Warriors Top Patriots, Qualify for State Championship

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Warriors Top Patriots, Qualify for State Championship

Westside's Carter Hogan celebrates following Friday's 31-14 win.

Westside's Carter Hogan celebrates following Friday's 31-14 win.

Alex Estopare

Westside's Carter Hogan celebrates following Friday's 31-14 win.

Alex Estopare

Alex Estopare

Westside's Carter Hogan celebrates following Friday's 31-14 win.

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For the first time since 2013, the Westside will head to Memorial Stadium to compete for the state title.

This past Friday, November 15, 2019, the Warriors took down the third-seeded Millard South Patriots on the road by a 31-14 score. After dropping the regular-season finale against the Patriots, 41-26, the Warriors came into the semifinal matchup and looked like an entirely different team. After shutting out second-seeded Lincoln Southeast, the Warriors’ defense continued their performance against the Patriots.

Westside started the first quarter with junior four-star defensiveback Avante Dickerson snatching a TJ Urban pass and bringing it back to the Patriot 31 yard line. Just two plays later, Cole Payton dumped it off to Cal Weidemann for an 11-yard touchdown to start off the Warriors’ night. Dickerson would later beat a Patriot defensive back on a slant route and be wide open for the 20-yard touchdown pass. The Warriors tacked on two more touchdowns and would head into the locker room at the half up 28-0. In the second half, the Patriots tried to fight their way back into the ball game but two interceptions forced Westside stalled any chance of a second half comeback. Senior Trevor Barajas, who caught the game-sealing interception, said he felt that the line had been the ones who had pushed the team all night.

“Our guys up front have been fighting all night and making lanes for the guys behind them,” Barajas said. “It just shows how they played all night. They tipped it and that’s why I was able to make that play.”

Barajas said he also felt that there were a few main things they have worked on to get better throughout this season, and that they are why they are having the success that they are.

“Our work ethic and our mindset. We’ve been working on it ever since Lincoln Southeast,” Barajas said. “We got taught some lessons and we’ve barred down. Ever since then, everyone’s been doing their job, communicating and we’re getting the job done.”

The main goal this year for the Warriors has been to take home the state title that they are one win away from achieving. Head Coach Brett Froendt said that he feels that although the team is very talented, the brotherhood and connections the players have made with each other are the reason they are in the position that they are.

“The culture is what makes us strong. Most of them believe in it. I hope all of them believe in it, but, to be honest with you, to get to this level it’s not just talent you have to have, you have to have culture, you have to be strong and you have to have strong bonds,” Froendt said. “These guys have formed [bonds], it’s not fake, it’s real and if they continue to press forward both this season and in life, they’re going to achieve a lot of things.”

The Warriors will head down to Memorial Stadium to take on the Bellevue West Thunderbirds on Tuesday, Nov 26 at 7 PM for the 2019 Class A State Championship. The game can be viewed live on NET.

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