State’s top football players ready to air it out in the Nebraska Shrine Bowl

State’s top football players ready to air it out in the Nebraska Shrine Bowl
Bellevue West’s Joe Dolincheck will be one of the quarterbacks for the North’s spread offense, which will be coached by his high school coach, Mike Huffman. (World-Herald News Service)

KEARNEY, Neb. — Don’t hold dinner Saturday night for the Nebraska Shrine Bowl teams.

And NET, the three hours you have blocked out for your 2 p.m. telecast of Saturday’s 60th annual all-star football game from UNK? The repeat of “The This Old House Hour” that follows might be bumped.

“It might be the first four-hour Shrine Bowl in history,’’ North coach Mike Huffman said.

“I don’t know if we’ll break a points record, but maybe a pass attempts record and maybe a game length record,’’ South coach Kyle Peterson said. “I don’t know if I’d like that, because that means some of those balls are incomplete.

“We’re going to play to our skill sets and they’re going to play to theirs. It’s what makes this a fun matchup. It’s two pretty similar units going at each other.”

Operating the spread attacks will be quarterbacks Joe Dolincheck of Bellevue West and Riley Harms of Fremont for the North and Matt Masker of Kearney Catholic and Dylan Plautz of Omaha Westside for the South. Each passed for more than 2,000 yards in 2017.

“Ours are sponges. They pick things up so quickly,’’ said Peterson, from Aurora. “Day 1, we said we’re going to throw the kitchen sink at you and we’re going to try to install everything we can those first two days of camp and choose what we really like.”

Huffman believes he has an advantage with Dolincheck, a two-year starter for him at Bellevue West.

“He’s been able to coach the kids,’’ the coach said. “He took all the receivers and skill kids downstairs of the frat house where we stayed and on a big whiteboard went through all the stuff. We didn’t ask him to do that. The kids wanted to do that.

“And Riley, once this kid gets some more time in a passing offense, this kid can throw the ball. It’s so effortless. It just flies off his hand. I think (UNK) got a really, really good player.”

Who could have breakout games?

On the South, Peterson mentioned Gibbon linebacker Wyatt Kee and Class C-1 running backs Dashawn Bates of Boys Town and Jacob Johnson of Fairbury.

“Kee, his motor never stops and he gets as much out of his body as he can and that’s really fun to see,’’ Peterson said. “The backs, I bet a lot of the Metro (Conference) guys don’t know what they’re capable of.”

Huffman cited Bennington running back Jacob Wageman and O’Neill receiver Wyatt Liewer on offense and NU walk-on lineman Colton Feist of Yutan and defensive back Dylan Egr of Wahoo on defense.

“Everybody knows about Feist, but I’m not sure everybody knows all about him. He is a man-child,” Huffman said. “Egr was a running back, but we’re playing him at safety.

“That’s the hard thing about this game: Everybody was their school’s superstud. Like Darnel Davis from Burke. He’s playing corner and safety for us even though he’s one of the best wide receivers in the state. They have been so accepting.”

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