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Islanders showcase offensive backfield depth

The Grand Island football team huddles up on Aug. 7, 2018 during a football practice at Memorial Stadium. (KHGI)

Grand Island Senior High aiming to take a huge step forward this season.

The Islanders dropping a nail–biter in a 2017 first round playoff exit, falling to Creighton Prep by a field goal.

There's no shortage of optimism at Memorial Stadium as they bring back many key pieces. A welcome return for both of their talented quarterbacks in Cole Evans and Carson Cahoy, plus three of their top four rushers (including Evans).

"I think it's really good," head coach Jeff Tomlin said. "We can open up the playbook a little more when you have experience and we have guys to rest guys."

The Islanders averaging 178.5 yards per game on the ground last year, led by Evans' 538 and another 465 combined from John Reilly (364 yards) and Timo Sikes (101 yards). Expect Grand Island to take advantage of their upperclassmen in the backfield and wear opponents down between the trenches.

"We have enough depth there to keep our guys pretty fresh. As the season wears on, running backs take a beating sometimes so it's good that you have three or four guys that can carry the load," Tomlin said.

Evans can also toss it around a little bit, contributing 1,089 yards through the air on a 50 percent completion rate.

Grand Island opens their season at home when Kearney High visits on Aug. 24.

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