There was a heavyweight fight on the football field in Omaha on Friday night despite the threat of bad weather. Top-ranked Omaha Burke was taking on third-ranked Omaha North in a game that featured a lot of potential Division I players.
There was no shortage of plays being made in the first quarter as it ended in a 21-21 tie. Interceptions, long touchdowns runs and big hits were being made all over the field. After that, Omaha North really pulled away, forcing multiple turnovers and capitalizing off those mistakes with touchdowns.
The Vikings won the game 49-28 in a dominating performance that served notice that it could be the best team in the state. Even in a lopsided game, I came away impressed with multiple players on each team.
Once again, the dynamic running back duo of senior Milton Sargbah (5-7, 165) and junior Zander Gray (6-1, 235) led the way for North. They complement each other so well as Sargbah can make defenders miss in a phone booth and Gray is powerful enough to run over most high school defenders. Gray also has very nimble feet and surprises you with his quickness. That running game should lead North all the way to Lincoln in November to compete for a state title.
On the other side of the field, Burke features a couple of players that have multiple offers as juniors who I believe will be very good football players. Nick Henrich (6-3, 195) holds an offer from Nebraska, and was a tackling machine on Friday night. He is completely unafraid to mix it up and runs very well sideline to sideline at the linebacker spot. As he continues to grow and fill out, he could be a Luke Gifford-type or even get bigger than that.
Tight end/defensive end Chris Hickman (6-6, 195), another 2019 prospect, recently picked up a Nebraska offer. He had a few nice catches from his tight end position where Burke splits him out quite a bit to take advantage of the matchup problems he creates. He runs well and has soft hands, my only criticism would be that Burke didn’t feature him enough. He has a great frame and could grow into a number of positions depending on how his body fills out.
Henrich told me after the game that both he and Hickman will be in Iowa City today to take in the Iowa-Illinois game. The battle for these two teammates' college choice will be an interesting one to see unfold over the next year or so.
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.