SHATTUCK – Burns Flat-Dill City football (9-3 overall) put together its best season in a decade, but a brutal draw in the second round of the Class B playoffs ended its season Friday in a 40-26 loss to No. 1 Shattuck (11-0).
The Eagles were never fazed by the two-time defending state champs but stalled drives in the red zone dashed the upset hopes.
BF-DC freshman quarterback Luke Schneberger rushed for two touchdowns (four and nine yards), threw for another to junior wide out Johnathon Wheeler (30 yards), and senior running back Luis Margerum closed out the Eagles’ scoring with the final TD run of his high school career (13 yards).
Schneberger said it was a tough way to end the season, but it wasn’t a surprise to see his team battle with the best in Class B.
“It should impress me, but I’m just so used to it out of this group,” he said. “They thought they were going to win the game, and they should’ve thought that, because I felt like we could’ve won the first one.
“They knew they should be there. It’s not like we lucked out and got to the second round. We feel like we should’ve won that game and made it to the quarterfinals. It’s just a testament to the senior class that we have. They’re mentally tough and fought their butts off.”
BF-DC scored to cut Shattuck’s lead down, 16-12, late in the second half, but the Indians took advantage of great field position after penalties moved the ensuing kickoff way back. They completed two passes, the second of which extended their lead to 24-12 at half.
Schneberger hit Wheeler for a 30-yard TD pass, and the Eagles successfully converted the two-point play to cut the lead down again in the third quarter, 24-20. The Eagles’ defense, which Schneberger lauded for its containment of Shat-tuck, shutout the Indians in the third quarter.
Eventually, the Indians’ offense found its stride again and scored twice to put the game away. Shattuck connected on a few hitch passes and let the receivers make plays, resulting in the fourth quarter offensive output.
The loss brought an early end to the Eagles’ playoff run, but it was a brilliant effort against an eight-man juggernaut. The Eagles lost three games this year, two games to Shattuck and one in the district title to Alex – a combined opponents’ record of 32-2. All three games were tightly-contested.
It goes to show the resiliency of the Eagles to get back to where they are now. That’s due to a senior class that saw this program go from zero wins across four years to a few in their first two varsity seasons, before finally breaking down the door and reaching the quarterfinals a year ago.
The eight seniors were true program changers, leaving the program in much better shape than they found it. Schneberger said the seniors showed why they were in the position the program was in Friday. It fought, scratched and clawed its way to a respectable conclusion.