Even for a team that had outscored its previous three opponents by an average of almost 47 points, Omaha Westside put on a show Friday night that raised eyebrows.
The sixth-ranked Warriors scored four touchdowns in less than six minutes in the first quarter and cruised to a 38-7 win over eighth-ranked Elkhorn South at Elkhorn Stadium.
“Our momentum’s been good, our practices have been pretty good,” Westside coach Brett Froendt said. “They’re starting to learn football a lot better.”
It was a complete effort from the start for Froendt’s group.
The Warrior defense forced a three-and-out to open the game, and the offense turned good field position into an early lead when Grant Tagge caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Cole Payton.
Two plays later, the lead doubled when junior Avante Dickerson intercepted a deflected pass and returned it 36 yards for a score.
After another defensive stand, Dickerson hauled in a pass over the middle and sprinted 61 yards for a touchdown that gave Westside 21 points in less than three minutes.
“Offensive coaches did a great job of finding a few things in their defense and we were able to execute them early against a really good football team,” Froendt said. “Defense stepped up really well first half, executed very well. We’re just real proud of their effort.”
The onslaught didn’t end there.
Payton connected with Koby Bretz on a touchdown that covered 54 yards late in the first quarter, and Jack Bush added a 20-yard field goal to open the second.
The Warriors pushed the lead to 38-0 when Bretz scored from 27 yards out on the opening drive of the second half, the fourth touchdown pass of the night for Payton.
“I don’t think we’ve been taken out to the woodshed like this during the time that we’ve all been together here,” Elkhorn South coach Guy Rosenberg said.
His team had pushed third-ranked Millard South to the brink in a 26-21 loss last week, but the Storm had little luck moving the ball against Westside.
“We’re a team that really prides ourself on running the ball and they just did a great job of spilling our runs,” Rosenberg said. “They just did an outstanding job on defense. I tip my hat to them.”
Froendt said it was sound play on that side that determined the outcome on Friday night. And it started up front.
“Our defense just executed their assignments really well, and when you do that you tend to take away what they do best,” he said. “Our guys down inside did a nice job against their bigger guys. We were able to find some creases and disrupt a few of their plays.”
Payton was 10 of 16 for 307 yards, with Bretz (four catches, 158 yards) and Dickerson (106 yards on two receptions) the primary beneficiaries.
The Warriors (6-1) visit Columbus next week before a regular- season finale with Millard South.
Omaha Westside (6-1)..........28 3 7 0—38
At Elkhorn South (4-3)...........0 0 0 7— 7
OW: Grant Tagge 8 pass from Cole Payton (Jack Bush kick).
OW: Avante Dickerson 36 interception return (Bush kick).
OW: Dickerson 61 pass from Payton (Bush kick).
OW: Koby Bretz 54 pass from Payton (Bush kick).
OW: Bretz 27 pass from Payton (Bush kick).
ES: Blaze Doxzon 8 run (Brian Cross kick).
Rushing: OW, Avante Dickerson 3-24, Bodie Harrell 10-17, Cole Payton 7-minus 2, Jordan Mayberry 6-20, Team 1-minus 2. ES, Eli Hustad 19-88, Elliott Brown 3-minus 14, Makhi Nelson-Douglas 5-15, Blaze Doxzon 8-26, Ben Warren 4-18.
Passing: Payton 10-16-1 307; ES, Brown 11-22-2 137.
Receiving: Koby Bretz 4-158, Grant Tagge 1-8, Dickerson 2-106, Jake Holmstrom 3-35. ES, Doxzon 4-35, Trevor Winterstein 4-57, Warren 1-7, Carsen Crouch 1-13, Hustad 1-25.