Omaha Bryan overcame 10 penalties and two turnovers to win their first home game in three years.
Quarterback Desmond Prusia’s fourth quarter strike to Will Grixby proved vital, as the Bears held on to win 23-20. Prusia was efficient all night, finishing with nine completions on 15 throws for 105 yards and two touchdowns.
Omaha Benson had its own struggles with penalties and turnovers, as well as errant shotgun snaps.
After recovering an onside kick and marching down the field, Benson quarterback Anthony Ignowski found Gabe Mefford in the back of the endzone. The PAT failed, but it looked like Benson was ready to roll, leading 6-0.
The Bunnies forced a Bryan punt, but were pinned inside their own ten-yard line. Then, things got weird.
The shotgun snap went over Ignowski’s head and out of the back of the endzone for a safety.
Trailing 6-2, Bryan took the free kick and put together a drive of their own. Running Jaylon Walker got in on the act early, showing of speed and power. He would finish the night with 20 carries for 150 yards, a season high. The drive was punctuated by Prusia’s first touchdown pass. Wide receiver Japreece Lilly leapt over a Benson defender, reaching back to make the catch. The PAT was blocked, but Bryan led 8-6 at the first quarter break.
But Benson would answer. Bunny tailback J’ylan Smallwood spun out of a tackle in the backfield and raced around the left end for a 15-yard touchdown run. Smallwood gained 110 yards on 16 carries to pace the Benson offense.
Trailing 13-8, Bryan marched inside the Benson five-yard line and gave the keys to the fullback. Gage Beiro’s incredible three-yard touchdown run and two-point conversion put Bryan back on top 16-13.
Each team would turn the ball over once before the half, but neither would score. The third quarter progressed much the same, with Benson’s Ignowski throwing an interception to Darnelle Policarpe and Bryan’s Beiro losing a fumble.
Benson answered Prusia’s fourth quarter touchdown toss with a strike from Ignowski to Smallwood to make it 23-20, but could do no more.
After holding Bryan on 4th and six, Benson took over with just over three minutes remaining. A fourth-down interception, Ignowski’s second of the night, ended the Bunnies’ comeback hopes.
Bryan moves to 2-6 on the season, while Benson falls to 1-7.