Wildcats clean house

Millard West wins 63-0


Photo Courtesy of Anna Burton

Defensive tackle Hudson Meier and linebacker Braedyn Kiger rally to sack the South Sioux City quarterback. Millard West’s defense was attacking all day and held the Cardinals to just 49 total yards. “It feels great when the defense is able to get the shutout,” sophomore Jake Blackman said. “It gives us the confidence that we can lean on the defense to keep us in the game when the offense is struggling.”

Nathan Delaney, Staff Reporter

Millard West kicked off district play on Friday, Sept. 23 against the South Sioux City Cardinals. South Sioux City was playing there their first year in Class A, and trying to prove they belonged. Millard West was trying to bounce back from a tough loss against Creighton Prep the week before.

South Sioux City received the opening kickoff and got -8 yards on their first three plays before a shanked punt that only traveled -2 yards set up Millard West with a 1st and goal for the offense.

Two plays later junior Bobby Joseph ran it in for six yards for a touchdown to give Millard West a 7-0 lead. South Sioux City got stuffed on offense and had another punt go wrong and went -7 yards.

The next play senior Peyton Strong took a halfback dive up the middle for a two yard touchdown run that gave the Wildcats a 14-0 lead.

Then, on the Cardinal’s next drive after a holding penalty on the Cardinals, defensive back Keegan Mountain snagged an interception and ran it back for a touchdown to widen Millard West’s lead to 21-0.

Down early in the game, South Sioux City needed to come through right away if they wanted to have a chance before Millard West gained too big of a lead. After two runs by sophomore Tony Palmer that gained one yard and an incomplete pass by sophomore DJ Helms, the Cardinals punted again to Millard West.

The next play, freshman Will Anderson unleashed a 41 yard pass to junior Jackson Williams for another touchdown for Millard West. To up the lead to 28-0 Millard West.

The Cardinals were able to gain seven yards after a quarterback scramble by Helms but weren’t able to get the rest needed for a first down and had to punt the ball right back to the Wildcats.

Millard West then went on an eight play, 69 yard drive that was capped off by a two yard rushing touchdown by Strong, to give Millard West a 35-0 lead to end the 1st quarter.

The Cardinals got the ball to start the second quarter and it was more of the same after a pair of incompletions and a pair of runs from Helms they found themselves punting again.

After a pair of runs by sophomore Jake Blackman from 17 yards, Anderson dropped back to pass and unleashed a 30 yard touchdown pass to Joseph to increase the lead to 42-0 Wildcats.

Palmer gave the Cardinals some offense with a couple of runs for a total of 23 yards and the Cardinals got a pair of first downs and they were forced to punt.

Millard West brought in sophomore quarterback Bradyn Johnson to finish the game, and after a pair of runs by Blackman, he faked the handoff and charged upfield for a 39 yard touchdown run and Millard West went to halftime with a 49-0 lead.

“The huge win helped increase personal confidence in ourselves, but also increased our confidence in our team,” sophomore Jake Blackman said. “We believe that we can hang with any team now.”

Since Millard West was up by more than 35 in the second half, there was a running clock the entire time and both teams only got one possession. Both teams struggled on offense and after a pair of shared punts. The score remained 49-0 at the end of the 3rd quarter.

Millard West kept the ball on the ground and junior running back Cameron Unrau found the endzone after a three yard run to extend the lead to 56-0.

Two plays later Helms dropped back to pass and was intercepted by junior Eyston Behrens who ran it back for a touchdown to widen the lead to 63-0.

“I just saw the guy run out into the flat and followed him,” Behrens said. “I saw the QB throw the ball right to me so I caught it and started running towards the end zone. It felt great that the entire team swarmed me after I scored. I had never felt something like that before in my high school career.”

South Sioux City then ran out the clock and Millard West won 63-0.

“To prepare for Millard North we are switching up the defense and where people play,” coach Chad Young said. “Millard North has a unique style of offense and is important to prepare for.”

Millard West will be back in action against Millard North Friday, Sept. 30, at Buell Stadium.