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Westview football ends drought, beats Aloha

by: TIMES FILE PHOTO - Westview linebacker Matt Lyon and the Wildcats will look for their fifth straight win against Jesuit at home this Friday.

Forget being the biggest surprise of the Metro League.

The Westview football team has arguably been the most shocking squad in all of 6A, starting the season 4-1 after beating Aloha, 22-19, on Friday for its first Metro win in nearly three years.

Head coach Greg Fisher said with such a junior-dominant team, every step, every win is a confidence builder. Beating Aloha signified the end of a drawn-out Metro drought that a majority of the Wildcats endured during their respective tenures.

“This is a group that’s really focused on turning this around,” said Fisher. “They look at the struggles we’ve had the past couple years, and one of their goals has been to find a way to get W’s. That’s the biggest thing they did Friday night. They found a way to overcome — even though they weren’t playing great football. To me, it says they have some will and determination, and that goes a long way.”

Westview came out flat in the first quarter, giving up a 24-yard touchdown run to Aloha’s Richard Belog. But, it was the fourth quarter where the Wildcats truly showed their mettle. Trailing 19-14 late in the fourth, the Wildcats’ defense got a huge three-and-out to force an Aloha punt.

Then, junior quarterback Austin Brisbee and Westview’s spread offense engineered a methodical, efficient 19-play, 80-yard drive down the field that culminated in a Trevor Bovero 9-yard go-ahead touchdown run with 3:35 to go. Bovero tacked on the two-point conversion as well, giving Westview a 22-19 lead. Brisbee made every clutch throw on the decisive march and took what the Aloha defense gave him. If nobody was open, the signal caller threw it away, but more times than not, Brisbee kept the chains moving with 7- and 8-yard passes to Kyle Cox and Teagan Lind.

Brisbee’s progression this season as well as the play of the strong junior class has been a big reason why Westview’s got off to such a hot start. Coming into the year, Fisher knew his field general had the tools to be a very good high school quarterback, and his belief has been fulfilled with Brisbee’s solid play in the pocket and on the field confidence.

“In that position, it’s so much about your leadership,” said Fisher. “That stems a lot from your confidence in yourself first and then your ability to instill it in others. At this point, we’re happy with his progress and think he has a huge upside. If he keeps working at it and doing the things we’re asking him to do, we’re pretty confident he can lead this team a long ways.”

Create plays

Brisbee has been an equal-opportunity distributor, hitting eight different receivers for catches so far this season. Lind and Ian Meyers have caught the ball well and blocked effectively at tight end. The pass-catching Cox, Matt Allee and Jacob Sturtevant each has found ways to get open for Brisbee and create plays on the perimeter.

Bovero and Jacob Short ran hard and effectively against Aloha, behind an offensive line that’s developing at a speedy pace. Westview’s pedal-to-the-deck offense was shut out in the season opener by Barlow in a 14-0 setback. Yet, since then, the Wildcats have averaged more than 35 points a game, which Fisher attests to the team completely buying into the up-tempo scheme.

“They think it’s normal, that’s how you play the game,” said Fisher. “They’ve gained confidence and progressively got better.”

Other than the second quarter against Aloha, when Brisbee hit Cox for an 11-yard touchdown pass and later scored on a three-yard touchdown run, Westview couldn’t find much of an offensive rhythm. However, when the game’s circumstances called for clutch play, the Wildcats were able to come through.

All of a sudden, Westview is sitting in second place in the Metro League with a huge showdown at home against Jesuit on Friday. They’ve already accomplished two of their season goals by winning more games than they did last year and winning a Metro contest. Now, the Wildcats are setting their sights on carrying this great beginning late into the season, starting with the Crusaders and pulling a shocker on their home turf.

“This team thinks they can go better than .500 in Metro, get into the playoffs and potentially get a bye in that first week,” said Fisher. “The sky is the limit, really. When you have a quarterback who can make good decisions and make all the throws and put points on people, it puts a lot of pressure on the other team to score.”

It’ll be a game of completely contrasting styles when the Wildcats and Crusaders collide. Jesuit likes to run the football 85 percent of the time with its big, physical team, while Westview wants to stretch out the defense and exploit the Crusaders’ green secondary.

“We’re going to run a lot of plays and try to score often,” said Fisher. “The biggest thing is we have to deal with their size and ability to run the football. You have to slow them up and get stops there. You have to find a way to play from ahead and put pressure on them to score.”

Fisher said Jesuit’s a team that likes to use its athleticism in its aggressive style of defense.

“We have to respond and counterpunch into that pressure really, really well,” said Fisher. “If they want to be aggressive and attack, then we have to make them pay for doing that. We expect to see blitzing out of them and man coverage. We have to be able to beat that.”




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