Westside Football Prepares for Semi-Finals of State Tournament

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Westside Football Prepares for Semi-Finals of State Tournament

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One game away from heading to the Class A state championship. Later today, November 15th, the Warrior varsity football team will head down to Buell Stadium at Millard South High School to go up against the third-ranked Millard South Patriots. With just four teams left in the state tournament, the pressure heightens just a bit more for all teams. As the level of competition rises, the level of intensity rises with it. 

The Warriors shocked many people in last week’s 35-0 win against second-ranked Lincoln Southeast as well as the fashion in which they won. The Warriors, who held the entire Lincoln Southeast offense to only 168 total yards, had arguably their best defensive showing all year. Going up against the second-leading rusher in all of Class A in Nick Halleen last week, the Warriors didn’t budge an inch, holding Halleen to his worst performance on the year. Head Coach Brett Froendt, felt proud of the team as a whole and felt one big thing helped them succeed.

“Just the high level of performance during the game,” Froendt said. “Assignments as well as their responsibilities and the discipline we the best it has been all year. It’s a good time of year for that to happen.”

Going into this week, the Warriors will try to do the same, except this time, against the leading rusher in Class A. Patriot running back, Senior Isaiah Harris, has been a big force for the Patriots this season. This season Harris has put up just over 1,800 yards and walked into the endzone 27 times. However, in last week’s quarterfinal matchup against Grand Island, Harris was relatively quiet. Harris put up only a total of 140 rushing yards on the night while being handed the rock 26 times, the most he’s been given all year. His 5.4 yards-per-carry, his lowest all year was weak in comparison to his season average of 11.9. With the big defensive week last game, Froendt feels the team is ready to take on anybody that comes at them.

“It’s about going back and drawing up the gameplan and communicating it to the kids and executing it,” Froendt said. “It gives you a higher level of confidence to be able to do that for the kids especially. The kids have higher confidence to be able to execute and the confidence in the plan itself. In the end, it just comes down to discipline and being physical.”

The Warriors offense has also been a big reason why they are still in the mix at this latter point in the season. The passing game for the Warriors has been a big factor this year for the Warriors’ offense and likely will be again tonight. Millard South’s secondary has had their struggles this year, with multiple injuries sidelining players last week against Grand Island, the Patriots allowed three passing touchdowns on the night and were struggling to get any space from the Islanders. Junior Quarterback Coley Payton, who was apart of two of the passing touchdowns this past week feels that the team needs to not try to do too much.

“Taking what they give us, it doesn’t have to be the long ball every time,” Payton said. “We just gotta get short yards and drive down the field for first downs.”

Tonight’s game will be the first of the two semifinal matchups out at Buell Stadium in Millard and will kick off at 4 p.m. Red Shields theme for tonight’s game will be a whiteout for all fans headed out to the game. If going to the game is not an option, the game can be listened to on Boomer Radio and watched on NSAA’s live-stream for $10.

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