Isaiah Harris, Tristan Gomes and the Omaha Burke defense rate game balls from their wins Friday in a mostly predictable Class A first round.
Harris, the Millard South speedster, broke free for touchdowns of 31, 90 and 62 yards in the No. 3 Patriots’ 42-21 win over Papillion-La Vista South.
Gomes, the Millard West dual-threat quarterback, ran for three touchdowns and threw for one in the No. 2 Wildcats’ 34-0 win over Lincoln Pius X in the nightcap at Buell Stadium.
No. 4 Burke’s first-unit defense held Millard North to 33 yards before turning over its game to the reserves in a 31-7 home victory.
Those three games helped shape a quarterfinal round next Friday that sends Burke to No. 1 Bellevue West — yes, Xavier Watts of Burke against Zavier Betts of West. In other games, No. 7 Omaha Westside visits No. 5 Lincoln Southeast in a rematch (Southeast rallied for the win); No. 9 Elkhorn South visits Millard West; and No. 6 Grand Island travels to Millard South.
In that Buell Stadium doubleheader, GI-Millard South will be at 4 p.m. and Elkhorn South-Millard West at 8.
Millard South 42, Papio South 21
After breaking open the game with three touchdowns late in the first half, the Patriots (9-1) had the ball for two plays in the third quarter. And added to their lead.
A breakaway threat like Harris is what the Titans lack, and despite running on a sore ankle he went 90 yards for a 35-7 lead. It took Papio South the next 17 plays, going into the fourth quarter, to match that score.
Papio South’s longest gain if the afternoon was Jackson Horn’s third touchdown reception of the game from Connor Crandall, a 38-yarder that cut the Patriots’ lead to 35-21. And the Titans, who finished 5-5, had the ball back with 5:16 left after a three-and-out as the Patriots got conservative, but punted back rather than going for a fourth-and-8 from the PS 34.
Harris then ripped off his third long-yardage touchdown. His 62-yarder let him finish with 238 yards.
TJ Urban ran for 88 yards and a touchdown and threw for 115 yards and a touchdown to Spencer Wagner. Jake Gassaway had a 29-yard pick-six as part of the 21-point burst in the final 5 ½ minutes of the first half.
Crandall was 24-of-39, with three interceptions, for 184 yards. Kansas State pledge Will Swanson had seven catches for 49 yards.
Papillion-La Vista South (5-5)............0 7 0 14—21
At Millard South (9-1).....................7 21 7 7—42
MS: Isaiah Harris 31 run (Cole Lammel kick)
PS: Jackson Horn 7 pass from Connor Crandall (Trent Brehm kick)
MS: Spencer Wagner 16 pass from TJ Urban (Lammel kick)
MS: Jake Gassaway 29 interception return (Lammel kick)
MS: Urban 1 run (Lammel kick)
MS: Harris 90 run (Lammel kick)
PS: Horn 3 pass from Crandall (Brehm kick)
PS: Horn 38 pass from Crandall (Brehm kick)
MS: Harris 62 run (Lammel kick)
Rushing: PS, Nick Sich 18-50, Crandall 2-7, team 1-minus 1. MS, Harris 15-238, Urban 15-88, Antrell Taylor 7-35, Tyson Gerdes 1-1, team 2-minus 2.
Passing: PS, Crandall 24-39-3 184. MS, Harris 7-8-0 115.
Receiving: PS, Will Swanson 7-49, Horn 6-77, Sich 3-3, Ian Medeck 6-42, Christian Steenbock 1-2, Jackson Trout 1-8. MS, Harris 1-1, Gerdes 3-45, Luke Irvine 1-33, Wagner 2-36.
Burke 31, Millard North 7
Burke overcame an uneven game on offense with its smothering play against the Mustangs’ wingbone attack. Millard North got into the red zone just once, on a drive aided by three 15-yard penalties on the Bulldogs late in the first half, but lost the ball on downs at the Burke 22.
Reid Burke threw touchdown passes to Watts, who also had a second-half interception, and Michael Payne. Jaylon Roussell scored in the first half, but might have gotten hurt late in the third quarter and didn’t return.
Millard North (4-6) broke up the shutout when Gabe Terry went 44 yards against the Bulldogs’ reserves.
The Mustangs’ defensive bright spot was holding Burke (9-1) scoreless after a fumbled punt snap gave the Bulldogs possession at the MN 4 early on the final quarter. Three plays later, Watts had his diving pickoff at the 19 and Burke threw to Payne on the next play.
Millard North (4-6)...............0 0 0 7— 7
At Omaha Burke (9-1)........7 7 3 14—31
OB: Xavier Watts 15 pass from Reid Burke (Colin Urban kick)
OB: Jaylon Roussell 15 run (Urban kick)
OB: FG Urban 27
OB: Michael Payne 19 pass from Burke (Urban kick)
OB: Tonio Clark 3 run (Urban kick)
MN: Gabe Terry 44 run (Blake Closman kick)
Rushing: MN, Andrew Bednar 22-81, Gabe Terry 4-49, Noah Knoell 1-20, Easton Sizel 1-2, Ben Weindel 15-minus 3, Jadus Ellis 1-minus 6, Closman 2-minus 11. OB, Roussell 15-85, Clark 3-30, Watts 1-7, Tyreece Wynee 1-3, Carmello Cross, Brayden Pommier-Williams 5-minus 2, Toby Kellner 2-minus 2, Reid Burke 3-minus 3.
Passing: MN, Weindel 0-4-1 0. OB; Burke, 8-16-0 88.
Receiving: MN, none. OB: Watts 4-56, Payne 2-20, Roussell 2-12.
Millard West 34, Pius 0
After a scoreless 17 minutes, Gomes led the Wildcats (10-0) to a 21-0 halftime lead. He had touchdown runs of 49 and 2 yards, then squeezed in a 40-yard touchdown pass to Dalys Beanum in the final 30 seconds of the second quarter.
“We kind of expected Pius to do some different things and it seemed like they were playing with 16 in the box,’’ West coach Kirk Peterson said. “So it’s good to have those guys we have on the perimeter. And our defense is pretty good.”
The lead grew to 34-0 in the third quarter on a sneak by Gomes and James Conway’s 35-yard interception return. Gomes finished with 125 yards rushing and 155 passing.
Pius senior Justin Leggott suffered an apparent broken leg in the first half and was taken to a local hospital.
Lincoln Pius X (4-6)...........0 0 0 0— 0
At Millard West (10-0)......0 21 13 0—34
MW: Tristan Gomes 53 run (Jackson Neumann kick)
MW: Tristan Gomes 2 run (Neumann kick)
MW: Dalys Beanum 44 pass from Tristan Gomes (Neumann kick)
MW: Gomes 1 run (Neumann kick)
MW: James Conway 35 interception return (kick blocked)
Rushing: LPX, John Andreasen 13-43, Blake Vodicka 8-4, Grannt Nottleman 1-3, Justin Leggott 4-minus 1, Matthew Downey 4-minus 5. MW, Gomes 17-125, Ethan Valencia 8-28, Chase Huffman 6-24, Jacob Jones 2-15, Dan Sullivan 2-1, Nathan Pedersen 2-1, Caden Becker 2-0.
Passing: LPX, Downey 7-17-1 60. MW, Gomes 5-9-0 155.
Receiving: LPX, Caleb Hruby 4-43, Isaac Rademacher 1-8, Ben Aldridge 1-6, Vosicka 1-3. MW, Beanum 2-91, Kaedyn Odermann 1-50, Valencia 2-14.