No. 7 Omaha Westside (10-2) vs No. 4 Bellevue West (12-0)
Tuesday, 7:15 p.m. at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln
Playoffs thus far: Omaha Westside is the seven seed but they have played as well as anyone in these playoffs. They defeated Creighton Prep in the first round 49-13, defeated the No. 2 seeded Lincoln Southeast 35-0 in the quarterfinals and defeated No. 3 Millard South 31-14 in the semifinals. They have outscored their playoff opponents 115-27 in their path to the championship.
Bellevue West cruised to the semifinal, defeating Lincoln East 42-0 and Burke 48-0. In the semifinal game, they trailed for the first time all season and faced some adversity, but ultimately defeated the No. 1 seed Millard West 37-30. They have out scored opponents 127-30 in the playoffs.
What to know about Omaha Westside: The Warriors are 10-2 on the season and earned the seven seed in the playoffs. The Warriors only two losses on the season were Lincoln Southeast and Millard South, which they have avenged in the playoffs.
They are led by junior quarterback Cole Payton, who has accounted for 10 total touchdowns in three games for the Warriors. He has thrown for 396 yards with five touchdowns and an interception. He has also ran for 493 yards and five touchdowns in the playoffs. They also have play makers Avante Dickerson and Bodie Harrell that will need to be able to create space against the Bellevue West defense.
What to expect: Everyone says you want to peak and play your best football at the end, and Omaha Westside is certainly doing that. For the Thunderbirds, it is hard to pin point a certain time they have played their best because they have dominated the entire season.
Millard West was able to make it close against Bellevue West once they were able to move the ball through the air and become two-dimensional. That is what Westside and Payton must do if they want to make the stellar Thunderbird defense uncomfortable.
For Bellevue West, it’s simple. Hand the ball to Jay Ducker, get the ball in the hands Zavier Betts, Keagen Johnson and Nate Sullivan and let Nate Glantz make decisions and get the ball out to his playmakers. They have outscored opponents 627-65 this season and have dominated their schedule. These are two very good teams that can light up the scoreboard so expect fireworks in Lincoln on Nov. 26th.