Class B No. 2 Bennington owed much of its undefeated start to the season to running back Dylan Mostek, who racked up 708 rushing yards in this year’s first two games. The senior took a slight step back in Friday’s 35-20 home win over Norris with 171 yards on 41 carries, but four interceptions by the defense helped Bennington bury the Titans.
Norris trailed just 21-14 in the fourth quarter, but the Badgers picked off Norris quarterback Cooper Hausmann on back-to-back drives, and Mostek capitalized with a pair of short touchdowns to help put the game out of reach. Mostek had three rushing scores overall.
“They have a lot of speed, speed we have not seen,” Bennington coach Kam Lenhart said. “It took our defense awhile to adjust, but when we were able to get pressure and get (Hausmann) kind of flustered, good things happened, and I think that caused those four takeaways for us.”
Norris had the advantage early, taking the opening drive 80 yards in 12 plays, capped by one of Hausmann’s two rushing touchdowns on the night.
The Titans (1-2) made it a point to stop Mostek. They held him to 71 yards on 18 carries in the first half. Quarterback Trey Bird used some play-action passes to guide the Badgers down the field and hit Isaac Conner for a short score to tie the game. From there, the Badgers’ opportunistic defense and grinding offense helped to turn the tide.
While Mostek didn’t break off many long runs, he consistently picked up positive yardage and converted third downs.
“He’s that guy who’s going to get that extra yard we need, those third-and-1s, third-and-3s,” Lenhart said. “He might have got hit at the line, but he’s going to move those piles forward. What we proved tonight with our offense is that we don’t need those 50-yard or 60-yard runs like he’s had the past two games.”
While Norris stayed in it deep into the game, the turnovers proved to be too much to overcome.
“Against a great team like Bennington, you can’t turn the ball over, giving them that many opportunities,” Norris coach Ty Twarling said. “They’re going to capitalize on those. Cooper’s going to fix that.”
The Titans may be off to a rough start, but both of their losses have come against quality opponents, including defending state champion Elkhorn in the season-opener.
Bennington is off to a 3-0 start and will have another opportunity to prove themselves next week when they face top-ranked Omaha Skutt.
Week 3! Our team was out around the city and area to uncover all of the stories that came out of Friday night — here's what we got.
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