Millard West is kind of one of those under-the-radar teams in Class A. They proved it again on Friday night.
Against 2017 finalist Kearney, who had won four straight after being blitzed by Grand Island to open the season, the Cats forced three turnovers in the first quarter, built a 21-0 lead, then defeated Kearney 42-20 at Foster Field.
“When you get short fields you have to take advantage of it and we did that,” no-nonsense head coach Kirk Peterson told the Kearney Hub after the game.
Tristan Gomes threw a touchdown pass to Kaedyn Odermann and then ran in from 21 yards to give Millard West their 21-0 first quarter lead. Gomes finished the night 21 of 30, for 231 yards and three touchdowns.
The coach, Peterson, is as good as they come in the Nebraska high school game with his trademark baseball hat on backward at every turn. His teams play a brand of football that generally wins a bunch of games: control the line of scrimmage, win the turnover battle, don’t beat yourself up with penalties.
It’s something that is built over time. Most of the kids that come play football for the Wildcats know what to expect. They haven’t missed the playoffs since 2006.
Another test awaits on Thursday when unbeaten Grand Island comes to town and it looks like the district title will be on the line as well. The Rewind hears you can even watch the game if you wish.