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FOOTBALL

'Thursday Night Lights' preview: Bellevue West at Omaha North

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876131 KS-HILAND

Calvin Strong, Class A’s career rushing leader, will lead top-ranked North against No. 2 Bellevue West.


TV: KXVO (Channel 15; Cox 11; Prism 15)

Live streaming video: NEPrepZone.com

When: 7 p.m. (pregame show starts at 6:30)

Where: Kinnick Stadium

When No. 2 Bellevue West (3-0) has the ball: New quarterback Jadyn Kowalski, who’s thrown for 754 yards in three games, will have to establish some semblance of a rushing game (the T-Birds average 129 yards a game on the ground) to open up the air routes for receivers CJ and Cade Johnson and Malik Hluchoweckyj. North’s defense, led by All-Nebraska linebacker Jason Martin, remembers how West attacked it last year in a 35-30 loss, the only setback of the season for the state champions.

When No. 1 Omaha North (3-0) has the ball: The Vikings likely will try to establish Calvin Strong, Class A’s career rushing leader, in their running game. The knock currently on Bellevue West is its suspect defense. It gave up nearly 600 yards in a close win over Papillion-La Vista South, which like Omaha North is sound in the offensive line, and overall is giving up about 400 a game. Senior quarterback Payton Nelson has been in many big games and has gotten better dealing with pressure situations. If Nelson lets the game come to him and makes good reads to connect with some talented receivers, Strong will be even more effective and West will have to outscore the Vikings. Which the T-Birds have shown they can do.

Stu’s pick: North.

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