Bennington running back Dylan Mostek was held well under his 354-yard average, but he didn't mind too much.
His Badgers got the victory.
Mostek rushed 41 times for 176 yards and three touchdowns to lead Bennington to a 35-20 win over visiting Norris. The Class B No. 5 Badgers move to 3-0 going into their game next week against top-ranked Omaha Skutt.
"We've never beaten Skutt," Mostek said. "I know the guys are pumped for that."
The senior running back put up huge numbers the previous two weeks in wins over Grand Island Northwest and Aurora. Mostek found tougher sledding against the Class B No. 7 Titans, who fell to 1-2.
"They played the run really well and I had to grind out every yard," he said. "But I got great blocking from my line and our receivers."
Norris stayed close for three quarters and closed to 21-14 when quarterback Cooper Hausmann scored his second TD of the night. The Titans then got the ball back early in the fourth quarter when the next Badgers' drive stalled at the Bennington 36.
After a 42-yard punt, disaster struck Norris two plays later. Austin Holtz picked off a Hausmann pass — the Badgers' third interception — and Bennington took over at the Titans 31.
Mostek carried five of the next six plays, running left for a 5-yard touchdown. Vaughn Anderson's extra point made it 28-14 with 8:48 left.
The defense stepped up again after the Titans lost four yards on a rushing play. Hausmann appeared to have an open receiver downfield but safety Gunnar Lym came streaking in for the Badgers' fourth interception. Three plays later, Mostek was back in the end zone.
"He's fantastic," Bennington coach Kam Lenhart said. "He had a lot of third-and-1 and third-and-3 plays where he just moved the pile."
Norris scored on the final play of the game.
Lenhart credited his defense for its stout play and the four picks, with the other two coming from Cayden Bluhm and Jaxson Andrews.
"We know that we're going to get everybody's best shot," he said. "They've got a lot of speed and it took us a little time to adjust."
Lenhart said now that the Norris game is over, his team can look ahead to the SkyHawks.
"Now it's officially Skutt week," he said. "Our guys feel like they've got something special."
Norris (1-2)............7 0 7 6—20
Bennington (3-0)...7 7 7 14—35
N: Cooper Hausmann 1 run (Brady Reeves kick)
B: Isaac Conner 5 pass from Trey Bird (Vaughn Anderson kick)
B: Dylan Mostek 4 run (Anderson kick)
B: Nick Colvert 4 run (Anderson kick)
N: Hausmann 6 run (reeves kick)
B: Mostek 5 run (Anderson kick)
B: Mostek 1 run (Anderson kick)
N: Micah Langston 14 pass from Jakob Godtel