LINCOLN — Six interceptions were golden Monday night for Omaha Skutt's defense.
Not to be overlooked, though, is how the SkyHawks made York's offense one-dimensional.
They held the Dukes to 10 yards rushing, which included three quarterback sacks, in a 30-0 victory before 5,845 at Memorial Stadium for the school's first Class B football title since 2005.
“Our defense has been great all year. Our kids fly around to the ball,'' Skutt coach Matt Turman said. “We were hoping we could shut their running game down and then we could concentrate on the pass.”
Although York's Evan Neville was averaging 134 yards a game rushing, Dukes coach Glen Snodgrass said he could see a rough night brewing for his ground game.
“I was really nervous about our running game, to be quite honest with you, especially after Gretna was able to contain our running game last week,'' Snodgrass said. “The thing that made me nervous is that I knew Skutt had a phenomenal secondary and the scheme they run defensively is difficult.
“When they can rush only four and get pressure on us, that's tough. They have seven guys in coverage and that makes it difficult to find open spots.”
York's Linden Kaliff was 12 of 32 for 189 yards, but threw five of the six interceptions. The other one was by Jon Fletcher on a gadget play in the first half.
“We were inside the 20 three times in the first half and came away with zero points and then fumbled away a punt in the third quarter,” Snodgrass said. “It was frustrating offensively because they are such a great defense.”
Ben Wenke picked off Kaliff in the end zone on second-and-goal from the 3 on York's opening drive, the Dukes failed to convert on fourth-and-goal from the 6 midway through the second quarter and Thomas Pivovar had an end-zone interception on second-and-goal from the 8 with 3:14 left in the half.
“I told Linden to relax and not worry about it, just keep slinging it,” Snodgrass said. “If he's worried about interceptions, then he's not going to be making his reads and throwing it right. He's kind of a gunslinger as a quarterback.”
In all, No. 4 York (11-2) threw five interceptions in the first 24 minutes and yet trailed only 7-0 in its first championship-game appearance. Isaiah Ramsey scored the first of his two touchdowns for Skutt on a sneak four plays after Zach Zeplin returned his interception of Fletcher's pass 30 yards to the York 18.
“We couldn't capitalize,'' Turman said. “They have a real good defense that was getting to the ball.
'At halftime, I actually got advice from my dad (Wahoo Neumann coach Tim Turman). He said just be more patient, just keep banging away and pretty soon you'll be hitting some runs.
“Part of the second half, it was the offense just keeping their offense off the field so much.”
No. 2 Skutt (12-1) opened the second half with a 30-yard field goal by Mitch Swain for a 10-0 lead. The SkyHawks made it 17-0 on Ramsey's second touchdown, which followed John Heffron's recovery of the York fumbled punt at the Dukes 18.
Brett LaMontia made it 23-0 on a 4-yard run in the fourth quarter, then Zeplin cashed in his third interception of the game for a 41-yard pick-six with 3:51 to play.
The 6-foot-1 Zeplin held 6-4 Ty Danielson, who led York this season with 826 yards and seven touchdown receptions, to a single catch in the third quarter for 7 yards.
“We knew they were going to throw all over us,” Zeplin said. “We wanted to get some pressure on their quarterback, make him throw it outside and get jump backs from our corners.”
Omaha Skutt (11-1) .......................................... 0 7 10 13—30
York (11-1) ....................................................... 0 0 0 0— 0
S: Isaiah Ramsey 1 run ( Mitch Swain kick)
S: FG Swain 30
S: Ramsey 2 run (Swain kick)
S: Brett LaMontia 4 run (kick blocked)
S: Zach Zeplin 41 interception return (Swain kick)
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Video: Highlights from the Class B final