Sixth ranked Dukes 6, No. 1 Badgers 17

YORK – The host Dukes gave as good as they got against 29-0 and No. 1 ranked Bennington Friday night. But a long Badger punt return for a TD down the visitor sideline into the east end zone, coupled with a blocked Duke field goal loomed large in the visitors’ hard-won 17-6 victory.

Sophomore Emmitt Dirks put his foot to work on the early field goal, only to have it swatted away by Bennington defenders.

A Badger picked up the tumbling ball, raced the length of the field and crossed the York goal line, but a block in the back infraction erased those three points off Bennington’s side of the board.

The Badgers scored from near the 10 at 1:14 left in the first period, hit the PAT kick and took a 7-0 lead at the first break.

Dirks hit senior Carter Stenger with a 14-yard scoring strike at 10:10 of the second. The Dukes lined up under center going for two, but the play failed, 7-6.

The visitors notched the killer punt return at 5:35 of the second, added the PAT and led 14-6 at halftime.

The final score went on the board when the Badgers nailed a field goal at 1:41 of the third, 17-6.

The Dukes battled tough in the fourth, but their last offensive flame flickered out with a Badger interception with 2:04 to play.

Bennington, still unbeaten in the regular season three years and counting, visits Lincoln Pius X in a much-anticipated shootout next week.

York (2-1) faces a stern challenge in the shadow of Wyoming at far-off Scottsbluff.

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