Led by five Antelope County all-star football players, the White Team dominated the Red Team Saturday for a 35-point win in the Northeast Nebraska All-Star Classic.
The White Team won the fourth annual game 49-14 on a boiling Veterans Memorial Field, which saw on-field temperatures feel like 105 degrees
Clearwater-Orchard’s Andy Kerkman was named the team’s defensive player of the game thanks to down after down of pressure on the Red Team’s quarterbacks. In the second half, the Red Team struggled to even pick up a first down.
Kerkman said it was an adjustment moving from 8-man to 11-man for the all-star game, but he enjoyed the challenge. All of the Antelope County football players in the game played 8-man - or 6-man at one point for Elkhorn Valley - during high school.
Also appearing for Antelope County were Elgin Public Pope John’s Andrew Fangman and Kyle Kallhoff, along with Clearwater-Orchard’s Alex Olivan and Neligh-Oakdale’s Garett Allemang.
Kerkman said the team played well together.
“Our front line was amazing. They’d bring pressure from all four places, so as an offensive line, it was hard to guard that,” Kerkman said.
Fangman played a key role for the White Team’s domination on offense, rushing for 57 yards on 17 carries and scoring on two-yard play. As a team, the White squad rushed for 104 yards.
Defensively, the White Team held the red offense scoreless in the second half as they evened the series at 2-2.
Temperatures soared this week, nearly hitting triple digits most of the week. Kerkman said the practices helped prepare for Saturday’s game, but it was still a challenge.
“It has been hot,” he said. “(Coaches) were pretty generous the week of practice. You’d go for an hour and get a good 15-minute break and then go. They’d let you have water breaks. . . . they really pushed that and kept us hydrated.”
Six awards were given out to players before and after the game. Niobrara/Verdigre’s Cade Kalkowski and Battle Creek’s Drew Lanman earned “Best Teammate Awards.” Top offensive players awards were given to Gunner Fuelberth of Norfolk (White) and Taggert Bailey of Pierce (Red). Creighton’s Lane Walton earned top defensive player for the Red squad.