SIDNEY - In a hard-fought C-1 quarterfinals showdown at Sidney, the #5 seed Pierce Bluejays nearly rallied from a 21-point deficit before coming up just shy in a 41-34 Red Raiders win.

A Keenan Valverde TD put Pierce up 6-0 on the first drive of the game. The the Blue Jays found themselves in catchup mode the rest of the contest. Three straight scores lifted Sidney to a 20-6 2nd quarter advantage..

That's when Pierce took to the air, as quarterback Champion White completed 4 of 5 passes on a nine-play scoring drive, cutting the lead to 20-13 with 44 seconds left in the half. But the Jays' excitement was short-lived. The Raiders returned the ensuing kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown to go up 27-13 at halftime.

Sidney poured it on in the 2nd half, with their biggest advantage at 41-20 in the 4th. But Pierce displayed resilience by engineering a 15-play, 67-yard drive to reduce the lead to 41-27. After a successful onside kick, the Blue Jays scored again in just eight plays, bringing them within a touchdown at 41-34 with 6:20 left in the game. Sidney however managed to run out the clock with a 15-play drive. Despite running 33 fewer plays than Pierce and trailing the Blue Jays by over 14 minutes in time of possession, the Red Raiders advanced to the C-1 semifinals with a hard-fought 41-34 victory.

The Jays accumulated 203 yards rushing and 166 yards passing, totaling 369 yards of offense. Keenan Valverde led Pierce with 117 yards on 28 carries and 2 TDs. Quarterback Champion White went 12 of 21 through the air for 166 yards with 0 TDs and 3 INTs. White also added 44 yards on the ground with 17 carries.
Pierce finishes the season at 8-3.