SUTTON — Dylan Kautz may be the fastest runner in Nebraska, but the Norfolk Catholic senior doesn't want just to be known for speed.
The 5-foot-9, 180-pounder made another case for that Friday when he ran 31 times for 232 yards to lift top-ranked Norfolk Catholic to a 50-28 victory over No. 6 Sutton in a Class C-2 semifinal.
The Knights will look to expand on their state-leading 10 state championships on Nov. 20 at 10:15 a.m. in Memorial Stadium in the title game against Centennial, a 35-14 winner over Oakland-Craig. Norfolk Catholic was the C-1 champion last year and Centennial was the runner-up in C-2.
"At Norfolk Catholic, we always try to play power football. It helps to be able to run right through the tackles," said Kautz, who ran for three touchdowns and caught a TD pass. "The guys up front — Jalen Robinson, Christian Cattau, Joey Otero, Ethan Piper and Joe Teten — they do an amazing job."
Kautz also gets a boost from Evan Smith, who shares running back duties, running 16 times for 155 yards and two touchdowns.
"Everyone knows about Dylan," Norfolk Catholic coach Jeff Bellar said. "Evan has really good hands and he's a good ball carrier, too. They complement each other. The line did a good job."
The Knights (11-1) threatened to run away with the game, scoring on their first two possessions.
But Cade Wiseman gave Sutton a jump-start when he took a stutter-step on the ensuing kickoff, then raced 96 yards for a score. Norfolk Catholic came right back with a score, but Sutton trimmed the margin to 21-16 when Wiseman scored on an 11-yard jet sweep and then threw for the two-point conversion.
"We have to do a little bit better job on kickoff team. We gave up a kickoff that gave them a lot of momentum, they get excited and then it was a little back-and-forth for a little bit," said Bellar.
But Norfolk Catholic added a touchdown, this one a 1-yard plunge by Kautz, just before halftime.
Sutton stopped Norfolk Catholic on downs to open the second half but couldn't capitalize. Kautz and the Knights made them pay. Kautz raced 50 yards for a touchdown and two plays later, Nebraska recruit Ethan Piper caused a Sutton fumble and Norfolk Catholic made it 43-16 when Nate Brungardt found Smith for a 56-yard touchdown pass.
"I thought we fought pretty hard in the second quarter and got some things going. We made a game out of it," Sutton coach Steve Ramer said. "After that, they kind of owned us. Two turnovers that second half. They're going to let you have a chance to hang in there, but if you make a mistake, it's over."
While the Norfolk Catholic Catholic offense racked up 464 yards of total offense (388 on the ground), the defense held Sutton to to just 122 yards through the first three quarters. Brett Simonsen ran for 14- and 65-yard touchdowns in the final period to help push that total to 256.
"Their front D-linemen are good. Ethan Piper is as advertised. Those other guys are just as good," Ramer said of Robinson and Teten. "We were OK and then they just wore us down."
NORFOLK CATHOLIC 50, SUTTON 28
NC--Kautz 20 pass from Cunningham (Carlson kick)
NC--Smith 25 run (Carlson kick)
SUT--Wiseman 96 kickoff return (Perrien run)
NC--Smith 58 run (Carlson kick) Sut--Wiseman 11 run (Wiseman run)
NC--Kautz 1 run (Kautz run) NC--Kautz 50 run (Carlson kick)
NC--Smith 56 pass from Brungardt (Carlson kick)
NC--Kautz 36 run (Carlson kick)
SUT--Simonsen 14 run (run failed)
SUT--Simonsen 65 run (pass failed)
RUSHING--NC, Kautz 31-232, Smith 16-155, Vetter 2-minus 2, Burbach 1-minus 3, Clausen 4-8, Smydra 1-5, Schlecht 1-minus 7, Eisenmenger 1-0; Sutton, Simonsen 15-111, Wiseman 4-25, Perrien 11-58, Rogers 3-minus 3.
PASSING--NC, Cunningham 1-2-0, 20 yards; Brungardt 1-1-0, 56 yards; Sutton, Perrien 4-7-1, 39 yards; Wiseman 1-1-0, 26 yards.
RECEIVING--NC, Smith 1-56, Kautz 1-20; Sutton, Stone 2-31, Davis 2-22, George 1-12.