Ross Drwal ran for two touchdowns and passed for one as Millard West overcame a pair of fumbles inside the Lincoln Pius X 5 in the first half for a 33-17 victory Friday night in the first round of the Class A football playoffs.
Drwal was 14 of 18 for 184 yards and a 15-yard touchdown pass to Skyler Monaghan. The senior quarterback also picked up 102 yards on 11 carries.
No. 6 Millard West's sixth consecutive victory, after a 1-3 start against teams that are still alive in the playoffs, creates a quarterfinal rematch with No. 4 Millard South (8-2) next Friday. The Patriots beat Millard West 19-0 in September.
Because top-ranked Millard North also will be hosting a quarterfinal at Buell Stadium, school officials won't set kickoff times for both games until Monday.
On Friday, Millard West-Pius didn't kick off until 8:45 p.m. — 45 minutes behind schedule because the first two games of the tripleheader ran long.
Pius X held the lead twice in the first quarter, 3-0 on a 22-yard field goal by Grant Schumacher after Millard West muffed a punt and 10-7 on Rex Raetz's 2-yard run set up by quarterback Tom Schneider's 77-yard keeper on the previous play.
Schneider finished with 115 yards on 11 carries.
Millard West (7-3) got its go-ahead touchdown on Charlie Wakeman's 16-yard interception return early in the second quarter, then made it 20-10 on Drwal's touchdown pass to Monaghan.
The Wildcats thought Drwal had crossed the goal line on a keeper in the final minute of the half, but a Pius X defender knocked the ball loose and Jon Pynes recovered it at the 2 for the Thunderbolts.
Drwal scored both of his touchdowns in the third quarter, on runs of 1 and 14 yards.
Schneider completed the scoring with a 5-yard run early in the final quarter.
Pius X finished 5-5 in its first year in Class A since 1993.
Lincoln Pius X (5-5).......................10 0 0 7—17
At Millard West (7-3)........................7 13 13 0—33
P: FG Grant Schumacher 22
MW: Skyler Monaghan 10 run (Austin Moore kick)
P: Rex Raetz 2 run (Schumacher kick)
MW: Charlie Wakeman 16 interception return (kick failed)
MW: Monaghan 15 pass from Ross Drwal (Moore kick)
MW: Drwal 1 run (Moore kick)
MW: Drwal 14 run (kick blocked)
P: Tom Schneider 5 run (Schumacher kick)