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The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

Wildcats soar past Jr. Jays

Millard West notches their first win over Creighton Prep since 2019
Makayla Potter
Senior linebacker Easton Behrens celebrates after a big hit on Prep junior quarterback Tony Coniglio. Behrens and the Wildcat defense hit the Jays behind the line of scrimmage over ten times, and had a sack himself. “Coming into the game I wanted to blitz more,” Behrens said. “With the way the game went, I was happy I got the nod to rush after the quarterback more and more, and hope I can do it some more in future weeks.”

On Friday, Sept. 15, the 2-1 Millard West Wildcats took on the 1-3 Creighton Prep Junior Jays in a non-district showdown. 

Millard West came in riding high, coming off back to back wins over Omaha North and Burke, while the Jr. Jays struggled thus far, with their only win being a 25-19 win over the winless Millard North Mustangs.

It was once again another defensive showdown for the Wildcats, something they were not new to. In all but one of their matchups, the team had not scored a touchdown in the first quarter. And, in only one of those games, their week two win against Omaha North, did the offense or defense get any points on the board. Rather, the special teams unit in senior kicker Cameron Spicer hit a field goal to take an early 3-0 lead. 

After a quick first quarter in which no team scored any points, it looked to be another close game. However, late in the second quarter, senior wide receiver Jackson Williams took a punt 70 yards to the house for the first score of the game. It had seemed like Millard West had blown the game open in their favor, as there was only a matter of minutes before the end of the first half, but it was called back as there was an unnecessary block in the back negated the touchdown, and the slow Wildcat offense jogged back onto the field, trying to pick back some of the lost momentum.

“We’ve been a close group and we really developed more trust in one another since the start of this year,” senior offensive guard Logan Johnson said. “We are finally molding together as a group and by the time the playoffs come, we are gonna be great.”

After a few strong runs from senior running back Bobby Joseph, the Wildcats saw a 1st & 10 from the Prep 49. As senior quarterback Brody Peterson dropped back, he saw his main man, Williams, streaking across the inside of the hash marks. Williams caught it in stride. A 51 yard house call got the Wildcats up 7-0, and that would be the score at halftime.

The offensive line had been one of the bright spots going from last year’s team to this years. With three returning starters, and only one out with injury in senior tackle Trevor Zweiner, Millard West’s offensive line is viewed as one of the best in the state. Throughout the season they have allowed ample time for Peterson to throw, but also create good blocks that allow Joseph and the other running backs to find an open seam, and get the first down and more.

That trend would follow in the second half. Joseph started the second half with 50 yards on the ground, but would finish the day with 210 yards. A huge chunk of that came in the opening drive of the second half, as Joseph would take things inside the ten, and a few plays later, a rushing touchdown by Peterson.

The Wildcats were up 14-0 with 7:07 in the third, when the momentum switched back to the Jays, as senior cornerback Zac McLeay took the kickoff 96 yards to the house. Millard West hadn’t beat Creighton Prep since 2019, and many were getting shades of the Jays come from behind win back in 2020. 

The score after the third quarter showed a 14-7 defensive showdown, but Millard West was in control from the start. Their only hiccup offensively came when a mistimed pass by Peterson to Williams led to an interception.

Creighton Prep was unable to do anything offensively, as the longest pass of the night was just 13 yards, and the longest run was just seven yards. Arguably the best player on the Prep offense, Iowa commit and senior tight end Michael Burt, had one target for no receptions.

A huge reason behind this weak offensive performance was the presence of the front seven by Millard West. In total, the Wildcat defense accounted for eight sacks, and even more tackles for loss or no gain

“Our biggest reason for success was the intensity that the defensive line was bringing on the outside,” senior nose tackle Samuel Goik said. “The interior with [Braedyn] Kiger did a good job of getting around Prep’s guard, and really giving the quarterback some trouble.”

The fourth quarter had one more touchdown in store for Millard West, but nothing for Prep. But instead of a 13 point victory for Millard West, it was a 20-7 win, as Prep’s special teams was the only life for the blue birds, as a blocked PAT and field goal made the win a little worse for West. 

Peterson would end his day completing over 60% of his passes, with two going to Williams in the air and another he took in himself. The big story at the end of the game was the monster performance by Joseph. Two hundred and ten yards off of 20+ carries was enough to seal the deal, and get Millard West win number three on the year.

“I have to give a lot of the credit to the guys on the line for giving me good blocks and good looks,” Joseph said. “I’m looking forward to the upcoming district games, and solidify myself as one of the better running backs in the state.”Millard West starts their district play on Friday, Sept. 22, against the 4-0 South Sioux City Cardinals at South Sioux City High. After winning their district last year, Millard West hopes to repeat. Their next home game is against the Millard North Mustangs, in their final Millard game of the season. This is the Homecoming game, with the theme being tropical. If you are unable to make it to the game, you can watch on https://striv.tv/channel/millard-west/

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About the Contributors
Logan Moseley
Logan Moseley, Staff Reporter
This is Logan’s senior year and 4th year on staff. Last year he was the MWHS Wildcat News Broadcast Editor In Chief, Striv Executive Producer and one of the piloting students of the “High School Radio Project.” Moseley won 1st place in the NSAA Class A News Broadcast category, and placed in the Broadcast Feature category as well. Moseley worked with the President of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association, Jim Timm, on the HSRP, worked for the Corn Belt baseball summer league live streaming service, and was a PA for Millard North Legion Baseball. Moseley is a fan of the Los Angeles Rams and Nebraska Cornhuskers.
Makayla Potter
Makayla Potter, Staff Reporter
Makayla Potter is a senior at Millard West, this will be her first year on staff as a broadcaster but will be her second year on the Yearbook staff. Makayla was a Sports Editor for the 2022-23 Prowler where she found a passion for photography and learned all about the different types of activities Millard West has to offer. During the summer she spent lots of time with her peers and applied for several 4 year universities where she hopes to study for a career in either Sports and Entertainment Marketing or becoming a part of the journalism world beyond high school. This year Makayla hopes to further her knowledge in all things that media and journalism has to offer.

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