Omaha Burke opened up a 28-0 lead and never looked back, defeating Omaha North 41-24.
All four first half touchdowns for the Bulldogs came through the air. The first came after highly-touted recruit Chris Hickman stripped the ball from North quarterback Houston Fogelstrom. Hickman came off the right edge, the quarterback’s blind side, and hit Fogelstrom’s arm to create the turnover.
Two plays after the turnover, Hickman would record his first catch of the season. Burke signal caller Tyler Chadwick threw a high fade pass to the right corner of the endzone. The 6’6” Hickman outleaped two defenders and kept a foot down to secure the nine-yard score.
In the second quarter, Chadwick hit receiver Xavier Watts for scoring tosses of six and 35 yards, before hooking up with Michael Payne III on a 39-yard score with just 54 seconds left in the half. It was Chadwick’s fourth touchdown pass of the half and his 11th of the season. Chadwick finished the game 12 of 17 passing for 172 yards, 121 of which went to Watts.
After a short kick that was returned deep into Burke territory, North was able to scratch the score sheet with a 39-yard field goal by Jared Venner.
North would score 14 unanswered points to open the second half. Zander Gray scored form 17 yards out, just before a wild sequence in the third quarter.
Burke followed the touchdown by driving into North territory. But, a fourth down from the North 35 saw Chadwick sacked. On the very next play, Fogelstrom’s pass was picked off at point-blank range by Hickman, giving the ball back to Burke. But Chadwick was sacked on Burke’s first play. While going to the turf, the ball came loose and North recovered.
With the score 28-10, it began to look like North was getting the breaks it needed to get back in the game. Just 30 seconds into the fourth quarter, Fogelstrom went up top to receiver Bryant Wesson for a 68-yard touchdown, making the score 28-17.
But Burke would show why it is considered the best team in Nebraska on the very next play. After a kick return to the 31-yard line, Burke put the ball in the hands of it’s game-breaking running back, James Burks.
Burks dashed left before cutting in behind his pulling linemen, spun out of a tackle, juked a defender and raced 69-yards for the score. Burke led 35-17. Burks piled up 193 yards on just 18 carries for the game.
On North’s next possession, the game was all but put to bed. Watts, from his free safety position, jumped the hitch route by Wesson and snared Fogelstrom’s pass. Sixty yards later, the score was 41-17.
North added a late touchdown on a LaVaughn Luellen run, but couldn’t make up the deficit.
Burke moves to 4-0 and remains the top team in Class A. Omaha North, the defending Class A champion, falls to 1-3 after a stretch of tough games against highly-rated teams to open the season.
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