Gomes leads Millard West to an undefeated regular season as Wildcats blank Gators
MILLARD WEST 66, LINCOLN NORTH STAR 0

Gomes leads Millard West to an undefeated regular season as Wildcats blank Gators

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Tristan Gomes helped Millard West take care of business with precision.

Gomes was 4-for-5 passing for 112 yards and three touchdowns and rushed five times for 83 yards and a score in the first quarter to keep Millard West undefeated entering next week's playoffs.

Gomes' performance staked the second-ranked Wildcats to a 35-0 lead and they pulled away for a 66-0 victory over Lincoln North Star Friday at Beechner Athletic Complex.

"I think games like this are always tough. You have to keep your higher standard, and I think we came out and did a really good job of that," said Gomes. "They were really packing the box with seven or eight guys every play, so it was kind of tough to get anything going. But we got our passing game going early and I think that really just set the tone."

His first TD strike was a 38-yarder to Evan Meyersick, and then he found Kaedynn Odemann for a 33-yard score.

"I think our wide receivers kind of just knew we needed to come out hot and they did what they were supposed to do, and they make my job a lot easier," said Gomes.

The defense got into the act two plays later when Baylor Brannen tipped a North Star pass and teammate Brock Wyman picked it off and returned it 22 yards for a score.

Gomes raced 43 yards on a keeper for the next score and then hit Dalys Beanum with a 25-yard scoring pass late in the first quarter for a 35-0 lead.

"My touchdown run was actually an RPO (run-pass option), so after I pulled it out, I was supposed to throw it," Gomes said. "But I saw a wide-open lane, so I figured I was going to run it."

North Star fumbled right after the second-half kickoff, but the Gators' defense stiffened and forced Millard West to kick a field goal, a 31-yarder by Jaxson Neumann. Millard West added another score in the final period on a 5-yard run by Chase Hultman.

Millard West finished with 262 yards rushing and 129 through the air while holding North Star to 62 yards of total offense.

"It wasn't like we were running up and down the field. We threw it up and down the field so we kept the front guys in there a little bit longer," said Millard West coach Kirk Peterson. "They accomplished something that's only been done three times in our building's history -- an undefeated regular season. And we've had some pretty good teams, so that's a pretty special accomplishment."

North Star coach Tony Kobza said Millard West should fare well in the playoffs.

"They are a talented, well-coached, disciplined team," he said. "And when you put all those things together, there's a reason they're undefeated. They are one of the best teams I've seen in years.

"They are so tough on the run that we weren't able to establish anything there. And they were getting hands on and batting balls. That's the longest team we've seen."

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