Friday’s Millard North-Bellevue West game came down to an extra-point kick. But on this night, that certainly wasn’t a sure thing.
After Bellevue West missed its extra-point attempt following its possession in overtime, Millard North’s Jack Thompson made his try to give the Mustangs a wild 50-49 victory at Buell Stadium.
Millard North had failed its two extra-point tries in the fourth quarter. That included one with 16 seconds left with the score tied at 43. Bad snaps played a role in both failed attempts, but the execution was flawless in overtime.
“The first one in regulation, it kind of rattled me a little bit,” Thompson said. “I just had to keep my composure and put it through.”
The extra point capped a night that featured nearly 1,000 yards of offense. Bellevue West, ranked eighth in Class A, amassed 524 yards, while No. 6 Millard North had 437 yards — all on the ground.
Both scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Bellevue West’s Cole Patterson scored from 2 yards out with 6:50 left in the game to give the Thunderbirds a 43-37 lead.
But Millard North answered with a 16-play, 80-yard drive. The Mustangs converted three fourth-down attempts on the drive — the first two came on penalties by Bellevue West and on the third, Grant DeVries converted a fourth-and-4 run by the nose of the football. The penalties were an offsides on fourth-and-5 and pass interference on fourth-and-8.
The drive was capped by Cole Fisher’s 3-yard quarterback keeper with 16 seconds left. But when the extra-point try went awry, the game went to overtime.
Both teams scored on their first plays in overtime — Bellevue West’s Brad Brazeal ran in a quarterback draw and DeVries bulled in from 10 yards out.
DeVries finished with 71 yards on 11 carries, gaining 51 of those yards after the third quarter. But the bulk of Millard North’s damage was done by Fisher, who had 335 yards on 53 carries — both career highs.
“I’m used to carrying it a lot. I’d do anything for these guys. I love every single one of the guys,” said Fisher, who had five touchdowns and went over the 1,000-yard mark for the season. “I’ll carry it 100 times if that’s what it takes.”
Brazeal and receiver Clester Johnson had big nights for Bellevue West.
Brazeal rushed for 86 yards and a touchdown and threw for 274 and four touchdowns. All four scoring passes went to Johnson, who had six catches for 224 yards. On the night, the Thunderbirds had 10 plays that went for more than 20 yards.
All that offense came after a disastrous start for the Thunderbirds — they lost two fumbles on their first four offensive plays, helping Millard North go up 14-0 at the 9:45 mark in the first quarter.
“We kind of spotted them 14 points, but I’m so proud of our guys by the way they came back,” Bellevue West coach Michael Huffman said.
Bellevue West falls to 5-2, while Millard North improves to 3-4. The Mustangs started the season 1-4, including an overtime loss to Omaha Burke two weeks ago. Fisher and Mustangs coach Fred Petito feel the team is turning the corner.
“We’ve won a couple of district games,” Petito said. “Really, we’ve played well all year — with three minutes left, we’ve been in every game.
“We like what we have. Our guys are tough dudes.”
Bellevue West (5-2) ............................ 12 16 0 15 6—49
At Millard North (3-4) ............................ 14 10 7 12 7—50
MN: Clay Fisher 33 run (Jack Thompson kick)
MN: Fisher 2 run (Thompson kick)
BW: Clester Johnson 80 pass from Brad Brazeal (kick failed)
BW: Johnson 41 pass from Brazeal (run failed)
BW: Chris Hahn 24 field goal
BW: Cole Patterson 22 run (kick blocked)
MN: Fisher 16 run (Thompson kick)
BW: Johnson 21 pass from Brazeal (Hahn kick)
MN: Thompson 32 field goal
MN: Grant DeVries 6 run (Thompson kick)
BW: Johnson 15 pass from Brazeal (Hahn kick)
MN: Fisher 23 run (kick failed)
BW: Patterson 2 run (Brazeal run)
MN: Fisher 3 run (kick failed)
BW: Brazeal 10 run (kick failed)
MN: DeVries 10 run (Thompson kick)
Att.: 1,800 (est.)
RUSHING: BW: Patterson 8-117, Brazeal 15-86, Mike Gilbert 4-46, Malik Hluchoweckyj 1-1; MN: Fisher 53-335, DeVries 11-71, Jacob Matthew 3-32, Adrrell Taylor 2-(minus 1).
PASSING: BW: Brazeal 11-24-1 274; MN: Fisher 0-3-0 0.
RECEIVING: BW: Johnson 6-224, Cade Johnson 2-35, Gilbert 1-5, Patterson 1-5, Hluchoweckyj 1-5.