southeast standout junior Isaac Gifford and Knights’ senior quarterback Jampe’ Gergen (the school record-holder for passing yards in a season). Burke beat the Knights 49-28 in the season opener, a game the Bulldogs led 42-7 in the third quarter. James Burks rushed for 119 yards and three TDs in that game, while quarterback Tyler Chadwick threw for 236 yards and four TDs.
No. 9 Millard West (8-2) at No. 3 Omaha Westside (9-1), 7 p.m.: It appears Millard West has put its upset loss to Lincoln East in Week 8 in the rearview mirror. The Wildcats posted a solid 31-14 first-round victory over Creighton Prep behind 238 total yards from junior quarterback Tristan Gomes and three TDs (two passing, one running), 140 yards rushing by Jackson Wright and a defense that limited Prep to 54 yards on the ground. Lincoln East managed just 70 yards of total offense against Westside in the Warriors’ 34-7 first-round win.
Elkhorn South (7-3) at No. 5 Bellevue West (9-1), 7 p.m.: Elkhorn South’s 27-24 upset of Lincoln High in the first round should prepare the Storm well for Bellevue West because both teams operate a wide-open passing attack with standout running backs. The Storm got 96 yards rushing and a pair of TDs from Cooper Jewett (1,068 yards on the season) and 61 yards from quarterback Drew Reetz. The Thunderbirds turned away Kearney’s upset bid 17-10 as junior all-state running back Jay Ducker ran for 210 yards and scored a late touchdown.
No. 10 Grand Island (8-2) at No. 2 Millard South (9-1), Buell Stadium, 7 p.m.: The Islanders pulled off one of the biggest comebacks in Class A playoff history, wiping out a 24-point deficit to Omaha North with 38 straight points to claim a 38-24 first-round victory. Grand Island quarterback Cole Evans is rounding into form after a sprained ankle late in the regular season, and that means the Islanders are once again a title contender. Sophomore quarterback TJ Urban and junior running back Isaiah Harris combined for 172 yards rushing in Millard South’s first-round win over Lincoln Pius X. The Patriots have 16 underclassmen in starting spots this season.
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No. 9 Blair (7-3) at No. 1 Omaha Skutt (10-0), 7 p.m.: Skutt won the first game between these teams 45-7. Blair’s offense shined in its 54-52 overtime win against No. 5 Northwest in the first round as Dex Larsen rushed for 212 yards and three TDs, Stewart Cremer passed for 349 and five TDs (tying a Class B playoff record) and Quincy Nichols had 12 catches for a B playoff record 229 yards and two scores.
No. 7 Waverly (8-2) at No. 3 McCook (9-1), Weiland Field, 6 p.m.: Both teams are going to line up and try to impose their will on the opposing defense running the ball. Whoever can take control of the line of scrimmage and maybe break a big play or two in the passing game will advance to the semifinals.
No. 6 Seward (8-2) at No. 4 York (8-2), Levitt Stadium, 7 p.m.: York’s offensive line of center Max Kohmetscher; guards Bo Lucas, Josh Saathoff and Doug Lazo; tackles Noah Stafursky and AJ Beins; and tight end Wyatt Cast paved the way for 325 yards rushing in the 35-14 first-round win over Alliance. That might be the best way to defend against Seward’s high-octane passing attack triggered by senior quarterback Joseph Krause.
No. 8 Omaha Roncalli (8-2) at No. 2 Scottsbluff (10-0), 6 p.m. MDT: Roncalli’s Alex Rodgers is one of the top offensive threats in Class B, going for 177 yards rushing and three TDs in a 44-8 first-round win over Mount Michael. Scottsbluff not only has one of the best defensive players in the state in defensive end Garrett Nelson, but also one of the backs in Class B in Chris Busby (1,268 yards rushing, 16 TDs).