LINCOLN – S’now doubt. Bellevue West’s offense can operate in any conditions.

And the Thunderbirds’ defense showed up again in Memorial Stadium with a memorable effort.

The Class A championship game was basically over at halftime on a snowy field. Bellevue West 271 yards for, 42 against. And leading Omaha Westside 28-0.

The final Tuesday night was 35-0. Just as in 2015, when the Thunderbirds won their first state title with a 43-6 win over Omaha North, the game ended with a running clock.

These Thunderbirds, ranked No. 1 since the preseason, wanted the shutout. It extended their school record to seven shutouts in 13 games. They gave up 65 points all season – 5.0 a game. And it vindicated a unit that two years ago gave up 73 points in one game – to Westside.

“We knew it was going to snow, we knew we had to be physically and mentally strong the whole entire time,” junior linebacker Jack McDonnell said. “We were going to come out like missiles, which I think that's what we did.

“Every single time they got in our red zone or past the 50 we knew we had to keep that goose egg to prove that we were going to be one of the best defenses and the best team to ever play at Bellevue West.”

S’now doubt there. When Westside finally got to the red zone in the third quarter, Cole Payton targeted Jake Holmstrom three times. The results: Incomplete pass, gain of 2 before Keagan Johnson tackled him, gain of 1 on fourth-and-5 with Johnson again making the stop at the West 14.

Westside had four penalties in the first quarter, including for delay of the game before it kicked off and illegal helmet contact on a shovel pass from Nate Glantz that Johnson took 49 yards for the only points the T-birds needed. There were high snaps to Payton, who was sacked five times in the game, including two fumbles (one lost) and Westside’s leading rusher this season had a net 1 yard on 17 carries.

“We had a lot of bobbles and miscues and got ourselves behind the 8-ball early,'' Westside coach Brett Froendt said. “They came at us hard and physical. We expected that and it was too big a game to do those things.

“I love our fight, but it just wasn’t there for us tonight.”

When the teams came out for warm-ups at 6:05 p.m., the field was snow covered. Practicing continued as the shovels came out and workers cleared yardlines and hash masks.

“We tried early to throw the ball a little bit and it wasn't happening,’’ West coach Mike Huffman said. “In our pregame stuff the four cues that we usually are really sharp with weren’t there. Man, it was tough.

“And luckily, and I've said it all year, I feel that we're equally adept at running and throwing the ball and when No. 8’s on your team it's a pretty good advantage.”

Jay Ducker is No. 8, and what hasn’t been said about the Northern Illinois pledge? His final carry, for a 9-yard run that was the only touchdown after halftime, put him at 2,100 yards this season and 5,375 for his career. With three touchdowns Tuesday, he had an 11-man record 110 in his career and 670 points. He was two away from the longstanding 11-man record of 672 set by Henderson’s John Kroeker in Class C-2 ending in 1984.

Huffman sent out four-year kicker Cruz Jurado for the final extra point. Jurado, too, was chasing records.

At the controls all season was Millard West transfer Nate Glantz, who was 11-of-19 for 110 yards.

“I couldn't have done it without coach Huffman, obviously. I think he's the best coach in the state,’’ Glantz said. “The way we handled ourselves this year on and off the field, it really showed a lot and showed the state what we have here at Bellevue West.”

Omaha Westside (10-3)…0/0/0/0--0

Bellevue West (13-0)…12/16/0/7--35

BW: Keagan Johnson 49 pass from Nate Glantz (kick failed)

BW: Jay Ducker 15 run (kick failed)

BW: Ducker 13 run (Micah Riley pass from Glantz)

BW: Johnson 50 run (Glantz run)

BW: Ducker 9 run (Cruz Jurado kick)

A: 3,039


Rushing: OW: Avante Dickerson 6-20, Ben Radicia 3-19, Bodie Harrell 4-9, Cole Payton 17-1. BW, Ducker 27-214, Johnson 1-50, Glantz 11-32.

Passing: OW, Payton 10-21-0 75. BW, Glantz 11-19-0 110.

Receiving: OW, Harrell 3-19, Jake Holnstrom 3-5, Grant Tagge 2-9, Cal Weidemann 1-26, Dickerson 1-16. BW, Johnson 4-66, Zavier Betts 3-39, Nate Sullivan 3-5, Ducker 1-0.

Tackles (unassisted-assisted-total): OW, Trevor Barajas 7-4-11, Koby Bretz 5-3-8, Dominic Rezac 3-5-8, Radicia 4-3-7, Will Hurtado 2-5-7, Tagge 2-4-6, Jack Wimmer 2-3-5, Cade Haberman 2-3-5, Travis Ingram 0-2-2, Brett Thorell 1-0-1, Nathanial Nowel 0-1-1, Bo Lucas 0-1-1, Jackson McMillen 0-1-1, Holmstrom 0-1-1. BW, Devin Mills 2-7-9, Jack McDonnell 5-3-8, Kier Kier 3-5-8, Jayden Roberts 0-7-7, CJ Lilienkamp 5-1-6, Matthew Thompson 0-6-6, Jurado 3-2-5, Caden Camese 0-3-3, Johnson 2-0-2, TJ Griffin 1-1-2, David Shannon 0-2-2, Wyatt Cooper 1-0-1, Keenan Torres 1-0-1, Ducker 0-1-1, Kameron House 0-1-1, Nate Sullivan 0-1-1, Zack Busse 0-1-1, Dylan Foutch 0-1-1.

Fumble recoveries: OW, none. BW, Lilienkamp.

Interceptions: none.

Sacks: OW, none. BW: McDonnell 1-8, Camese 2-5, Roberts 1-3, Thompson 1-2.

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