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Bennington football clinches first ever Class B three-peat with 39th straight win in title game



LINCOLN — No disputing it.

Bennington is the first with a three-peat in Class B. And without losing a game along the way.

In Memorial Stadium, where McCook saw its 38-game winning streak end with a finals loss in 2004, Bennington got its 39th on a clear-cut, shutout of Omaha Skutt.

By winning 21-0, the top-ranked Badgers (13-0) bookended their season with wins over Skutt. The first was on a did-he, did-he-not break the plane, disputed, touchdown by Peyton Sanmann at the end of a 14-13 thriller.

Monday night’s 21-0 win, before 4,031, started and ended with Sanmann touchdown passes.

He opened the game with a 36-yard laser to Kawiyou Taffa, only the second touchdown of the season for the senior wide receiver.

He sealed the W, leaving the shutout up to a Badger-tough defense, with a 32-yarder to running back Quinton Archer with 10 minutes left.

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As a first-year starter, Sanmann said he turned the corner on playing well around the middle of the regular season.

“I learned a lot from the seniors the last couple years and they taught me how to win,” he said.

Archer dented a Skutt defense that was allowing 73 rushing yards a game. He ground out 117 yards and a third-quarter touchdown on 31 carries.

Meanwhile, the Badgers’ defense held Skutt to half its usual yardage.

“I think this time we kind of knew what was coming and we practiced it a lot more,” said junior defensive end Jack Jensen, who had four tackles and drew several holding calls on the SkyHawks.

“We were getting our hands and really just being physical because we knew they were going to run it like they did last time.”

No. 2 Skutt mustered 91 yards on 37 rushes and Bennett Turman was 11 of 19 for 84 of Skutt’s 103 yards passing.

“We’ve relied on our defense from the beginning,” Badgers coach Kam Lenhart said. “We knew Skutt would have to have another big play, but the way we practiced we were going to be in the right spot the majority of the time.

“The biggest thing was to make sure big plays don’t happen. We told them to be great tacklers, which they are all the time, and they did a phenomenal job.”

The SkyHawks didn’t snap inside Bennington’s end of the field until the last two minutes of the first half and that drive ended on a pickoff by Bennington’s Nicolas Deyo.

Bennington stopped Skutt on downs at the Badgers 28 — Turman was a chain link or two short of converting a fourth-and-one — and at the 16 in the fourth quarter.

Omaha Skutt (11-2)….0  0  0  0—0

Bennington (13-0)……7  0  7  7—21

B: Kawiyou Taffa 36 pass from Peyton Sanmann (Evan Utech kick)

B: Quinton Archer 12 run (Utech kick)

B: Archer 32 pass from Sanmann (Utech kick)

Rushing: OS, Anthony Heithoff 14-63, Maxwell Chandler 6-14, Bennett Turman 14-11, Colin Pike 3-3; B, Arfcher 31-117, Sanmann 5-21, Cooper Johnson 1-2, Team 10minus 1.

Passing: OS, Turman 11-19-1 84, Dylan VanDyke 1-1-0 19; B, Sanmann 12-25-0 165.

Receiving: OS, Danny Johnson 3-13, Joe Kloega 2-26, Chandler 2-22, Kyler Seaman 2-15, Morgan Finkenbinder 1-12, Heithoff 1-9, Gavin Kass 1-6; B, Elliott Anderson 4-55, Ben Jorgensen 4-20, Archer 3-54, Taffa 1-32.

Tackles: OS, Chandler 8-3-11, Mitchell Dimig 3-4-7, Sam Brummund 5-1-6, Seaman 5-1-6, Michael Jiron 3-3-6, Justin Witcofski 3-1-4, Johnson 3-1-4, Adrian Underwood 0-4-4, George Hassenstab 3-0-3, Heithoff 2-0-2, Kolega 1-1-2, Wes Scott 0-2-2, Jack Wsiniski 0-2-2, Sam Ward 1-0-1, Cole Urbanec 0-1-1; B, Layne Boever 5-5-10, Kyler Lauridsen 5-5-10, Ben Gilliliand 2-7-9, Gunner Lym 3-3-6, Kale Kaufmann 3-3-6, Utech 4-0-4, Dakota Berndt 2-2-4, Jack Jansen 2-2-4, Tysen Fleichman 1-3-4, Morgan Schuman 2-0-2, Gavin Olson 1-1-2, Ethan Allgood 0-2-2, Colin Nemecek 1-0-1, Hudson Foreman 0-1-1.

Fumble recoveries: None. Interceptions: B, Nicolas Deyo 1-11.

Bennington and Omaha Skutt players warm up for 2023 Nebraska Class B State Football Championship at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln.

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