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Two-Minute Drill: Breaking down and predicting the top Week 4 games, plus Lincoln’s unique week and other notes
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Two-Minute Drill: Breaking down and predicting the top Week 4 games, plus Lincoln’s unique week and other notes

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Omaha Skutt vs. Waverly, 9.4

Omaha Skutt's Caden Becker throws under pressure from the Waverly defense during a game last season at Waverly.

A pair of No. 1 vs. No. 2 clashes in Class A and Class B dominate the high school landscape this week, while marquee games in other classes continue to reveal more about the state’s best teams.

Here’s the key information to know for Week 4:

Games of the week

Class A No. 2 Millard South (3-0) at No. 1 Bellevue West (3-0), 7 p.m. Thursday: This is a matchup high school football fans have been eyeing all season. Last year, Luke Johannsen and LJ Richardson scored three touchdowns apiece in a relatively easy win. Things won’t be easy this time around against a Patriot defense that has allowed just seven points in back-to-back weeks.

Prediction: Bellevue West 36, Millard South 35.

Class B No. 1 Omaha Skutt (3-0) at No. 2 Bennington, 7 p.m. Friday: Running games will define this matchup, as Bennington’s Dylan Mostek already has 13 touchdowns in three games. On the other side, Omaha Skutt quarterback Caden Becker has hardly needed to throw the ball this year. The SkyHawks have moved the ball well on the ground and have 12 rushing touchdowns as a team.

Prediction: Bennington 35, Omaha Skutt 28.

Prep football: Here's a look at the Week 4 schedule and scores

Class C-1 No. 4 Columbus Scotus (3-0) at No. 9 Battle Creek (3-0), 7 p.m. Friday: Featuring three stellar running backs and a steady defense, Battle Creek is off to an impressive undefeated start. Columbus Scotus has proved itself with wins over Wahoo and Aquinas, but a low-scoring affair could go either way.

Prediction: Battle Creek 27, Columbus Scotus 21.

Class C-2 No. 2 Oakland-Craig (3-0) at No. 5 Norfolk Catholic (2-1), 7 p.m. Friday: Fresh off an impressive 30-7 win over defending state champion Ord, Norfolk Catholic welcomes an equally difficult opponent to town. No opponents have been able to slow down the Grady Gatewood-Tavis Uhing duo so far.

Prediction: Oakland-Craig 40, Norfolk Catholic 31.

8-man Class D-1 No. 2 Dundy Co.-Stratton (3-0) at Hitchcock County (3-0), 6 p.m. Friday: After winning its first game via forfeit, Hitchcock County steamrolled its next two opponents and has a chance to make a name for itself this week.

Prediction: Dundy Co.-Stratton 38, Hitchcock County 33.

6-man No. 6 Pawnee City (2-0) at Parkview Christian (1-1), 4 p.m. Friday: Pawnee City put together a complete effort in a win over McCool Junction last week, while Parkview Christian fell short against Sterling. The Patriots can learn from that against another top-10 opponent.

Prediction: Pawnee City 54, Parkview Christian 44.

Other city games

Class A No. 5 Elkhorn South (2-1) at Lincoln Southwest (1-2), 7 p.m. Thursday, Seacrest: The Silver Hawks picked up their first win of the season against Omaha North and now face their third top-10 opponent. Elkhorn South scored 55 points against Omaha Central last week, but the Southwest defense is up for another challenge.

Millard North (0-3) at No. 10 Lincoln East (2-1), 7 p.m. Friday, Seacrest: It was a successful road trip to Norfolk for Lincoln East last week when Noah Walters threw five first-half touchdowns. The Spartan quarterback could do more damage this week against a defense allowing 48.3 points per game, although the Mustangs will try to control the clock.

No. 6 Gretna (3-0) at Lincoln Pius X (1-2), 7 p.m. Friday, Aldrich: Pius X turned in another strong performance on defense last week as the Thunderbolts picked up their first win. Gretna also features a strong defense, while quarterback Zane Flores will pose another challenge.

C-2 No. 8 Sutton (2-1) at Lincoln Lutheran (2-1), 7 p.m. Friday, Beechner: The Warriors were unable to equal No. 1 Archbishop Bergan last week, but they get another shot at a top-10 opponent this week. Both of Sutton’s wins have come over winless teams.

Lincoln Northeast (2-1) at Columbus (2-1), 7 p.m. Friday: Columbus ran away with a win over Lincoln North Star last week, but Northeast has the momentum of back-to-back wins. Dual-threat quarterback Dylan Gray might be able to lead the Rockets to a big road win.

Lincoln High (2-1) at Omaha Central (1-2), 7 p.m. Friday: After a disappointing home loss, Lincoln High will have to pick itself up for a tough road game at Omaha Central. The Eagles are coming off back-to-back losses and will be eager to get their season back on track.

Lincoln North Star (1-3) at North Platte (2-1), 7 p.m. Friday: Both teams suffered big losses last week, but it’s North Platte that gets to play on its home field. North Star may be running into the Bulldogs at the wrong time.

Lincoln Christian (1-2) at C-1 No. 8 Columbus Lakeview (1-2), 7 p.m. Friday: Columbus Lakeview has the motivation to recover from back-to-back losses to top-10 opponents, but can Lincoln Christian pull off a road upset? The Crusaders are coming off a loss to Fort Calhoun.

Overcoming a key absence, youth effort leading C-1 No. 2 Ashland-Greenwood to undefeated start

Two storylines to follow

Class A contenders: With 16 playoff spots available, there is always plenty of competition in Class A among the range of playoff contenders. Millard West (1-2) is always a contender, but a home game against Kearney kicks off a four-week run against ranked teams. Omaha North (0-3) has played close against all its opponents and could use a win over Omaha Burke this week. Papillion-La Vista (1-2) opened the season with a big win over rival Papillion-La Vista South and faces fellow contender Norfolk (1-2) this week.

Class B’s 1-2 teams: With parity spread among Class B again this season, there are plenty of 1-2 teams facing a pivotal Week 4. A win evens their season record at 2-2, while a loss would drop them two games below .500 with plenty of work to do over the second half of the season. Three top-10 teams are currently 1-2 — No. 5 Waverly, No. 7 Norris and No. 8 Aurora — while teams like Blair, Crete, Omaha Roncalli and Scottsbluff are seeking to break into the top 10.

One burning question

How many Lincoln teams will win games?

For the first time this season, all of Lincoln’s football teams face opponents from outside the city this week. That’s 10 possible wins up for grabs, with Lincoln East perhaps having the best chance against a winless Millard North. Lincoln Southeast, Southwest, Lutheran, Pius X, Christian and Parkview Christian all face ranked opponents in their respective classes, though.

Lincoln High, Northeast and North Star have avoided ranked opponents this week, but all three must make road trips on Friday. Given the difficulty of these matchups, a 5-5 record could be considered a strong showing from the city’s teams, but the games may play out differently than anticipated.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7437 or at LMullin@journalstar.com. On Twitter @lmullin7

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