Preisman Recap: Elkhorn South


Photo by Jimmy Rosenthal

Brendan Preisman, Jay Journal Sports


In their last regular season game, the #10 Creighton Prep Junior Jays (6-3, 2-3 in district) would be lined up against the #9 Elkhorn South Storm (6-3, 3-2 in district).

In a game where home-field advantage for Prep was at stake, they knew that they would have to stop the Storm senior running back Eli Hustad.

However, they were unable to do so for the majority of the evening..

Hustad’s final stats: 23 carries for 263 yards and 3 TDs, 2 catches for 42 yards and 1 TD. It could have been worse, too, if he hadn’t fumbled on the goal line on South’s second drive.

Hustad had a lot of running room nearly all game. The Prep offense sputtered at times and didn’t put together a quality scoring drive until the 3rd quarter.

Senior quarterback John Coniglio had a rough night for him, going 22 of 40 and throwing 3 interceptions, more than his season total coming into this game.

The Junior Jays are looking for answers after this game, but those answers won’t be easy to find. Hustad broke a lot of tackles, and used his speed on the edge too. Prephad a tough time stopping the run on Friday.

The Junior Jays had trouble against the pass, too, and the first throw of the game for South’s senior quarterback Elliott Brown was a score.

This game was difficult to watch. Prep has had a couple of poor defensive games, but the offense had at least been above average in those games.

This one, however, was different. The offense seemed like they were being forced to go uphill all game, while Elkhorn South was driving downhill.

There are very few good takeaways from this game, but, in the second half, the team showed why they have a top 10 ranking.

Coniglio turned those 22 completions into 191 yards and 2 TDs. However, he never looked really comfortable in the pocket. In the playoffs, Prep will need to give Coniglio time if they want to win.

The running game was very rough thanks to Elkhorn South’s swarming defensive line. Coniglio was the leading rusher with 12 carries for 21 yards. The junior running back Vinny Cacioppo had a tough game, with just 8 carries for 20 yards.

In the passing game, Prep senior wide receiver Mason Armstead returned to form with 12 catches for 99 yards and 2 TDs. On defense, the senior also made the hit on Hustad that forced the goal-line fumble.

However, that play might have been the lone defensive bright spot.

The touchdowns came after the game was already out of reach and the deficit was 28 points, which was Prep’s largest first half deficit of the season. The offense managed just 229 yards of total offense, less than Hustad had by himself.

Just two weeks after Prep got to 6-1, the team is now 6-3. 6-3 is a good record, but the team could be doing better..

For Elkhorn South, this is a huge morale boost just before the playoffs, where they have a chance to do some damage.

Next week, they will travel to Kearney (7-2, 4-0 in district, last game: 31-14 W at North Platte) for the #8-#9 game in the first round. They have a chance to build on what has been a great season so far.

For Prep, the Warriors of Westside loom again. Westside (7-2, 4-1 in district) earned the #7 seed thanks to a terrific season that saw their only losses to top 5 teams.

In a winner-take-all game, the two longtime rivals will aim to take each other down once again. However, based on what I saw Friday night, Westside has the clear edge. There’s only one thing I have to say to the Junior Jays (especially the run defense):

Good luck and play well.