Papillion-La Vista South needed running back Drew Klein's school-record 373 yards and Class A record-tying six touchdowns to pull away from Omaha Benson in the Bunnies' homecoming game.
The Titans held Benson scoreless in the second half of a 55-20 win Thursday night at Benson Stadium.
Benson (1-5) scored just before halftime to cut Papio South's lead to 27-20 and had the ball to start the second half. The Bunnies moved to the Titans 29 before Papio South defensive back Ben Lapke won a jump-ball against the Bunnies' Tremayne Ross at the 1.
Papillion-La Vista South (3-3) went the length of the field on a drive that, because of a penalty, required 104 yards. Klein ran for the first 85 yards before Noah Thornton hit tight end Ryan Earith with a play-action pass for a 19-yard touchdown and a 34-20 lead.
The Titans defense held Benson to 46 yards the remainder of the game.
“We needed some momentum,” Papio South coach Walt Olsen said. “Benson definitely had it.”
Klein scored on six of his 30 carries, from 1, 72, 22, 42, 1 and 16 yards. He didn't play the fourth quarter.
“Our offensive line really stepped it up tonight,” Klein said. “It'd had trouble the last couple games with knowing their assignments, so this week in practice the focus was knowing the assignments for themselves and for the other guys.”
Papillion-La Vista South, which was ranked after a 2-0 start, lost its next three games to teams currently in the Top 10.
“This win was huge to us,” Klein said. “We go into the second week of our district season 1-0. We're hoping to get to the playoffs.”
Benson's touchdowns were on pass plays from senior quarterback Jayden Swensen of 4 yards to Adam Iverson, 18 yards to Ross and 16 yards to Tyree Peter.
The Bunnies, who never led, were tied at 7-7 and 13-13. Peter's touchdown followed Tethloach Kueth's recovery of a Klein fumble on a swing pass at the Titans 24 with 1:27 left in the half.
Swensen was 24 of 46, with three interceptions, for 281 yards. Peter had seven catches for 281 yards.
“The last four or five games we really were struggling with our effort and energy,” Benson coach Tony Kobza said. “We were a jump ball away from tying the game. You could tell the interception took something out of us.
“The first half we were missing tackles on Klein. The second half, they were wearing us down. That's why we started gambling on fourth downs, because we weren't getting them stopped defensively.”
Papillion-La Vista South (3-3) ............................ 13 14 21 7—55
At Omaha Benson (1-5) ............................ 13 7 0 0—20
PLVS: Drew Klein 1 run (Billy Greco kick)
OB: Adam Iverson 4 pass from Jayden Swensen (Zack Miller kick)
PLVS: Klein 72 run (PAT failed)
OB: Tremayne Ross 18 pass from Swensen (kick failed)
PLVS: Klein 22 run (Noah Thornton run)
PLVS: Klein 42 run (kick failed)
OB: Tyree Peter 16 pass from Swensen (Miller kick)
PLVS: Ryan Earith 19 pass from Thornton (Greco kick)
PLVS: Klein 1 run (Greco kick)
PLVS: Klein 16 run (Greco kick)
PLVS: Triston Fairchild 18 run (Greco kick)
A: 700 (est.)
RUSHING: PLVS, Klein 30-373, Fairchild 8-62. OB, Rodale Erwin-Hall 3-36.
PASSING: PLVS, Thornton 4-7-0 41, Gabe Sweetwood 0-1-1 0. OB, Swensen 24-46-3 281.
RECEIVING: PLVS, Earith 1-19. OB, Peter 7-141, Erwin-Hall 7-59.