West Side stomped Grangeville 48-8 on Nov. 6 at home, advancing them to the semifinals where they will face district rival Bear Lake.
The Bears beat Nampa Christian 14-6 on Nov. 5. West Side will host the game in Dayton at 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 12.
“District games are always tougher,” coach Moser said. “I always prefer to play somebody I don’t know. I don’t know how they (Bears) feel about it. Whenever you are overly familiar, weird things happen. I know they have improved a ton.”
West Side won their regular season game against Bear Lake 42-8 on Sept. 24, at Montpelier.
“I’m sure they (Bears) have improved,” Brokens said. “We can’t overlook them. Bear Lake is a good team. They will be just as hungry as we will be, so we will have to go play. It will be a game for sure.”
Home field advantage was a factor in the win according to coach Moser.
“The key sometimes is to take advantage of a team that has to travel a long way like that,” Moser said. “Our goal was to come out fast, especially coming off a bye week where you tend to sometimes be rusty.”
Rust was not an issue for West Side this time around.
The starting O-line consisted of Fielding Mumford, Angel Montano, Trae Priestlley, Easton Henderson and Colton Gunderson.
Henderson made a nice athletic jump to intercept the first pass of the day, giving the Pirates the ball on the Bulldog 27. On the very first play, Brown faked a handoff and dropped back to find Shurtliff all by himself at the goal line for a 27-yard TD just 49 seconds into the game.
After both teams traded punts, West Side took over on its own 35. Brokens got the call and responded with his long TD run that started a stretch of six scoring possessions — excluding one just before halftime after Nielsen came up with an interception near midfield with 31 seconds before the break.
Brown made it 21-0 with a 1-yard QB plunge early in the second quarter.
After Neilsen tipped a pass, Plancarte made his pick when the Bulldogs were driving. West Side went 72 yards in 10 plays, capped by the second Brown to Shurtliff pass, this time from 19 yards out. Plancarte booted the extra point, and the Pirates took a 28-0 lead into the break.
West Side got the ball to start the second half and covered 70 yards in seven plays. Parker Moser juked his way to a 5-yard TD run.
Moser scored his second TD of the game after Brokens made an interception. Moser scored from three yards out to give the hosts a 41-0 lead with five minutes left in the third.
The Pirates pulled down five interceptions by five different athletes and had 11 different players carry the ball. West Side’s bench was able to fill valuable playing time in the second half including the final scoring drive of the game. West Side drove 80 yards in 16 plays, converting three third-down plays. On fourth-and-goal from the 5, Easton Shurtliff was able to follow the line to the end zone with 6:41 to play.
Brokens’ 156 yards rushing on just three carries and scoring one touchdown was huge for the Pirates. The TD came on his first touch of the day — a 65-yard untouched run to paydirt.
“I can’t complain about that,” Brokens said of his first carry. “The line did a great job, the best hole I’ve seen.”
“That’s just a tough senior runner,” Moser said of Brokens. “That’s a three-year varsity starter. He knows his time is winding down and he is giving it everything he’s got.”
No. 26 also got into the act on the defensive side, as he was one of the five Pirates with a pick. His interception set up West Side at the Grangeville 35, and the Pirates found the end zone.
“We have struggled with getting turnovers in the past, but this was a good game for us,” Brokens said.
The total team win was the 30th straight for West Side, as it extended the school record.
The Pirates finished with 419 yards of total offense with 339 of those on the ground. West Side averaged 6.5 yards per carry for the contest. Parker Moser gained 69 yards on 11 carries.
Quarterback Blaize Brown completed 6 of 8 pass attempts for 80 yards and two TDs. Wide receiver Bryler Shurtliff caught five of those balls for 69 yards and the two TDs. The signal caller also rushed for 56 yards on nine carries.