The main attraction wasn’t nearly as dramatic as an unexpected bonus game Friday for this column.

No. 1 Bellevue West took care of business handily against No. 4 Elkhorn South in a 36-13 home win. The Thunderbirds were ahead 29-7 when I got there at the start of the third quarter.

Why the late arrival, you ask?

Because I watched an Omaha Burke victory even more improbable, somehow, than Omaha Creighton Prep’s 20-point comeback against Millard North the night before at Burke Stadium.

Trailing the entire game to Omaha North, the No. 5 Bulldogs got the gift of all gifts when the Vikings tried to take an intentional safety from punt formation while leading 27-24. Quarterback/punter Darius Hagen ran back to the end zone but didn’t stay there and tried to run it out only to be stopped at his 6.

Jaylon Roussell did the honors for Burke, scoring on the next play and completing the 31-27 win by sacking Hagan on two of the game’s final three plays.

Roussell has been banged up, missing a game, but said he wasn’t about to be a spectator against a rival. He scored three times. He also lost a fumble at the North 21 as the Bulldogs (3-1) were driving for the go-ahead score at 27-24.

“I was wanting to hang my head,” he said. “But I was going to come back stronger.”

Roussell was playing on defense for the first time since opening week.

“I was ready to play North so bad,” he said. “I was really supposed to sit out for another week or two, but I wasn’t going to let this ankle bother me. I’m going to be hurt this whole season, but I know the difference between being hurt and being injured so I’m going to play this whole season hurt.”

The game was moved up from 7 p.m. to 5 p.m. “due to construction” according to school Twitter accounts. 

North led 14-0 on Treon Fairgood-Jones’ pick-six and LaVaughn Luellen’s first of two touchdowns in a 100-yard game. Later the Vikings (1-3) had 11-point leads twice.

Burke’s Xavier Watts had five catches for 185 yards and a 48-yard touchdown from Reid Burke. Hagan threw for 192 yards.

“It was back-and-forth, a roller coaster, but these guys don’t quit,” Burke coach Paul Limongi said. “They’re an experienced group and they don’t go down very lightly. So we knew it was going to be a 48-minute game. Our guys kept playing, kept believing and we made a play.”

Omaha North (1-3)......14  0  7  6—27

At Omaha Burke (3-1).....0  10  7  14—31

ON: Tre’on Fairgood-Jones 22 interception return (Frank Maya kick)

ON: LaVaughan Luellen 1 run (Maya kick)

OB: FG Colin Urban 28

OB: Jaylon Roussell 5 run (Urban kick)

ON: Luellen 8 run (Maya kick)

OB: Xavier Watts48 pass from Reid Burke (Urban kick)

ON: Marques Sigle 11 pass from Darius Hagan (kick blocked)

OB: Roussell 1 run (Urban kick)

OB: Roussell 6 run (Urban kick

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing: ON, Luellen 15-100, Fairgood-Jones 12-19, Sam Scott 6-22, Keshaun Williams 4-24, Hagan 8-minus 28, Aveon Barnes 3-minus 10. OB, Roussell 21-76, Burke 3-4, Tonio Clark 1-3, Toby Kellner 1-3.

Passing: ON, Hagan 14-25-0 191. OB, Burke 7-17-1 199.

Receiving: ON, Sigle 5-94, Jaiden Long 3-44, Aveon Barnes 1-15, Derrick Walton 1-17, John Farmer 1-6, Fairgood-Jones 1-minus 9, Carter Martin 1-9. OB, Watts 5-185, Roussell 1-1, Larry Bonner 1-13.

Bellevue West 36, Elkhorn South 13

Jay Ducker had three touchdowns and Zavier Betts two scoring catches from Nate Glantz as the Thunderbirds (4-0) led 36-7 early in the second half.

West’s defense gave up Elliott Brown’s touchdown pass to Eli Hustad on the first series for the Storm (3-1). Elkhorn South didn’t score again until the fourth quarter.

Thunderbird coach Mike Huffman said he thought his lines were validated against the likes of college prospects Teddy Prochazka and Isaac Zatechka.

“They’re good for a reason. They get a lot of attention because they can play,” Huffman said. “We just told our guys if they want to get the attention those guys do, they got to do it tonight.

“I thought for 30 minutes offensively and the whole game defensively, minus that first drive, they held their own.”

Ducker, who has 13 touchdowns in four games, said it was a statement win for his team.

“Elkhorn South overall is a good team that’s going to play you tough,” he said. “The first half was great for us. The second was a little slow for us and we didn’t finish out the game the way we wanted. But it was still a solid win.”

Storm coach Guy Rosenberg, whose team lost to Bellevue West 38-3 in the regular season last year before coming within seven in the playoffs, said his defense was put in a lot of tough spots when the offense wasn’t able to consistently move the ball.

“Our team prides itself on running the ball, and we weren’t able to do that,” he said. “They did an excellent job of shutting down our run game. So we got to get back in the lab and get some things fixed.

“(West) was so efficient on offense that we weren’t able to keep pace with them. When there was a fourth-and-short they converted and we didn’t.”

Elkhorn South (3-1)....7  0  0  6—13

At Bellevue West (4-0)...16  13  7  0—36

BW: Ducker 1 run (run good)

ES: Eli Hustad pass from Elliott Brown (kick good)

BW: Zavier Betts pass from Glantz (run good)

BW: Ducker run (run failed)

BW: Zavier Betts 33 pass from Glantz (Cruz Jurado kick)

BW: Ducker run (Jurado kick)

ES: Hustad run (kick blocked)

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Reporter - High school sports

Stu is The World-Herald's lead writer for high school sports and for golf. Follow him on Twitter @stuOWH. Phone: 402-444-1041.

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