Crawford Rams

Crawford senior Blaine Flack prepares to take the snap against Morrill this fall. He completed 160 of 285 passes for 2,236 yards and 31 touchdowns this season. During the past three years, he completed 351 of 635 passes (55.3 percent) for 4,717 yards and 51 TDs. He was intercepted 27 times.

Record photo by Brandon Davenport

It’s just the way things work: If a team can’t run the ball, it passes. If it can’t pass, it runs.

That’s definitely was what happened among 8-man football teams in the Panhandle this fall. There was no such thing as a balanced offense by any of the five teams.

Crawford was the passing leader. The Rams averaged just 116.8 yards a game on the ground, but threw for an average of 253.7. Leyton’s proportions were similar. The Warriors rushed for only 55 yards a game, but threw for an average of 125.4.

All the other 8-man teams were ground-oriented. Garden County ran for almost 290 yards a game and Hemingford for 282. Garden County threw for 86 yards a game, but Hemingford for only 30.8 yards per game.

Crawford’s aerial game was triggered by quarterback Blaine Flack. He completed 160 of 285 passes for 2,236 yards and 31 touchdowns. He also was the Rams’ leading rusher with 503 yards. His top receiver was Andrew Wendland, who caught 70 passes for 1,067 yards.

Despite losing to Mullen 86-46, the pair clicked through the air against the Broncos. Flack completed 32 of 62 passes for 516 yards and five touchdowns. Wendland caught 17 of the passes for 365 yards for the state’s 8-man single-game yards receiving record. Flack missed state’s the passing yardage record by 16 yards.

Three 8-man players ran for more than 1,000 yards. Hemingford junior Justin Davis was the pacesetter with 1,289 yards, despite missing the final 1 ½ games during the playoffs with a broken ankle. Both of the others were seniors at Garden County, which finished the season with an 8-2 record. Nic Koppman rushed for 1,228 yards and Blake McCormick for 1,176.

McCormick scored one more touchdown than Koppman and was the Panhandle’s scoring leader with 140 points, six more than Koppman, who intercepted eight passes to lead that category. Davis finished with 128 points. All three scored at least 19 TDs.

The stats as reported by the coaches follow:

Passing PC PA Yds. % TD Int.

Blaine Flack, Craw. 160 285 2,236 55.7 31 11

Josh Kruse, Ley. 53 143 805 37.1 11 8

Austin Dormann, GC 38 72 694 52.8 13 5

Miles Davis, Hem. 24 67 289 35.8 3 8

Tanner Whetham, Mor. 12 43 101 27.9 1 3

Rushing Offense G Yds. Ave.

Garden County (8-2) 10 2,899 289.9

Hemingford (7-3) 10 2,822 282.2

Morrill (1-6) 7 1,101 157.3

Crawford (4-5) 9 1,051 116.8

Leyton (0-7) 7 384 54.9

Team records do not include forfeits

Passing Offense G Yds. Ave.

Crawford 9 2,283 253.7

Leyton 7 878 125.4

Garden County 10 861 86.1

Hemingford 10 308 30.8

Morrill 7 121 17.2

Total Offense G Yds. Ave.

Garden County 10 3,760 376.0

Crawford 9 3,334 370.4

Hemingford 10 3,130 310.0

Leyton 7 1,262 180.3

Morrill 7 1,222 174.6

Rushing Att. Yds. Ave.

Justin Davis, Hem. 162 1,289 8.0

Nic Koppman, GC 167 1,228 7.4

B. McCormick, GC 156 1,176 7.4

Miles Davis, Hem. 157 831 5.3

Blaine Flack, Craw. 118 503 4.7

T. Whetham, Morr. 105 441 3.9

C. Swanson, Hem. 67 401 6.0

Will Howell, Morr. 71 310 4.4

Kage Jespersen, Hem. 58 231 4.0

Jaydin Gartner, Ley. 64 213 3.3

Austin Dormann, GC 57 168 3.0

Cody Miller, Morr. 26 158 6.1

Trevor Nelson, Craw. 25 146 5.8

Matt Wendland, Craw. 21 132 6.3

Receiving No. Yds. Ave.

