• Video Below: See highlights from the game
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Bennie Olson said his teammates wanted a first down. He gave them a touchdown.
With it, Millard South prevailed for the second straight week against Papillion-La Vista. Friday's 38-23 victory at Buell Stadium sends the Patriots to the Class A football quarterfinals.
Olson's 57-yard run, with 39 seconds left, ended a fourth quarter that saw Papillion-La Vista come up with defensive stops on four consecutive possessions without the Monarchs' offense able to cash those in.
The closest the Monarchs came to scoring while Millard South was holding a 31-23 lead was on third-and-goal from the 5. Keaton Hutchinson intercepted Alec Ditoro's pass in the end zone midway through the final quarter.
“No lead ever is safe with them, no lead,” Patriots coach Andy Means said.
Olson, a 5-foot-8 180-pounder who Means called “a warrior,” ran for 214 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries.
“Just get a first down, they said,” Olson said. “I saw a hole and hit it as hard as I could.”
Ditoro, a junior, threw three touchdown passes to tie the 11-man state record of 37 in a season. He was 31 of 56 for 370 yards against the Patriots to finish with 3,115 yards in 10 games, a record for 11-man.
Besides the three pickoffs, No. 4 Millard South (8-2) sacked Ditoro four times in the first quarter and six for the game.
“Their pass rush took over again,” Monarchs coach Jeff Govier said. “They didn't give us the time we needed. Credit their defense, especially their front linemen.”
Means said Freeman Coleman, Bryce Sosnowski and Taylor Mendenhall helped out their secondary with the fierce rush.
Hutchinson had two of the three interceptions, with Kyle McMindes getting the other one off Ditoro. McMindes got another one in the fourth quarter when Monarchs punter Gabe Hoins ran down a snap that went over his head and threw in desperation as he was inside the Papio 10 on a play that started at the 48.
Papio's only leads were 3-0 on a Hoins field goal and 9-3 on Ditoro's 20-yard dart to Jalen Allison.
Olson's 14-yard touchdown with 55 seconds left in the opening quarter gave the Patriots the lead for good at 10-9 after Nick Giaffoglione's extra point. The lead grew to 17-9 on Anthony Cloyd's quarterback sneak midway through the second quarter and 24-9 on Cloyd's pass to Will Beard for a 30-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
Beard helped Millard South rush for 434 yards with a 79-yard end-around. It restored a two-touchdown lead at 31-15 after Bryce Sheard's first of two touchdown receptions for the Monarchs (5-5).
Beard ran for 128 yards on three carries. Quentin Williams had 94 yards on 11 carries before reinjuring his left shoulder.
Sheard led Monarch receivers with 140 yards on 10 catches.
Olson said it was tough to play the Monarchs back-to-back weeks. Millard South beat them 30-27 in the regular-season finale.
“We didn't want to come out too cocky because we beat them last week,” he said. “Our defense played well. They really stepped it up.”
Papillion-La Vista (5-5) .................. 9 0 6 8—23
At Millard South (8-2) .................. 10 7 14 7—38
PLV: FG Gabe Hoins 37
MS: FG Scott Botkin 28
PLV: Jalen Allison 20 pass from Alec Ditoro (kick failed)
MS: Bennie Olson 14 run (Nick Giaffoglione kick)
MS: Anthony Cloyd 1 run (Giaffoglione kick)
MS: Will Beard 30 pass from Cloyd (Giaffoglione kick)
PLV: Bryce Sheard 9 pass from Alec Ditoro (PAT failed)
MS: Beard 79 run (Giaffoglione kick)
PLV: Sheard 4 pass from Alec Ditoro (Tyler Wrice pass from Ditoro)
MS: Olson 57 run (Giaffoglione kick)
RUSHING: PLV, Ditoro 20-68, Wrice 9-43. MS, Olson 23-214, Cloyd 16-6, Quentin Williams 11-94, Beard 3-128, Ryan DeVries 1-minus 8.
PASSING: PLV, Ditoro 31-56-3 370, Hoins 0-1-1 0. MS, Cloyd 5-13-0 55, Kyle McMindes 0-1-0 0.
RECEIVING: PLV, Allison 9-92, Sheard 10-140, Spencer Lewis 7-91, Wrice 4-41, Hoins 1-6. MS, Beard 2-36, Zach Schmidt 2-21, Keaton Hutchinson 1-minus 2.
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• Video: See highlights from the game:
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Editor's Note: Nick Giaffoglione made a field goal and was 5 for 5 on extra points in Millard South’s 38-23 football playoff victory over Papillion-La Vista. He was misidentified in an earlier version of this story.