The Wildcats take over the Navigators

Millard West Varsity Football becomes 9-0, undefeated, going into the playoffs

Sophomore running back Chase Hultman ran the ball for a 16 yard tuchdown. The Wildcats had been working all season to get to this point, the playoffs.

photo by Tenley Wright

Sophomore running back Chase Hultman ran the ball for a 16 yard tuchdown. The Wildcats had been working all season to get to this point, the playoffs.

Garrett Wilcoxen, Staff Reporter

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Last Friday, October 25, the 8-0 Millard West Wildcats took on the 2-6 Lincoln North Star Navigators. The Wildcats had been undefeated this season so far, and continued that streak in this game. Ever since the start to their season, their goal has been to win state. Since the win on Friday, the Wildcats are going straight to the playoffs seeded number one.

Coming into the game, Millard West looked strong with a record to show it. On the other hand, North Star has had a losing record this season. In the first quarter, North Star kicked off first and the Wildcats got the ball on the 45. After a three yard gain and a loss of one yard, the Wildcats passed the ball for 16 on third down and got a first. Then on second down, the Wildcats passed the ball again for 38 yards converting a touchdown early in the first quarter. 

After a five yard gain within the first three down for North star they were forced to punt the ball. On first and ten for the Wildcats, senior quarterback Tristan Gomes threw the ball to senior wide receiver Kaedyn Odermann for a 33-yard touchdown. Again, the Navigators struggled to convert and end up throwing a pick-six on their next drive. Once more the Navigators got the ball on second down, and had a false start setting them back five yards. With this penalty, they did not have enough to get a first again and were forced to punt. 

On first down and ten, the first play of the drive, Gomes ran the ball for a 43-yard touchdown. After the kick from sophomore kicker Jaxson Neumann the Navigators had the ball on there own 27. A run for 0 yards and two complete passes ended up in another punt. With 41 seconds left, Gomes passed the ball to senior wide receiver Dalys Beanum for touchdown wrapping up the quarter 35-0.

Starting the second quarter, the Navigators had three incomplete passes resulting in another punt. Coming out strong again this quarter, the Wildcats senior running back Ethan Valencia ran the ball for 17 yards. After an offsides penalty on the defense gaining the wildcats five yards, junior running back Zach Coleman ran for a 13-yard touchdown. 

The kickoff by Neumann would bring the Navigators to their own 35-yard line. On first down they had an incomplete pass making it second and ten. On this lineup they completed a pass for seven yards, but would soon have to punt after not getting a first on third. After five runs from the Wildcats resulting in three first downs, it was third and one at the Navigators 21-yard line. On this play, the Wildcats ran the ball but got stuffed and ended up losing five yards. On a fourth and six, the Wildcats decided to go for it and got ten yards resulting in yet another first down, followed by a timeout. Continuing first and ten, the Wildcats ended up running the ball again for a 16-yard touchdown.

 With 3:31 left on the clock, the Wildcats kicked off to the Navigators. The Navigators caught the ball on the 6-yard line and attempted to run it back, but fumbled and the Wildcats recovered the ball. Wildcats then had the ball on the Navigators six, but lost five more yards from a false start, making it second and ten on the Navigators 11. After two more runs, the Wildcats scored on fourth and two. 

On the last drive of the second quarter, the Navigators had the ball on their own 25. After getting two first down plays, they were stopped on fourth and nine ending the quarter. The ending score to the quarter was 56-0.

In the third quarter, the Navigators started with the ball on their 24. After a 14 yard first down completion, the Navigators called a timeout. Coming out of the timeout, the Navigators fumbled and the ball was recovered by sophomore defensive end Tony Failla. Sophomore quarterback and running back Caden Becker and sophomore running back Nate Pedersen ran the ball interchangeably for an ultimate gain of 20 yards and loss of eight resulting in a fourth down play, the Wildcats first field goal attempt of the night. Neumann took the kick and he gained three points for the Wildcats. 

On the longest drive of the night, North Star got the ball. On second and 13, the Navigators complete a 19 yard pass getting to the 50 yard line. Then on a risky play by the Navigators, the running back lost the ball once more, but recovered it immediately. After one more run for 0 yards and two incomplete passes, the Navigators punted again. Wildcats ball first and ten. On this play the Wildcats ended up losing 12 yards on a miscommunicated pass and on the play following it, they lost 2 yards on a run ending the quarter. At the end of this quarter the score was 59-0.

Wrapping up the game in the fourth quarter, the Wildcats got the ball back on the Navigators 35. Ater two runs by sophomore running back and fullback Chase Hultman the Wildcats were on the Navigators 21 with a first and ten. Hultman then ran ran the ball two more times resulting in a touchdown for the Wildcats. 

On a first and ten the Navigators running back ran the ball for a ten yard gain and then another four yard gain on the play following it. The Navigators then had an 8-yard gain on third down for a first. Unfortunately for the Navigators, the Wildcats stopped them yet again four plays in a row, turning over the ball. After three more runs for the Wildcats totaling 18 yards, the game ended with a final score of 66-0.

The Wildcats will be ready to face off against Pius X this Friday for their first playoff game where they are ranked the number one seed and Pius the 16th. This game was a real eye opener to how talented the Wildcats team is this year and shows how hard they have worked to get to their goal: winning State.

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