Bluejay football

SENIOR POWER: Running back Bryce Kitrell, seen here evading a Nebraska City defender on Oct. 18, is one of 17 seniors on the Bluejay squad who will help lead the team in the Class C-1 playoffs. (Staff Photo by Suzi Nelson)

LINCOLN – The fourth-ranked Ashland-Greenwood Bluejays capped the regular season with a 41-19 road win against Lincoln Lutheran on Oct. 25 at Nebraska Wesleyan University’s Abel Stadium.

The Bluejays went to the air to get past the Warriors. AGHS threw for 315 yards and three scores against Lincoln Lutheran.

Senior quarterback Hunter Washburn had a big game for the Bluejays, throwing for 315 yards on 17 completions with three of them going for scores.

The first half went back and forth and was highlighted by a 32-point second quarter.

The Bluejays led 27-19 at the half on the strength of three big plays in the passing game.

The Jays got on the board first when Washburn connected with sophomore receiver Cale Jacobsen on a 13-yard scoring play. Julian Brown added the PAT and the Jays were on top by a score of 7-0.

The lead would be short lived.

The Warriors scored on a pair of passing touchdowns and took a 13-7 lead early in the second quarter.

The Bluejays answered emphatically with three unanswered touchdowns before halftime.

Washburn hurled two more touchdowns in the second quarter, a 77-yarder to Jacobsen and a 60-yarder to senior Seth Novak to put the Jays back on top 19-13.

The Jays went to the ground for their next score and turned to senior Bryce Kitrell. Kitrell scored on a 1-yard run and Washburn connected with Novak on the 2-pointer and the Jay lead grew to 27-13.

Lutheran closed the gap to 27-19 on a 38-yard scoring pass right before halftime.

After some halftime defensive adjustments, the Bluejay defense came out and shut down the Warrior offense.

AGHS held Lutheran scoreless over the final 24 minutes and extended their halftime lead with a pair of scores on the ground.

Senior Gavin Bergsten scored on a 7-yard run in the third quarter and Kitrell added a 5-yarder in the fourth quarter.

The win earned the Jays their third-ever district championship and completed the just the third undefeated regular season in the school’s history.

“These seniors have been through a lot and to lead us to this point has been a great show of determination and character. I know they are not done and will be eager to get back to work for the playoffs,” said Ashland-Greenwood Ryan Thompson.

The Bluejays piled up 452 total yards.

Jacobsen caught six balls and hauled in two scores while accounting for a team-high 124 yards. Novak added 99 yards receiving and senior tight end Kyle vonRentzell caught two balls for 64 yards.

Bergsten led the ground game with 68 yards and a touchdown on eight carries. Kitrell was limited to just 44 yards on 14 carries, but scored twice.

Senior defensive lineman Jacob Ludwig led the way defensively for the Jays finishing with 15 tackles, two sacks and six quarterback hurries. VonRentzell added eight 10 stops. Jacobsen and Washburn both intercepted passes.

The Bluejays now turn their attention to the Class C-1 playoffs and opening round opponent Cozad.

The Bluejays enter the playoffs as the No. 3 seed and will host the Haymakers at 7 p.m. at Memorial Stadium in Ashland on Friday.

Cozad brings a 5-4 record into the game on Friday night.

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