If Bellevue West and Millard West are on a collision course this year, don’t go ambulance-chasing before the playoffs.

Millard West became established as the top contender to preseason favorite Bellevue West by beating then-No. 2 Millard South 25-14 in front of a packed Buell Stadium. Bellevue West held its position by beating then-No. 4 Elkhorn South 36-13.

The two Wests last met in 2017. They are in different districts as district play begins this week.

Bellevue West has an extremely manageable path to a 9-0 regular season. Of the Thunderbirds’ final five opponents, Omaha South has the best record at 3-1 and only Omaha North (1-3) has appeared in the Top 10 this year. Those Vikings handed West its first loss last year, 52-49, and the T-birds remember it well.

Compare that to Millard West, which has a three-game stretch to navigate starting Oct. 4 at home against Kearney and continues with a visit to undefeated Grand Island on Oct. 11 and a home game Oct. 17 against Lincoln East. There’s a score to settle there, too. East beat West 21-13 last year.

How about Grand Island and Omaha Creighton Prep, the other two undefeated survivors through four weeks? For No. 8 Grand Island, it’s the Oct. 11 game with Millard West that looms largest. The Islanders finish on the road with a pair of 2-2 teams — Lincoln Southwest and Lincoln East.

No. 9 Prep has led a charmed life through four games, with three wins decided by eight points. The most recent was the three-touchdown comeback on Millard North in a 31-30 win last Thursday.

The four-leaf clovers and rabbit’s feet will have to come super sized for the Junior Jays to go 9-0. Starting with Friday’s game at No. 6 Omaha Westside, the Junior Jays have four 3-1 opponents left. Besides Westside, two are rated — Millard South and Elkhorn South — as they are in the deepest of the six Class A districts.

In Class B, two of the four remaining unbeatens — No. 1 Omaha Skutt and No. 3 Waverly are in District 2 and meet Oct. 11 in Waverly. The other unbeaten are No. 10 Elkhorn Mount Michael in District 1 and Scottsbluff in District 4.

Other classes

Class B: New No. 9 Bennington has recovered from a 0-2 start to be 2-2. No. 7 McCook has done likewise.

Class C-1: Wayne (3-1) beat then-No. 9 Columbus Lakeview 30-28 and Kearney Catholic (3-1) topped then-No. 10 Ogallala 28-19 to take the losing teams’ places in the ratings.

Class C-2: A first in my 30 years as the prep rater is inclusion of a 0-4 team. Norfolk Catholic stays ranked at No. 9 but fell three spots for a 40-32 loss No. 1 Bancroft-Rosalie/Lyons-Decatur. The Knights’ four conquerors are a combined 15-1 and ranked in the top three of C-1 or C-2. Any volunteers for that gauntlet?

North Bend beat Grand Island Central Catholic 24-17 in overtime to be the new No. 10 after then-No. 9 Yutan lost 28-14 to Johnson County.

Eight Man-1: Burwell, last year’s runner-up, rises to No. 1 after Wakefield hammered preseason favorite Norfolk Lutheran 58-24. Wakefield, ineligible for the playoffs because of enrollment, moves from fifth to third and Lutheran falls to sixth.

Eight Man-2: Chambers/Wheeler Central/Ewing beat Hartington- Newcastle 36-14 to replace the Wildcats at No. 9. Plainview enters at No. 10 as previous No. 6 Lawrence-Nelson fell 34-26 to defending champion Johnson-Brock.

Six Man: Last week went to form for the rated teams.

Top games this week

(Games Friday unless noted)

Class A: Omaha Creighton Prep at Omaha Westside, Omaha Burke at Elkhorn, Elkhorn South at Columbus, Omaha North-Lincoln Southeast at Seacrest (4:30).

Class B: Omaha Roncalli at Bennington (Thursday), Hastings at Crete, Waverly at Norris, Seward at Grand Island Northwest, Plattsmouth at Omaha Skutt.

Class C-1: Ord at Adams Central, Wahoo Neumann at Columbus Lakeview, Minden at Kearney Catholic, Ogallala at Mitchell, Wayne at Pierce.

Class C-2: Centennial at David City Aquinas, BRLD at Yutan, David City at Shelby-Rising City, Sutton at Doniphan-Trumbull, North Bend at Twin River,

Eight Man-1: Alma at Dundy County-Stratton, BDS at Southern, Elm Creek at Burwell, Howells-Dodge at Norfolk Lutheran, Neligh-Oakdale at Laurel-CC, West Point GACC at Wisner-Pilger.

Eight Man-2: Bloomfield at Allen, Axtell at Kenesaw.

Six Man: Creek Valley at Arthur County (2 p.m. MT), Sioux County at Crawford, McCool Junction at Sterling.

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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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