Omaha Skutt didn’t have its usual way against Omaha Roncalli, not that it was expected.
Twice in the second half Friday night, Roncalli had the ball in a one-possession game. To the SkyHawks’ credit when their secondary was being tested for the second straight week, the defending Class B state champs quickly got the stops they needed.
Their 42-34 win at Roncalli’s Rummel Stadium was their 15th in a row and 16th straight against Roncalli.
This was one that Skutt coach Matt Turman was relieved to get. The week earlier, Nick Bohn of Bennington had thrown for 407 yards on the No. 1 SkyHawks.
Yes, Turman said, they worked on pass defense all week. “But apparently that didn’t work very well.”
The reason this time, the scrambling of Jack Dotzler. The quarterback ran for two touchdowns and threw for 294 yards and two touchdowns.
“He can just buy so much time,” Turman said. “Even when we got pressure on him he’d just buy time and find the open guy. He was pretty impressive.”
So was returning All-Nebraska athlete Tyson Gordon, who’s committed to North Dakota State. Gordon was a spot player last year at quarterback, but the job’s all his this year. He ran for 131 yards and a score, threw for 121 yards and two scores and went 6 for 6 on extra points.
Gordon also is a starting defensive back, and Dotzler found himself in Roncalli’s secondary much of the game, so the friends collided more than expected.
“He’s a great kid and a great player,” Dotzler said. “You can see why he’s playing college football and he’s good.”
No. 5 Roncalli, which lost to Skutt 33-13 last season, had missed its first extra point so the Skutt lead was going between 8 and 15 points. The Crimson Pride got their first crack at a possible tie after holding on downs, but punted after three consecutive incompletions.
After matching TDs with Skutt, they forced a punt for the only time and took over at their 16 with nine minutes left. Dotzler got a first down immediately with a 20-yard pass to T.J. Hamilton and it looked like tight end Ryan Fenoglio had another long gain on a catch.
But Roncalli lined up incorrectly, making him an ineligible receiver, and was called for that infraction and for an illegal touch — a loss-of-down penalty that Skutt took and forced a punt.
Gordon made it 42-28 on his pass to Drew Rase, which Roncalli matched with Dotzler’s pass to Shane Orr with 2:40 left. A pooch kick went out-of-bounds and Skutt ran out the clock. Grant Diesing led all rushers with 160 yards and a touchdown.
“This is a night trying to explain emotions right now,” Roncalli coach Tom Kassing said. “We found out a lot about our team, and when you play the best you have to be the best. Tonight we weren’t the best, but we’re close to it.
“Little Roncalli isn’t so little anymore.”
Omaha Skutt (2-0).................7 14 14 7—42
At Omaha Roncalli (1-1)..........0 13 7 14—34
OS: Max Brinker 16 pass from Tyson Gordon (Gordon kick)
OS: Grant Diesing 2 run (Gordon kick)
OR: Darik Rodgers 1 run (kick failed)
OS: Gordon 17 run (Gordon kick)
OR: Jack Dotzler 15 run (Austin Schwarz kick)
OS: Gunner Ott 22 run (Gordon kick)
OR: Dotzler 1 run (Schwarz kick)
OS: Ott 2 run (Gordon kick)
OR: Shane Orr 16 pass from Dotzler (Schwarz kick)
OS: Drew Rase 8 pass from Gordon (Gordon kick)
OR: Orr 16 pass from Dotzler (Schwarz kick)
Att.: 1,500 (est.)
Rushing: OS, Gordon 15-131, Diesing 18-160, Ott 9-33, Nolan Connor 1-2, Jacob Leu 2-10, team 2-(minus 4). OR, Rodgers 7-65, Dotzler 10-51, T.J. Hamilton 3-24.
Passing: OS, Gordon 9-17-0 121. OR, Dotzler 20-34-1 294.