OMAHA – Omaha Roncalli used a strong aerial attack to stop Plattsmouth from advancing in the Class B football playoffs Friday night.
The Crimson Pride scored five times in the first half and went on to defeat the Blue Devils 56-28. Senior quarterback Jack Dotzler highlighted the team’s offense with 438 yards and seven touchdowns through the air. Both marks are the top totals in 11-man playoff history in Nebraska.
Plattsmouth head coach Bob Dzuris said he was proud of the way the Blue Devils kept working in the contest. Omaha Roncalli sprinted out to a 34-0 lead and went up 42-7 early in the third quarter. PHS cut the deficit to 42-21 in the next six minutes before the Crimson Pride pulled away for good.
“I think one of the biggest things I can say about this team is that our guys never quit,” Dzuris said. “They’ve always kept going in every game we’ve played this season, and tonight was no exception to that. They’re always working hard and they’ve always kept their heads up. Roncalli’s offense was just really, really good tonight.”
Omaha Roncalli’s offensive line played a key role in the contest by giving Dotzler plenty of time to find receivers downfield. Dotzler took advantage of that protection by connecting with multiple teammates on passing plays. He threw touchdowns to Shane Orr, Jake Orr, Ryan Fenoglio and Thomas Kenney during the night.
Dotzler broke his previous Class B single-game playoff mark of 392 yards. He achieved that feat against Scottsbluff in the 2018 postseason. He also became the all-class leader in the playoff passing category. Wolbach had 433 passing yards in a Class D3 playoff game against Arthur in 1994.
Omaha Roncalli (8-2) claimed the game’s early momentum in front of a crowd that featured two loud student sections. Dotzler found Shane Orr in the end zone on a 30-yard pass on the opening drive, and he partnered with Fenoglio on a 74-yard quick-strike play less than five minutes later.
Fenoglio struck again with a 40-yard touchdown reception on the first play of the second quarter. He bounced off two PHS defenders and dove past the righthand pylon into the end zone. The team made it 34-0 after Dotzler lofted consecutive touchdown passes from the 9-yard line.
Plattsmouth (4-6) entered halftime with energy after a pair of positive plays. Hunter Adkins found Andrew Rathman in the middle of the field for a 14-yard touchdown with 45.8 seconds to go. Caleb Laney then made a leaping interception at the goal line to prevent Omaha Roncalli from scoring in the final 10 seconds.
Dotzler added to his 354 first-half yards early in the third quarter. He fired a 26-yard strike to Shane Orr in the back of the end zone for a 42-7 lead.
Plattsmouth won the remaining minutes of the third quarter. Connor Pohlmeier took the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown to make it 42-14, and Adam Eggert intercepted a pass in the end zone on the Crimson Pride’s next series. PHS then marched 80 yards on a drive that ended with Rathman’s 15-yard touchdown catch.
Omaha Roncalli prevented Plattsmouth from erasing more of the lead. The team scored on its opening two drives of the fourth quarter to create a 56-21 game. Christian Meneses created the final margin when he burst downfield on a 38-yard touchdown run for PHS with 1:27 left.
Meneses led Plattsmouth’s rushing attack with 115 yards. Adkins ran for 69 yards, Pohlmeier gained 63 yards and Wynstyn Martin-Morrison compiled 52 yards.
Adkins completed seven passes for 105 yards. Martin-Morrison (53 yards), Rathman (29) and Eggert (19) all made two receptions and Laney collected one catch for four yards.
Plattsmouth qualified for the playoffs for the third time in five seasons. The Blue Devils squared off with multiple high-caliber teams during the year. Six of Plattsmouth’s regular-season opponents (Blair, Elkhorn Mount Michael, Omaha Skutt, Norris, Waverly and Omaha Gross) were in the Class B playoff field.
“I’m extremely proud of the way the guys played this year,” Dzuris said. “They competed against a lot of really good teams and they more than held their own. They had positive attitudes and their work ethic was second to none. They can feel good about what they accomplished because they worked hard in every single practice and every single game.”
Plattsmouth 0 7 14 7 – 28
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Omaha Roncalli 14 20 8 14 – 56
RCHS – Shane Orr 30 pass from Dotzler (Schwarz kick), 10:38
RCHS – Fenoglio 74 pass from Dotzler (Schwarz kick), 6:17
RCHS – Fenoglio 40 pass from Dotzler (kick blocked by Hinton), 11:49
RCHS – Kenney 9 pass from Dotzler (Schwarz kick), 8:56
RCHS – Jake Orr 9 pass from Dotzler (Schwarz kick), 2:43
PHS – Rathman 14 pass from Adkins (Prokupek kick), 0:45
RCHS – Shane Orr 26 pass from Dotzler (Kenney pass from Dotzler), 6:26
PHS – Pohlmeier 85 kickoff return (Prokupek kick), 6:10
PHS – Rathman 15 pass from Adkins (Prokupek kick) 0:01
RCHS – Shane Orr 16 pass from Dotzler (Schwarz kick), 9:33