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BENNINGTON — Bennington is headed to the state football championship game for the first time as a Class B school.

Behind a 252-yard, three-touchdown performance by running back Dylan Mostek, the Badgers rolled into the Nov. 22 Class B championship at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln against Aurora with a 28-7 semifinal victory over Elkhorn.

Aurora rallied to defeat Omaha Skutt 21-17 to earn its berth in the Class B title game.

The Badgers last won a football title in 2007 as C-1 champions. Bennington’s other appearance in the finals came in 1989.

Mostek scored on TD runs of 34, 25 and 80 yards — the last one coming on the first play of the second half before an estimated crowd of 1,200 at Bennington Stadium.

After gaining 147 yards on 16 carries in the first half, Mostek wasted no time getting the momentum back in Bennington’s corner after the Antlers scored their lone touchdown of the game with 14 seconds remaining before halftime.

Taking the handoff from quarterback Trey Bird, Mostek raced untouched through the middle of the Elkhorn defensive line and scooted past the last three Antlers defenders before reaching the 50-yard line.

Mostek continued to pull away from his pursuers, and 12 seconds into the third quarter the Badgers had their 14-point lead back.

A pair of 7-yard punts set up short-field touchdowns that produced the first touchdowns for both teams.

Bennington scored its in the first quarter when the defense shut down Elkhorn’s opening drive with a three-and-out. The ensuing short punt into the strong winds out of the northwest gave the Badgers the ball at the Elkhorn 47.

That’s when Mostek began working his magic on Bennington’s opening drive that covered 47 yards in seven plays. He carried the ball six times — the seventh play was a fumble by Bird — and scored on a 25-yard pitch around the left end.

The extra point by Vaughn Anderson put the Badgers ahead 7-0 with 6:16 remaining in the first quarter.

An Elkhorn fumble recovered by Badgers linebacker Austin Holtz led to Bennington’s second touchdown. Again, it was Mostek doing most of the running behind his wall of an offensive line.

A pair of first downs moved the ball to the Elkhorn 34 when Mostek took the handoff and raced around right end for his second touchdown, and Bennington had 14-0 lead with 6:45 remaining before halftime.

Elkhorn then took advantage of a 7-yard Bennington punt that required them to drive only 35 yards. It took the Antlers nine plays to do it, but they avoided a shutout by scoring on a 12-yard pass from Connor Hunt to Dane Petersen with 14 seconds remaining before halftime.

Bennington put the game out of reach early in the fourth quarter by converting an Elkhorn fumble into the final touchdown of the game.

A pair of passes by Bird were the big plays in the 7-play, 71-yard drive that ended with a 20-yard TD strike from Bird to tight end Austin Hofts for a 28-7 lead with 7:29 remaining.

Bird completed 5 of 7 passes for 92 yards. Elkhorn struggled much of the game to get any offensive momentum beyond the late second-quarter touchdown.

Before the final drive when both teams put in their reserves, the Antlers managed just 106 yards rushing on 40 carries. With those final four plays, Elkhorn’s final numbers were 44 carries for 160 yards.

This article originally ran on journalstar.com.