PIERCE - Pierce is running back to the Class C1 state title game thanks to their running back.

Junior Keenan Valverde's 290 rushing yards paced a dominant ground game as the #2 Blue Jays took down #6 Adams Central 45-26 in the C1 semis on Friday.

Pierce's offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage, helping the Jays rack up 453 yards on the ground.

Pierce's defense continued their stellar postseason play as well, holding the Patriots' vaunted rushing duo of Hyatt Collins and Nick Conant to just 105 yards combined, much of that coming on a 36-yd touchdown run by Collins.

While the ground attack worked well, it was Pierce's passing game that set records, as senior Ben Brahmer caught his 18th touchdown reception of the year, setting a new single-season mark in Class C1.

With the win, Pierce becomes just the 13th program to make it to four straight state championship games. They won the 2020 title and finished runner-up in 2019 and 2021.

SCORING SUMMARY

ADAMS CENTRAL (9-3) -  7  7  0 12 - 26 

PIERCE (12-0)                 - 21 6 12  6 - 45

FIRST QUARTER

 - 9:54 - Tristan Kuehler (PIE) 23-yd TD run (XP no good)

 - 6:39 - Abram Scholting(PIE) 3-yd TD run (2-pt conversion good)

 - 5:18 - Keenan Valverde (PIE) 62-yd TD run (XP good)

 - 1:09 - Sam Dierks (AC) 82-yd TD pass to Jack Trausch (XP good)

SECOND QUARTER

 - 7:44 - Abram Scholting (PIE) 19-yd TD pass to Jayden Coulter (XP no good)

 - 4:51 - Sam Dierks (AC) 10-yd TD pass to Holden O'Dey (XP good)

THIRD QUARTER

 - 7:44 - Keenan Valverde (PIE) 51-yd TD run (2-pt conversion no good)

 - 2:29 - Abram Scholting (PIE) 11-yd TD run (2-pt conversion no good)

FOURTH QUARTER

 - 11:01 - Sam Dierks (AC) 11-yd TD pass to Jayden Teichmeier (XP no good)

 - 7:19 - Abram Scholting (PIE) 14-yd pass to Ben Brahmer (XP no good)

 - 3:22 - Hyatt Collins (AC) 36-yd TD run (XP no good)

INDIVIDUAL STATS

PIERCE

RUSHING

 - Keenan Valverde: 26 carries, 290 yds, 2 TD

 - Abram Scholting: 9 carries, 68 yds, 2 TD

 - Tristan Kuehler: 6 carries, 47 yds, 1 TD

 - Jayden Coulter: 1 carry, 22 yds

 - Ben Brahmer: 2 carries, 16 yds

 - Gavin Sullivan: 4 carries, 9 yds

PASSING

 - Abram Scholting: 5-of-9, 70 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT

 - Ben Brahmer: 0-of-1

RECEIVING

 - Ben Brahmer: 3 rec, 38 yds, 1 TD

 - Jayden Coulter: 1 rec, 19 yds, 1 TD

 - Jackson Wachholtz: 1 rec, 16 yds

ADAMS CENTRAL

RUSHING

 - Hyatt Collins: 17 carries, 82 yds, 1 TD

 - Nick Conant: 7 carries, 23 yds

 - Holden O'Dey: 1 carry, 1 yd

 - Sam Dierks: 5 carries, -5 yds

PASSING

 - Sam Dierks: 13-of-31, 212 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT

RECEIVING

 - Jack Trausch: 2 yds, 88 yds, 1 TD

 - Nick Conant: 2 rec, 41 yds

 - Jayden Teichmeier: 4 rec, 37 yds, 1 TD

 - Holden O'Dey: 4 rec, 33 yds, 1 TD

 - Hyatt Collins: 1 rec, 13 yds