Wildcats fall to Patriots

Millard West losses the Battle of Q Street


Photo courtesy of Halle Opat

The Wildcats are preparing to start the second half of football against Millard South. The goal coming out of the locker room was to strike first and crawl back into the game. “We tried to make a couple adjustments at half,” senior Brady Luther said. “We were trying to see what we had for this game and the rest of the season.”

Nathan Delaney, Staff Reporter

On Friday, Aug. 26, Millard West kicked off their varsity football season against the Millard South Patriots. The two teams have a long history in a rivalry called the Battle of Q Street, and they packed their student sections for this matchup. After losing to Millard South the past two years Millard Wet hoped to turn that around this year.

Millard South received the ball off the opening kickoff but was only able to muster one first down off a pass from senior Camden Kozeal before having to punt the ball to the Wildcats. 

Millard West started slow and after two runs by senior Peyton Strong and a short pass by junior Brody Peterson, they had to punt the ball back to Millard South. Millard South then struck with a 25 yards pass to senior Lance Rucker and finished off the drive with 7 yards passing touchdown to senior Gavin Nunnally, to take a 7-0 lead.

Millard West was denied again and after two runs by junior Bobby Joseph and an incomplete pass by Peterson they were forced to punt again. Millard South started driving and Rucker came in again with another big catch of 27 yards, to set them up for a 12-yard touchdown pass from Kozeal to give the Patriots a 14-point lead. 

Trying to keep themselves in the game, Millard West brought in freshman quarterback Will Anderson who delivered right away with a 69-yard touchdown pass to junior Jackson Williams, to pull the Wildcats within 7. Millard South did not wait to respond and junior Noah Feller rushed for an 80-yard touchdown on the very next play to give South a 21-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.

“We are working hard to keep improving each week,” senior Brady Luther said. “We are focusing on working harder in practice, watching the film, listening to the coach, and playing as a unit.”

Millard West started moving the ball with a combination of strong runs from Strong and Peterson found themselves in the red zone. On third and goal Millard West looked at the end zone but Peterson’s pass was intercepted by senior Austin Trotter and West found themselves on defense again. Millard South had a long slow drive that took over five minutes and ended with a Millard South field goal to extend their lead to 24-7. Neither team was able to get anything going and the score was 24-7 Millard South at halftime.

 “We talked about how we needed to improve our preparation and how we needed to focus on finishing drives,” Williams said. “We had two turnovers in the red zone and waited to change that for the future.”

Millard West started off with the ball to start the second half and after a couple of successful runs and passes from Peterson had to punt again. Millard South on the back of their passing game stove down the field in chunk plays threw the air and scored on a 10-yard touchdown pass to Trotter to widen the lead to 31-7. Anderson came in a quarterback again but after two runs by Strong, an incomplete pass by Anderson had to trot out senior Creyton Schram to punt. Millard South had a holding penalty that pushed them back and had a perfect punt pinning the Wildcats at their own 5-yard line. Anderson immediately answered with a 95-yard touchdown pass to Williams to cut the lead to 31-14 at the end of the third quarter.

“We need to keep pushing and keep getting better so we’re ready for next week’s again Omaha North,” junior Eysten Behrens said. “Our goal is not to let this game keep us down. We need to come out fast and attack them first.”

The fourth quarter started with Millard West’s defense standing strong and forcing the Patriots to punt. Millard West tried to come back late but after a couple of successful passes by Anderson they turned the ball over on downs. Millard South hit a 46-yard pass to Trotter and topped off the drive with a 4-yard touchdown run by Kozeal to stretch the lead to 38-14. Millard West spent the last 6 minutes on a final drive but got stopped inside the 10. Millard South kneeled down and ended the game.

The game ended with a score of 38-14 Patriots. The Wildcats look to rebound after a tough loss as they play Omaha North this Friday, Sept. 2 at Buell Stadium.