Video below: Class C-2 highlights
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LINCOLN — David City Aquinas held off using its hammer until it was ready to nail down a repeat Class C-2 state football title.
Seth Hoffman, the Monarchs' 220-pound fullback, scored their clinching touchdown in a 35-20 win in front of 2,490 Tuesday at Memorial Stadium.
Hoffman's 97 carries entering the game were the most on his team. But he had only two carries until getting the call with the Monarchs holding on to a 28-20 lead in the fourth quarter.
On the scoring drive, he had four carries for 40 of the 72 yards.
Aquinas coach Ron Mimick, who has had Hoffman alternate with Austin Svoboda throughout the season, said it wasn't by design that Hoffman had that few touches.
“I didn't realize he didn't get the ball until then,” Mimick said. “Seth is a little stronger and thicker. When people get worn down, he's a better fullback. When people are attacking us, Austin is a better fullback.”
Landon Stouffer led the rushing game for the top-ranked Monarchs (13-0) with 113 yards and two touchdowns. Svoboda had 94 yards and had the game's opening touchdown. Matt Jakub had 40 yards and their other touchdown.
“We have a really nice offensive line and we have a stable of five backs who run well. Our halfbacks block well, as do our tight ends,” Mimick said. “We don't have a great back. We have good backs and good blocking and it's a nice combination.”
Sutton coach Steve Ramer, whose school was in its first final since 1989 and playing for its first title since 1988, said Aquinas wore down his team with its big, physical linemen.
“You saw that the way they ran the fullback dive with about seven yards a carry,” Ramer said.
No. 4 Sutton (12-1) forced the Monarchs into some midgame changes in their defensive alignment with its inside veer, operated by Cole Wiseman, who led all rushers with 152 yards and two touchdowns.
The junior quarterback's second touchdown run of the game, a 2-yarder after a 14-play, 48-yard drive following a recovery of a fumbled punt, cut the Aquinas lead to 28-20 with 9:09 left in the game.
“We needed a big stop after that, and (Aquinas) took it right down our throats. That's what a good ballclub does,” Ramer said.
Sutton (12-1) .............. 6 8 0 6—20
David City Aquinas (13-0) ............... 7 14 7 7—35
A: Austin Svoboda 1 run (Landon Stouffer kick)
S: Cole Wiseman 4 run (run failed)
S: Reed Stone 6 pass from Wiseman (Noah Johnson run)
A: Matt Jakub 4 run (kick failed)
A: Stouffer 9 run (Stouffer pass from Trev Semrad)
A: Stouffer 3 run (Stouffer kick)
S: Wiseman 2 run (PAT failed)
A: Seth Hoffman 8 run (Stouffer kick)
RUSHING: S, Wiseman 30-152, Mitch Carlson 15-61, Trae Ramer 9-34, Brody Yost 2-14, Noah Johnson 2-minus 2. A, Stouffer 15-113, Svoboda 15-94, Hoffman 6-42, Jakub 9-40, Eric Kobza 3-14, Alex Reimers 1-4, Kenton Kobza 1-0, Spencer Maguire 1-0, Trev Semrad 1-0.
PASSING: S, Wiseman 4-9-0 36. A, Semrad 1-2-0 31.
RECEIVING: S, Stone 2-16, Yost 2-16, Ramer 0-4. A, Cody Krafka 1-31.
DEFENSE (Unassisted-assisted-total): S, Max Olson 9-7-16, Wiseman 6-28, Carlson 5-3-8, Jake Nuss 4-48, Yost 45-2-6, Johnson 3-3-6, Ramer 2-3-5, Cole Schelkopf 2-1-3, Stone 1-1-2, Harrison Biehl 1-0-1, Levi Henery 0-1-1, Robby Kelly 0-1-1. A, Svoboda 9-8-17, Stouffer 4-4-8, James Buresh 4-04-8, Hoffman 6-1-7, Zach Krenk 3-4-7, Michael Byers 6-0-6, Reimers 3-1-4, Max Miriovsky 2-2-4, Jakub 3-0-3, Jeff Witter 1-2-3, Krafka 1-2-3, Evan Kranda 0-3-3.