FIRTH — Omaha Skutt’s 34-7 win at Norris on Friday was far from flawless, but it was enough to wrap up an undefeated regular season for the Class B No. 2 SkyHawks.
“The effort was really good,” Skutt coach Matt Turman said. “Some of the execution and turnovers were not good enough to get it done here in the coming weeks.”
Skutt jumped out to an early 13-0 lead on rushing touchdowns by quarterback Ryan McCormick and running back Jarod Epperson, but two missed field goals and a fumble stalled its second-quarter drives.
But the defense was spot-on the whole night. Two of Norris’ first-half drives ended in three-and-outs and two others resulted in turnovers. Alex Hausmann, who set a school record with 341 rushing yards last week, couldn’t get much going against a physical defensive front.
“Our kids kind of take it personal when they have a really special player like Hausmann,” Turman said. “That was kind of the goal coming in, that we wanted to limit his yardage. That was what they took to heart, and I think we played really well.”
When Skutt was able to sustain drives, it was the McCormick who more often than not put the nail in the coffin. He had three rushing scores, all of which were scrambles on passing plays in the red zone. Each of Skutt’s second-half opportunities came with a short field.
“It all comes down to execution,” Titans coach Jim Jacobsen said. “It always does. I thought defensively we played well enough to be in the ballgame.”
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Norris cut Skutt’s lead to 27-7 in the fourth quarter when Zane Leyden returned an interception to the 2-yard line before Aidan Oerter sneaked up the middle for the score. Skutt fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Norris took over deep in SkyHawks territory, but lost 23 yards on the possession from penalties and negative plays.
The perfect regular season could be just the beginning for a Skutt team that lost in the state championship last year.
“We have some coaches on the staff that have been coaching a long time, and one of them told me it’s the second time in 42 years he’s been on a team that was undefeated in the regular season,” Turman said. “So it’s hard to do. I told the kids if we can get it done, let’s enjoy it, and then see if we can get a few more in the playoffs.”
The Titans (5-4) will still head to the postseason, and Jacobsen believes his team can do some damage.
“Why not us?” he said. “We did some great things there against a really good football team. Why can’t we make a run?”