GILTNER, Neb. — Jake Findley didn’t have to test his arm in a strong crosswind Tuesday to add five touchdown passes to his state-record total.
Three of the five by the Giltner senior were close-range shovel passes to Kyle Hawthorne as Findley improved to 55 touchdown passes without an interception this season in a 66-22 Eight Man-2 quarterfinal win over Medicine Valley.
“I saw things today I’ve seen all year,” Giltner coach Jeff Ashby said. “Our offense is pretty explosive if we do things right.”
Findley threw four touchdown passes in the first half, connecting with Hawthorne three times and with Ryan Kleier on a screen pass for a 50-yard score, for a 50-6 lead.
Kleier also had a 35-yard touchdown run and Findley a 5-yarder for the No. 3 Hornets (11-0).
No. 4 Medicine Valley (10-1) was without starting quarterback Riley Garey, who tore knee ligaments during last week’s second-round win over Garden County. Garey’s father, school superintendent Alan Garey, said his son was making a cut when he went down and he is also expected to miss basketball season.
“We lost a lot with him out,” Raiders coach Steve Johnson said.
Garey’s replacement, sophomore Chase Barthel, was 11 of 20 for 146 yards and two touchdowns. He led Raider rushers with 52 yards on 21 carries.
Barthel’s 3-yard pass to Lucas Gleisberg was the only first-half score for the Raiders, who lost a fumble and threw an interception that Dylan Hinrichs returned 28 yards for a Hornet touchdown.
Findley, whose fifth touchdown pass came in the fourth quarter after Medicine Valley was within a score of returning the game to normal timing rules, was 22 of 27 for 262 yards.
Hawthorne had 10 catches for 102 yards. Kleier, who took over at running back several games ago when a hamstring injury restricted starter Garrett Poppen to defense only, rushed for 165 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries.
Medicine Valley (10-1) ................. 0 6 8 8—22
At Giltner (11-0) ................. 30 20 8 8—66
G: Kyle Hawthorne 6 pass from Jake Findley (Hawthorne pass from Ryan Kleier)
G: Kleier 50 pass from Findley (pass failed)
G: Dylan Hinrichs 28 interception return (Kleier run)
G: Hawthorne 43 pass from Findley (Findley run)
MV: Lucas Gleisberg 3 pass from Chase Barthel (pass failed)
G: Findley 5 run (run failed)
G: Kleier 35 run (run failed)
G: Hawthorne 5 pass from Findley (Kleier run)
G: Kleier 2 run (Hinrichs pass from Findley)
MV: Ty Contrerez 3 run (run failed)
MV: Gleisberg 2 pass from Barthel (Contrerez run)
G: Hinrichs 8 pass from Findley (Dustin Hastings pass from Findley)
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