Westside Football Rolls on to Semifinals with Win in Lincoln


Alex Estopare

Defensive Coordinator Justin Haberman talks to his team when Westside travelled to Lincoln earlier this season.

This past Friday, the Warrior varsity football team headed down to Seacrest Field in Lincoln for a quarterfinal matchup against the second-seeded Lincoln Southeast Knights. Both teams coming into the matchup came off of big round one wins against lower opponents. The Warriors ended their arch-rival’s season with a 49-13 win, while the Knights took down Omaha North 35-10. 

Earlier in the season, these two teams met each other in a highly contested battle. The Knights came back from a 10 point fourth-quarter deficit to give the Warriors their first loss of the season. Nick Hallen, the second leading rusher in Class A, put up 203 rushing yards on the Warriors in that game. 

Friday’s game would be a whole different story. For the first time this year, with at least ten carries, Hallen was held to under 100 yards rushing. The Warriors’ defense held the entire Knight offense to 168 total yards as well as forcing an interception. They would head on the bus home with a 35-0 victory. 

Head Coach Brett Froendt said he couldn’t have been happier with the way the defense played.

“That [was] an amazing performance by our defense,” Froendt said. “We just played more physical and it was exciting to see that out of our group given the fact that they were a very physical football team.”

Just over a minute in the game, the Warriors decided to trick it up a bit as Cole Payton lateralled it back to Grant Tagge, who threw a touchdown pass to Jake Holmstrom which put the Warriors up early. Just over 7 minutes later, Cole Payton, who would also put up two rushing touchdowns on the night, would tack on a passing touchdown to Trevor Barajas to go up two scores early. Senior Jake Holmstrom, who has been a force both on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball this year, said he felt that the play truly got the team ready to win.

“It was a good way to start off the game especially to start with a score,” Holmstrom said. “It got the team rolling, offense rolling and once the offense starts rolling nobody can stop us.”

With the win, the Warriors will head to Buell Stadium this week to face the third-seeded Millard South Patriots for another rematch. The game will kick off this Friday, November 15th at 4 p.m.