Published Monday, August 5, 2013 AT 7:00 AM / Updated at 6:12 PM
Prep Football Coundown: Class C-1 No. 3 Pierce
Nebraska Prep Zone Omaha World-Herald

Leading up to the Nebraska high school football season, NEPrepZone.com will be looking at the top teams in each class, based on last season’s final rankings. Class C-1 takes the stage this week, with a new post each day. Let us know in the comments how you think each team will finish, as well as the players you’ll be watching.

* * *

CLASS C-1 NO. 3 PIERCE
District C1-4

Coach: Mark Brahmer, 18th season

Last season: The Bluejays lost to eventual champ Norfolk Catholic 34-14 in the state semifinals to finish the season 10-1. The loss came after Pierce had won the regular-season matchup with the Knights.

Returning starters: OT/DT Charles Krueger (Sr.), QB/DB Lane Rohrich (Sr.), OG/DT Austin Druyor (Sr.), TE/LB Chance Larsen (Sr.).

KEY DEPARTURES

Nate Meier, RB/LB: Meier was named to the Class C-1 all-state team as a running back last season. He also played in the Shrine Bowl.

Aaron Hanlin, OL/DL: The C-1 all-state defensive lineman graduated, leaving a hole in both lines.

KEY RETURNING PLAYER

Krueger: The C-1 all-state offensive lineman gives Pierce a solid foundation for its running game. He’ll also help set the tone on the defensive line.

ON OFFENSE

The loss of Meier will hurt, but Druyor and Krueger provide two solid lineman to help the Bluejays’ run game. One thing the I-formation offense has going for it is a returning quarterback in Rohrich.

ON DEFENSE

Once again, the line will be strong, which is the core of Pierce’s 6-2 defense. The secondary needs work, however, if the Bluejays want to get back to the semifinals.

GAME TO WATCH

Norfolk Catholic, Oct. 18

DISTRICT OPPONENTS

Norfolk Catholic, Wayne, West Point-Beemer

COACH’S QUOTE

“If we can stay healthy and develop a lot of our young guys, then I think we can be a team that plays into November. Our goal every year is to be able to play deep into November.”

SCHEDULE

Aug. 30, David City
Sept. 6, at Boone Central
Sept. 13, Boys Town
Sept. 20, at Logan View
Oct. 4, at Columbus Scotus
Oct. 11, Wayne
Oct. 18, Norfolk Catholic
Oct. 24, at West Point-Beemer

— Jake Anderson

To see previous entries from this series, go to NEPrepZone.com/prep-previews.

About Nebraska Prep Zone

The World-Herald sports desk. Contact the sports desk at 402-444-1201 or sports@owh.com.