The No. 1 Bennington Badgers extended their historic win streak, winning their third straight NSAA Class B State Championship by defeating the No. 3 Omaha Skutt Catholic SkyHawks 21-0 at Memorial Stadium.
Senior running back Quinton Archer led the way for the Bennington offense, scoring two of their three touchdowns. Overall, Archer finished with 31 carries for 117 yards and a touchdown. He also caught three passes for 54 yards and a touchdown.
Archer said finishing his high school career with a state title means a lot.
“It’s amazing,” he said about winning the title. “Three times is really cool, but being with this senior class means a lot.”
The Badgers got off to a hot start, scoring on their first drive. It came on a 36-yard pass from senior quarterback Peyton Sanmann to senior wide receiver Kawiyou Taffa. It capped off a nine-play, 80-yard drive to start the game. However, things would slow down.
Bennington and the SkyHawks were evenly matched through the rest of the first half, keeping it a one-score game going into halftime.
Taking advantage of a turnover on downs by Omaha Skutt, Bennington got back onto the board. This time, Archer’s 12-yard run put the Badgers up 14-0 with 1:48 left in the third quarter.
Bennington’s final score came from a 32-yard pass by Sanmann, which was Acher’s second touchdown of the night, with 10:03 left in the fourth quarter.
Sanmann completed 12 of his 25 passes for 165 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also finished with five carries for 21 yards. The Badgers’ leading receiver was junior Elliot Andersen, who caught four passes for 55 yards.
Senior Bennett Turnman led the SkyHawks’ passing offense, completing 11 of 19 passes for 84 yards and throwing an interception. Senior running back Anthony Heithoff rushed 14 times for 63 yards.
This was Bennington and Omaha Skutt Catholic’s second meeting of the season. The Badgers won the first meeting 14-13, when it came down to a decisive play
Archer said their close win over the SkyHawks earlier in the season helped them get better.
“It helped us know that we are not the team we were in Week one,” he said. “We knew we had to get better, so we got better in the show tonight.”
With their 39th straight win, Bennington breaks the Class B winning streak record held by McCook from 2002-2004. They finished the 2023 season 13-0. Omaha Skutt Catholic just fell short of their sixth state title in eight tries, finishing the 2023 season 11-2.