Wildcats shut out Warriors
The Westview football team beats Aloha 17-0 for its first Metro win
ROCK CREEK - Everyone knew that Westview had played a rugged non-league schedule.
And just as many people knew that defending Metro League and Class 6A state champ Aloha was banged up beyond recognition.
But almost no one expected what the Wildcats did to the Warriors on Friday night.
Westview, after going winless in four non-league games, shut down Aloha's vaunted rushing attack, shut out the Warriors' offense and shut the door on Aloha's hopes of another unbeaten Metro campaign.
Westview's 17-0 win at Westview High School lifted Westview's Metro League record to 1-0 and its overall mark to 1-4.
'It was just what we needed,' said Westview coach Greg Fisher. 'Over the past couple weeks, we've been getting better on the defensive side. Our front line played well and tackled well, and when you do that, you give yourselves a chance.'
Aloha, which played without five injured starters, lost for the third straight time and fell to 0-1 in league and 2-3 overall.
'They're a good team. They're better than their record,' said Aloha coach Chris Casey. 'And they're tough at home.'
Still, this one wasn't decided until late in the game. Westview kicker Matt Gorman gave his team a 3-0 lead in the first quarter, and there - at 3-0 - is the score stayed all the way until the fourth quarter, both teams stymied by misfires, turnovers and the opposing defenses.
'They played outstanding defense, really controlled the line of scrimmage, and we hurt ourselves with penalties and turnovers,' Casey said.
Fisher credited seniors Alex Medved and Jiseong Yoo, junior Dylan Savage and sophomore Carson Hensleigh for their play up front, and by sophomore Mitch Kekel and junior Shane Suyama at linebacker in the game, their efforts holding Aloha to 182 total yards.
'Medved and Savage both had good nights up front, getting Jiseong Yoo back helped a bunch and Kekel has been getting better every week,' Fisher said.
With Aloha held back by four interceptions and one lost fumble, Westview final ly broke through on offense in the fourth quarter. There, senior tailback Jordan Bacon ripped off a 13-yard touchdown run to make it 9-0, and Gorman followed with the extra point for a 10-0 lead.
The Warriors, led offensively by Ryan Russo's 21 carries for 80 yards, still had time to come back, but the last of their five turnovers sealed their fate. Westview senior cornerback Nick Heisen picked off a Cory Sinner pass at the 21-yard line and took it all the way back for the score and - along with Gorman's ensuing PAT - the final 17-0 margin.
'It was nerve-wracking (down the stretch) but we were confident we'd get into the end zone,' Fisher said. 'Our offense has been a bit of a roller coaster through the preseason. We've been waiting for them to hit on all cylinders.'
The Warriors, meanwhile, left to nurse their injuries - there's no word yet on when any of those five starters will return - and to move forward.
'We don't use injuries as an excuse,' Casey said. 'We played without five starters, but the other guys have to be able to step up and fill in.'
As difficult as the loss was for Aloha, the Warriors were proud of their defensive effort on Friday.
'The defense has improved big-time over the past two weeks,' Casey said. 'They played very solid, but we've still got to work on tackling.'
For the game, Bacon carried 15 times for 80 yards, and teammate Xavier Williams rushed 17 times for 59 more. For Aloha, Sinner went 8-of-18 passing for 89 yards with four interceptions, while Westview QB CJ Garcia completed 12-of-17 passes for 102 yards with two interceptions of his own.
Ben Saechin led Aloha receivers with three catches for 70 yards, while Westview's Justin Leatherman made three catches for 28 yards.
On Friday: Aloha hosts Southridge at 7:30 p.m., and Westview plays at Jesuit at 7:30 p.m.