Omaha Burke brought out the best again in Millard North’s Clay Fisher.
The junior scored three touchdowns as a running back and came up with a second-half interception Friday in a 35-23 victory for the state’s No. 1 team (11-0).
During the regular season, Fisher filled in at quarterback against Burke and produced four touchdowns and 319 yards in a 45-10 win.
“I’d say my two best games of the season were against them,’’ Fisher said. “I didn’t get to play on defense the first time, so I was looking forward to that.”
His interception in the end zone ended Burke’s first threat of the second half and preserved a 28-17 lead before an estimated crowd of 2,200 at Buell Stadium.
“That was my first pick of the season,” Fisher said. “I was the only starting defensive back without one.”
Fisher scored the Mustangs’ first two touchdowns on pitch plays of 9 and 24 yards as they thwarted Burke’s strategy to take away the running of Millard North quarterback Isaac Aakre and clog the middle against fullback Conner Matthew.
The No. 5 Bulldogs (7-4) switched for the game to a 5-3 defense with two linebackers bird-dogging Aakre.
Of the Mustangs’ first 22 carries, Aakre kept it 13 times for 37 yards and pitched it seven times.
He broke loose for the first time on a 41-yard run on the second play of a drive that beat the clock to end the first half and wipe out a 17-14 Burke lead.
“We’ve been able to answer like that all year,” Mustangs coach Fred Petito said.
Aakre ended with 235 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries to boost his season rushing yardage to 1,979.
Burke started the second half by losing a fumble that Mustang lineman Erik Huskey recovered at the Bulldogs’ 32. Fisher scored on a quarterback sneak as he filled in for Aakre after Aakre hurt his right hand or arm on the previous play.
After Fisher’s pickoff, Aakre made it 35-17 with 6:39 left in the game with a zigzag 77-yard breakaway.
Burke’s Zach Cook threw his second touchdown pass of the game, a 5-yarder to Allen Lessley, but the Bulldogs were unable to recover their onside kick with 2:38 left.
In taking their lead, the Bulldogs got a 30-yard field goal from Hayden Guy, a 13-yard pass from Cook to Lim Puoch and a 37-yard touchdown run from Logan Gier for the go-ahead score with 2:51 left in the first half.
“We knew we’d be in a tough battle and a physical game,’’ Burke coach Paul Limongi said.
Omaha Burke (7-4).............................3 14 0 6—23
At Millard North (11-0).........................7 14 7 7—35
MN: Clay Fisher 9 run (Andy Bayne kick)
B: FG Hayden Guy 30
MN: Fisher 24 run (Bayne kick)
B: Lim Puoch 13 pass from Zach Cook (Guy kick)
B: Logan Gier 37 run (Guy kick)
MN: Isaac Aakre 1 run (Bayne kick)
MN: Fisher 1 run (Bayne kick)
MN: Aakre 77 run (Bayne kick)
B: Allen Lessley 5 pass from Cook (run failed)
RUSHING: B, Gier 9-83, Cook 7-minus 5, Rodney Williams 1-0, Braxton Adams 1-0, Trey Carr 2-5, Joe Contreras 3-11. MN, Aakre 31-235, Fisher 14-72, Conner Matthew 5-61, Matt Evans 6-31, team 1-minus 1.
PASSING: B, Cook 10-19-1 115. MN, Aakre 2-2-0 22.
RECEIVING: B, Carr 5-59, Puoch 2-28, Lessley 2-11, Turner Gaines 1-17. MN, Nick Roth 1-11, Evans 1-11.