Photo Credit: Greg Smith

5 Thoughts on No. 2 Millard South’s 42-28 Win Over No. 1 Bellevue West

September 17, 2021

When the next rankings come out we will have a new team in the top spot for Class A. Millard South went on the road to Bellevue West and put together a big 42-28 win. It was stunning to see the Thunderbirds never lead in the game. Millard South dominated from start to finish.

Here are my five thoughts from the game.

Offensive fireworks galore

There were explosive plays on offense by both teams in the game. At one point it looked like we were heading for a game where both teams scored in the 50s. In the first half, Millard South had touchdowns of 16, 65, 70 and 60 yards. Bellevue West had touchdowns from 76 yards, 67 yards and 53 yards in the first half. The Patriots defense tightened in the second half. They only allowed one Thunderbirds score when the game was in hand.

Jake Gassaway does it all

Coming into the game I was eager to see how Jake Gassaway would look in the matchup. There has been a lot of buzz about his stellar play to start the season. Gassaway did not disappoint. He lined up all over the field for the Patriots making impact plays on defense and offense. Northern Illinois is getting a steal in the talented playmaker.

Incoming test for Bellevue West

Seeing how the Thunderbirds bounce back from this loss will be interesting. The last time coach Mike Huffman’s team lost in the regular season was a 52-49 loss to Omaha North in the 2018 season. Since the 2015 season the program has only lose twice in the regular season. There is a lot of talent and leadership on the team to help guide them through this. Plenty of time remains in the season. It would be surprising if Bellevue West still didn’t make a deep run in the Class A playoffs.

Stenger a gamer

There is a player in-state that people will argue should have a Nebraska offer every year. After seeing him play, my pick for that honor for the 2022 cycle is Millard South athlete Gage Stenger. The Kansas State commit is slated to play defense in college. He plays quarterback and defensive back for the Patriots. Stenger is athletic and tough as nails. Coach Chris Kleiman has to be thrilled to pull him to the Big 12.

Millard South skill talent

Teams often have a big problem with playing Bellevue West. Matching up with its skill talent can be a nightmare. It can be tough to handle tight end Kaden Helms, tight end Micah Riley, wide receiver Dae’vonn Hall and running back LJ Richardson. Millard South is one of the few that boasts the same if not more terrific athletes to match up. The back seven for the Patriots deserve a game ball for that performance. Specifically in the second half for holding the Thunderbirds to one score.

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