Playoff picture coming into focus for Eagles
Brady moves to top of D-2 District 8 with 34-20 victory.
ANSLEY—It has been more than a decade since the Brady football team has made serious state playoff plans.
With a 34-20 win in a blizzard over Ansley on Friday night, the Eagles moved to the top of the D-2 District 8 in playoff points and all but clinched a berth.Barring some crazy twist of fate, Brady coach Darren Tobey said the Eagles will be in when the playoffs begin Oct. 29.
Right now Brady sits at No. 4 in Class D-2 in power points assigned by the Nebraska School Activities Association. The top 32 get into the playoffs.
“These kids have a very different attitude than I’ve ever seen from them,” Tobey said. “And I have to give them the credit. They’re the ones who have made the change. This week, we took another huge step forward.”
Tobey said he expected the Warriors to be extremely physical and he was concerned before the game how his Eagles might respond.
“We matched every ounce of what they gave us,” the coach said. “That shows the coaches and players that we can beat a good team.”
Brady scored on the opening drive. After faltering on the first two plays, Kyle Pohlman hit Alvin Lunkwitz with a 57-yard pass.
Lunkwitz was shoved out of bounds at the 1-yard line, setting up the short scoring run by Brad Ward. The PAT failed putting Brady up 6-0.
Ansley wasted little time tying the score, finding the endzone on the next series. A two-point conversion pass gave the Warriors an 8-6 lead.
Ansley scored again near the end of the first period but missed the PAT to push the Warriors ahead 14-6.
After falling short on fourth down to end the first quarter inside their own territory, the Eagle defense stepped up.
Lincoln Blede intercepted an Ansley pass and returned it 45 yards for the touchdown. Pohlman ran in the PAT to tie the score at 14-14 where it stayed through halftime.
“I didn’t think we were playing as well as we could in the first half,” Tobey said. “That game was more about what we were doing and not so much what they were doing.”
With a driving snow in the second half, the Eagles never lost focus.
Brady held Ansley out in the third quarter while scoring two more touchdowns.
Pohlman found paydirt with a 15-yard run and later hit Ward with a 15-yard pass to give the Eagles a 26-14 advantage at the end of three quarters.
The Eagles earned one more touchdown early in the fourth period when Ward broke free up the middle for a 48-yard touchdown. Brady capped the scoring with a PAT pass to Tyler Egenberger.
Ward finished with 111 yards on 15 carries while Pohlman earned 97 yards on 25 carries.
With a 4-2 record, another win could mean a home-field advantage in the playoffs, Tobey said.
“I am very proud of the way our kids stayed focused through the cold and snow,” Tobey said of the freezing temperatures and driving snow. “But they have to remember we still have work to do.”
The Eagles host Sumner-Eddyville-Miller in their parent’s night game this week.
SEM is a tough team at 2-4 on the year, Tobey said, with a fast team that will spread the field.
“There’s a lot at stake,” he said. “With every new week there’s a new challenge. We’ll see if they’re up for it.”