On Friday, Hail Varsity was back in Omaha to check out the big matchup in Class A of Bellevue West and Omaha North. Bellevue West features a bevy of playmakers led by Huskers 2020 4-star WR Zavier Betts. The Vikings are home to 2019 RB Zander Gray.
It was a wild game, especially if you love a lot of offense. North pulled the upset, getting the 52-49 win in a fun back and forth game.
Here are five thoughts on the game.
Omaha North’s season is back on track
The last time I saw Omaha North play, they had just lost to Omaha Burke 41-24 and dropped to 1-3 on the season. All they’ve done since then is reel off four wins in a row. In the last three of those wins they have racked up 49, 49 and 52 points. The Vikings look like a much-improved team since I saw them a month ago. The defending state champions are peaking at the right time.
North defensive lapse just a bump in the road
Before Friday night’s high-scoring affair, the Vikings defense had allowed 0 points to Lincoln Southeast, 13 points to Papio and 3 points to Lincoln Northeast. I would throw the tape out of tonight’s defensive performance if I was North head coach Larry Martin unless it was to show the team where bad penalties occurred. North’s defense flies around and plays with an edge.
Zander Gray is the best running back in the state
I’m not sure how people watch Zander Gray play and don’t think he is the best running back in the state. The fun thing is that he probably feels the same way. He plays like he’s out to prove he’s the top ball-carrier in Nebraska each time he takes the field. Tonight’s performance was off the charts as he ran the ball 28 times for 233 yards and three scores.
Bellevue West offense is the real deal
Part of the reason I think there isn’t a lot of room to be concerned about Omaha North’s offense is because Bellevue West’s offense is the real deal. They have so many playmakers that can hurt you. Zavier Betts, a 2020 4-star wide receiver, is the headliner but Jay Ducker, Shane Dailey Jr. and Nate Sullivan are serious threats, too. As they’ve shown all season, they are one of the best offenses in the state. One encouraging thing for them moving forward this year is they put up so many points with their wide-open offense in the cold.
We need a rematch
This game really had it all (except defense, even though the game ended on a sack by North). There were a ton of yards, points, penalties and trash talk. I’m not taking anything away from North because they earned that win, but I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing these two teams face off again but in the playoffs. Both teams had plenty of plays that they’d like back so it’d be fascinating to see what adjustments would be made.
Jay Ducker with a nice wildcat TD run with Zavier in the backfield. Nice wrinkle from Coach Huffman. @BellevueWestFB back up 22-21. 7:06 left in 2Q. #NebPreps pic.twitter.com/knkcfPaMbT
— Greg Smith (@GregSmithHV) October 13, 2018
Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.