Top-ranked Omaha North will be the fifth of Omaha Burke's first six opponents that is in this week's Nebraska Top 10.
“Our guys are pretty battle-tested,'' Burke coach Paul Limongi said.
On the flip side, North hasn't faced a ranked team in a 5-0 start. So the Vikings are past due for a measuring-stick game, which they'll get with Friday night's visit to No. 4 Burke (4-1). Kickoff at Burke Stadium is 7 p.m.
“Without a doubt, Burke will be the best team we will have played,'' North coach Larry Martin said. “They have some awfully talented kids there who I think have grown up a lot for them during the season.”
All that prevents the game from being a matchup of the state's top two ranked teams is Burke's 25-7 loss to No. 3 Omaha Creighton Prep. The Bulldogs missed two field goals and lost a fumble at the Prep 1-yard line while going scoreless in the first half.
“I know they had high expectations and maybe didn't meet them first game,'' Martin said. “It looks like they've regrouped, stuck to their plan and are playing darn good football.”
Limongi said no two wins have been the same for the Bulldogs, and that should benefit them.
“Every game pretty much has been a big game, and we've experienced the gamut of games,'' he said. “We've had some close ones, some where we've come back and some where we had to hang on for the win.”
North's offense is built around junior running back Calvin Strong, the fastest to 1,000 yards rushing in Class A since Calvin Jones of Omaha Central in 1989. Strong ran for 304 yards and his second straight game with five touchdowns as the Vikings defeated Papillion-La Vista South 46-16 last week. That pushed his season totals to 1,233 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Third in Class A rushing this week is Burke senior Logan Gier, who's put up 769 yards and five touchdowns.
North is averaging 457 yards a game with junior Payton Nelson as its new quarterback. Burke averages 342 a game with senior Alex Curbeam in his only year of starting.
Martin said he likes how North played against Papio South when the team could have been looking ahead to Burke.
“Our kids have gotten a better understanding of what it takes to be good student-athletes of the game on a daily basis,” he said. “We're further along in some areas than anticipated. We were very impressed last week with how we came out of the gate. We've been playing very good on the defensive side, playing fast and hard, and playing efficiently on the offensive side.”