A. Wendland, Craw. 70 1,067 15.2

A. Kennedy, Craw. 36 562 15.6

Russ Dominek, Ley. 24 438 18.3

Aaron Alcorn, Craw. 24 346 14.4

Reid Spady, GC 17 256 15.1

Blake McCormick, GC 6 244 40.7

Zack Henke, Ley. 13 187 14.4

Trevor Nelson, Craw. 23 167 7.3

Hayden Reidel, GC 14 166 11.9

Jaydin Gantner, Ley. 12 120 10.0

Luke Cullan, Hem. 7 112 16.0

Drew Haley, Ley. 7 101 14.4

Kickoff Returns No. Yds. Ave.

Justin Davis, Hem. 11 271 24.6

Chandler McCord, GC 16 346 21.6

Rowdy Lind, Morr. 339

Nic Koppman, GC 14 208 14.9

Austin Kennedy, Craw. 18 263 14.6

Russ Dominick, Ley. 11 146 13.3

Jaydin Gartner, Ley. 10 87 8.5

Punt Returns No. Yds. Ave.

Nick Koppman, GC 8 130 15.3

Jaydin Gartner, Ley. 4 81 20.3

Russ Dominick, Ley. 4 74 18.5

Justin Davis, Hem. 10 50 5.0

Scoring TD PAT Pts.

Blake McCormick, GC 20 10 140

Nic Koppman, GC 19 10 134

Justin Davis, Hem. 19 7 128

A. Wendland, Craw. 18 *14 122

Blaine Flack, Craw. 12 4 80

Miles Davis, Hem. 12 0 72

Reid Spady, GC 8 3 54

Connor Swanson, Hem. 7 0 42

Russ Dominick, Ley. 6 2 40

Austin Dormann, GC 6 2 40

Aaron Alcorn, Craw. 6 1 38

Austin Kennedy, Craw. 5 3 36

Jaydin Gartner, Ley. 4 1 26

Cheney Stanczyk, GC 3 3 24

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Dennis Vogl, Cr. 3 3 24

*Includes 10 PAT kicks. All others 2-pt conversions

Punting No. Yds. Yds.

Justin Davis, Hem. 9 344 38.2

B. Chancellor, Hem. 8 300 37.5

Austin Dormann, GC 14 478 34.1

Aaron Alcorn, Craw. 13 421 32.4

Jaydin Gartner, Ley. 32 987 30.8

Cody Miller, Morr. 34 986 29.0

Tackles Una. Asst. *Pts.

Spencer Jones, Craw. 35 74 144

Will Ackerman, Craw. 22 52 96

Blaine Flack, Craw. 28 30 86

Trevor Nelson, Craw. 18 45 81

A. Wendland, Craw. 22 33 77

Wyatt Mader, Craw. 17 32 66

Nic Koppman, GC 40 45 125

Blake McCormick, GC 35 43 113

Austin Dormann, GC 23 51 97

Connor McCord, GC 30 35 95

Ken Barrings, GC 29 35 93

Noah Lake, GC 27 40 87

Reid Spady, GC 25 35 85

Hayden Reidel, GC 25 32 82

Connor Swanson, Hem. 51 47 149

Miles Davis, Hem. 44 37 125

Brandon Chancellor, Hem. 34 36 104

Brian Turek, Hem. 28 29 85

Kage Jespersen, Hem. 20 31 71

Justin Davis, Hem. 24 12 60

Austin Farritor, Hem. 21 18 60

T. Hume-Gartner, Ley. 35 39 109

Josh Kruse, Ley. 22 50 94

Russ Dominick, Ley. 28 34 90

Jaydin Gartner, Ley. 24 26 74

Drew Haley, Ley. 14 22 50

Cody Miller, Morr. 22 40 84

Andy Garcia, Morr. 20 35 75

Johnny Hessler, Morr. 21 32 74

Will Howell, Morr. 16 36 68

Tanner Whetham, Morr. 18 25 61

Rowdy Lund, Morr. 16 26 58

*2 pts for unassisted tackle, 1 pt for assisted tackle.

Pass Interceptions: Nic Koppman, GC, 8; Blaine Flack, Craw, 5; Miles Davis, Hem, 4.

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