Fort Calhoun football clinches playoff berth, 42-12

Pioneers play Columbus Scotus on Friday

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The Fort Calhoun football team left no doubt in its regular season finale.
The Pioneers built a 27-0 halftime lead Friday and beat Logan View/Scribner-Snyder 42-12, guaranteeing themselves a Class C1 playoff berth — their first since 2014.
“Honestly, these playoffs, they mean everything to us right now,” FCHS senior Michael Pratt said. “There's just nothing you can say about it after that.”
The 13th-seeded Pioneers (7-2 overall) will play at No. 4 Columbus Scotus (8-1) this Friday during first-round play. The Shamrocks were unbeaten until a 35-0 loss to Columbus Lakeview last week.
To close out play on his home field, though, Calhoun quarterback Ty Hallberg threw three touchdown passes last Friday against the Raiders. The first two went to senior classmate Zane Schwarz during the first quarter.
“The first drive, they stopped us,” the receiver said. “But after that we kept marching and never looked backed.”
Schwarz's second touchdown catch covered 39 yards down the middle of the field. The senior bowled over a Logan defender on his way into the end zone — a highlight that ranks highly in his football career.
“I'd have to put it top five,” he said. “Maybe top three.”
From there, FCHS runners Clint Dierks and Tristan Fuhrman combined for three touchdown runs during the second and third quarters. Dierks scored two from 3 and 11 yards out, while Fuhrman's covered a yard.
Hallberg then connected with sophomore Grayson Bouwman during the fourth quarter to get the Pioneers to 42 points. An improved passing attack has allowed FCHS to score 40-plus points in four-straight games entering the playoffs.
“We were run-heavy until we got confident in our pass game,” Pratt said. “I think that was just communication between our receivers and our QB, but that's great now. We can do whatever we need to on that field.”
The Calhoun defense, meanwhile, was stout. Logan View didn't score until the second half after it had fallen behind by four scores.
“We knew that we had to stop them up front and I think we did for the most part,” linebacker Landon Miller said. “It was a physical battle.”
Communication has been key to the Pioneers' success on that side of the ball.
“We talk really well,” Miller said. “Most of the time, we know where everyone is.”
Fort Calhoun's seniors gathered for a class photo at midfield after their seventh win of the season. Typically, that's signaled the end of the season. This year, for the first time in their careers, the seniors and their teammates move onto the playoffs.

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