PAPILLION – The Grand Island Senior High’s high-powered offense couldn’t be contained as the Islanders stormed out of Papillion with a 42-21 victory on Friday night.
The No. 8-rated (Omaha World-Herald) Islanders went into halftime with a 28-14 lead after Carson Cahoy found Matt Jurgensmier in the back of the end zone as time expired. The Islanders then ran the ball down through the Monarchs in the second half and left with a 3-0 record.
“We made some big plays when we had to,” Grand Island coach Jeff Tomlin said. “Our defense didn’t really have a rhythm but we have a long way to go before we can say that we are good—I we will be good.”
The Islanders had 479 yards of total offense while the defense gave up 403.
There were plenty of standout performances for the Islanders but not as big as what Caleb Francl brought to the field.
“He’s the best player on the field—he keeps coming back after re-rolling that ankle,” Tomlin said. “He’s one tough kid and I’m glad he’s on our team. He’s a difference maker on both sides of the ball.”
In the first half, Francl scored a rushing touchdown and caught a touchdown for 24 yards. On the defensive side, Francl had an interception, forced a fumble and recovered the ball.
“I wanted to come out and do what I usually do,” Francl said.
In the third quarter, the Islanders started a drive on their own 48-yard line and drove down the field in 14 plays, ending with a 4-yard rushing touchdown up the middle by Francl.
“I saw our linemen block it perfectly and I hit the hole,” Francl said. “Our line did good all night.”
The offense had attacks coming from everyone on offense.
Cahoy threw for 239 yards and three touchdowns while he carried the ball 10 for 82 yards.
Francl ran the ball 12 times for 69 yards, Gaven Aken had 13 carries for 57 yards and Daylon Keolavone had 11 carries for 22.
“Our backs ran extremely hard,” Tomlin said. “Carson (Cahoy) did a lot of good things with his feet and his arm.”
In the air, Francl had six catches for 91 yards, Broc Douglass had four receptions for 75 yards while Jurgensmier had two catches for 47 yards and a touchdown.
Despite forcing three turnovers, the Islander defense gave up 25 first downs on 247 rushing yards and 156 yards in the air.
Next Friday the Islanders return home, as they will take on North Platte.
“We’ll have a lot to improve on—we are going to want to come out and improve on this performance,” Tomlin said. “We’ve got a lot of healing to do because we expect North Platte to be a very good team.”