Until last year, Millard West never lost a season opener with Kirk Peterson as coach.
Lincoln Southeast ended that nine-year streak with a 28-21 victory. While the loss was to the defending state champion and a team that would win nine games in 2012, the Wildcats were in shock. They started 1-3 and finished at 7-4.
“I didn't handle it well and the kids didn't handle it well,” Peterson said. “We were in a funk for a while.”
A new streak began for the Wildcats with Friday night's 38-6 win against Southeast. Senior Ross Drwal, a three-year starter at quarterback, ran for two touchdowns and threw for two.
Following Millard North's 20-16 loss to Millard South the night before, Millard West moves up from No. 2 to lead the Top 10. The new rating is in time for the Wildcats' meeting with now-No. 4 Millard North in one of this week's two top-six matchups in the Metro Conference.
Also Friday, Omaha Creighton Prep visits rival Omaha Westside. The No. 2 Junior Jays opened with a 25-7 win over then-No. 7 Omaha Burke. Westside, which was ninth in the preseason, is sixth after its 24-7 win at Omaha Central.
Millard West is just beginning the meat of its schedule. After Millard North, the Wildcats visit Burke and have a Thursday night TV game against Millard South.
New to the top 10, after beating preseason-ranked opponents, are Lincoln Southwest at No. 9 and Papillion-La Vista South at No. 10.
Southwest edged then-No. 10 Lincoln North Star 15-13. The Silver Hawks have a Friday night game at ratings contender Grand Island (1-0).
Papio South stunned then-No. 8 Papillion-La Vista 44-34, picking off returning All-Nebraska quarterback Alec Ditoro six times and taking two of them back for touchdowns. In the loss, Ditoro threw four touchdown passes to set the state's career record in 11-man football. Now with 70, he topped the 67 by Scott Frost at Wood River from 1989 to 1992.
Class B shakeup
Five of the 10 teams in the preseason ratings lost, topped by No. 1 Norris. The Titans fell 35-9 at York, which is sixth this week after not being ranked.
While Norris will be without starting quarterback Jakson Reetz for another week because he's playing with the USA Baseball 18U national team, the 35 points allowed were surprising. Its defense last year didn't allow more than 21 points in a game in reaching the Class B final.
The shakeup results in Elkhorn at No. 1 and defending champion Omaha Gross going to No. 2 — setting up an early 1-vs.-2 confrontation Friday at Elkhorn Stadium. Gross has won 13 consecutive games, including a 14-7 semifinal win over the Antlers, since losing to them 31-16 last year. Also entering the Class B list is Ralston in ninth. The Rams won 20-17 at Crete, dropping the Cardinals from sixth to 10th.
New ratings are issued for the remaining five classes though many teams won't have their season openers until this week. Class C-1 leader Norfolk Catholic had a close call, holding on to defeat No. 7 Columbus Lakeview 31-27. The Knights visit No. 8 Wahoo Neumann for the Cavaliers' season opener on Friday night.
Gifford likely out
Don't expect Nebraska recruit Luke Gifford of Lincoln Southeast to play Friday night against Lincoln High. On Saturday, after missing the second half of the Knights' loss to Millard West, he tweeted: “2 years in a row i've gotten a concussion the first game. So frustrating”
Friday's top games:
Class A: Millard West-Millard North at Buell, Omaha Creighton Prep at Omaha Westside, Omaha Central at Omaha Burke, Lincoln Southwest at Grand Island, Millard South at Bellevue West. Class B: Omaha Gross at Elkhorn, Plattsmouth at Omaha Skutt, McCook at Scottsbluff, Columbus at Seward. Class C-1: (Thursday) Adams Central at Cozad; Pierce at Boone Central/Newman Grove (in Albion), Norfolk Catholic at Wahoo Neumann. Class C-2: Hartington Cedar Catholic at Oakland-Craig, Norfolk Lutheran NE at Fremont Bergan, David City Aquinas at Columbus Scotus, Ainsworth at West Holt. Eight Man-1: Clarkson/Leigh at High Plains, Sterling at Freeman. Eight Man-2: BDS at Giltner.