PREISMAN PRE-CAP: Papillion La Vista South


Brendan Preisman, CP Sports Network

After a start to the season that involved two top-3 teams in three weeks, Creighton Prep has faced a much lighter schedule, and is now preparing to do battle with a third straight team with a losing record.  Papillion South is 3-4 but has been competitive in two of their losses, and they’re also coming off of a 48-28 win over Omaha Central.  They’re a solid team, but when they played Westside (by far their best opponent this year), they lost 47-19.  

The man that makes the Titans’ offense run-and score over 26 points per game-is their junior quarterback, Brady Fitzpatrick.  Fitzpatrick is 87/159 on the year for 1003 yards and 10 touchdowns compared to just 2 interceptions.  He’s also a prodigious runner, with 100 carries for 426 yards and a score.  His favorite guy to throw to is senior wide receiver Ian Medeck, who has 25 catches on the year.  Medeck has taken those catches for 381 yards and 8 touchdowns, both of which are top-50 figures in Class A.  Senior Jaden Quelette also likes to get in on the receiving action, with 21 catches for 214 yards and a score already this year.

On the ground, the offense runs through Devyn Jones, the junior running back.  He leads the team in carries, yards, and rushing touchdowns, with 104, 572, and 9.  He’s also a factor in the receiving game, with over 100 yards and a touchdown through the air as well.  Quelette can also run the ball, with 46 carries for 160 yards so far.

On defense, Papillion La Vista South is led by senior Nick Ripple.  He’s got 60 tackles on the year to go along with a sack and a forced fumble.  Jimmy Rosenthal also has a nose for the ball, and specifically, the quarterback, with 40 tackles and 4 sacks from the safety position, as well as an interception and fumble recovery.   Another key player is junior linebacker Broden Bahl, who has 33 tackles and returned an interception for a touchdown against Lincoln Southwest.

Meanwhile, Creighton Prep is on a 4 game winning streak, and it’s all thanks to their crushing run game.  All 4 wins have seen the Junior Jays go over 235 total rushing yards, and they haven’t really even needed to pass (the high point so far on the win streak is 149 yards).  The guy to thank for that is Marty Brown, who now sits at 845 yards on just 134 carries (an eye popping 6.3 yards per rush) as well as 13 rushing touchdowns.  He’s scored multiple touchdowns in each game throughout the streak and gone over 100 rushing yards in all but one of those games.  

Of course, Brown isn’t the only reason that this team is scoring almost 40 points a game over the last month.  Senior quarterback Jack Piernicky is 69/131 for 866 yards and 7 touchdowns to 6 interceptions.  Over the streak, his completion percentage is above 50% for every game and over the back half, he hasn’t thrown any interceptions.  Another senior named Jack also spends a lot of time in the backfield, though he doesn’t stay there for long.  Jack Stessman has 300 rushing yards already on just 42 carries and also has 6 rushing touchdowns.  Meanwhile, Thomas Leiden has become the clear leader of the receiving corps with 413 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Meanwhile, the defense has also been incredible, giving up less than 16 points a game over the streak.  Credit has to go to the defensive backs, who have quietly been maybe the most impressive position unit on the team.  Last week Jack Kirkwood recovered a fumble and had an interception and Cayden Russell got a pick six…before the first quarter was halfway done.  Defense has long been a strength of this team, and this year they’ve even added scoring and winning the field position battle to their duties.  This is a defense that can flip any game against any opponent, and that makes this Prep team a very dangerous squad.

This Papillion La Vista South team is an interesting one.  Yes, they’ve won a fair amount of games this season and been competitive in most losses, but nothing jumps out to me.  It’s difficult to see how this Titans team can hang with a contender like Creighton Prep.  The key will be the turnover battle and 3rd downs.  This Titans team is very good at holding on to the ball, and this Junior Jays team is very good at taking away the ball.  I also think that Prep will be better at stopping the run than Papillion South, and I think that will decide this game in favor of the Junior Jays.  

My final prediction is 28-14 Creighton Prep.