The Westview Wolverines advanced to the quarterfinals of the San Diego Section Division II CIF playoffs after defeating the Christian Patriots 21-14 Friday night.
The Wolverines were facing one of the most explosive passing attacks in the county in Christian who came in averaging 42.4 points per game.
The Westview defense was up for the challenge. They constantly pressured quarterback Brad Jeremiah and their corners did not give the Patriots receivers much room to work with.
"We knew that they had a lot of athletes on the field," Westview Defensive Coordinator Mitch Donnelly said. "So we had to disrupt the quarterback's timing. We kept them out of the end zone and the kids just stepped up and made it happen tonight."
Westview quarterback Beau Nelson lead the offense with two touchdown passes. While he was happy with his offensive line's performance, he was most impressed with his defense's performance.
"They played lights out," Nelson, a senior, said of the Westview defense. "Our defense played very well. There was definitely some times where they gave up some stuff. They probably want those back, but they only let Christian score 14 points. Bradley (Jeremiah) has like 3000 yards so I'm extremely impressed."
The biggest play for the Wolverine defense came in the final minute of the game. Christian drove the ball to the six yard line after recovering an onside kick. After a touchdown was called back due to offsetting penalties, the Wolverines forced a fumble. Senior defensive end Travis Allen fell on the ball to clinch the victory for Westview.
"It was kind of scary," Allen said with a laughter about the final play. "But our guys, they came together. When that ball popped out I just landed on it and hoped to God I stayed with it. I'm proud of our guys tonight."
Westview will travel to Ramona next week to face the undefeated one-seed Bulldogs in a rematch. Ramona defeated the Wolverines 42-13 in week 6.
Despite the loss earlier in the year, Nelson feels confident Westview has more than enough to defeat the Bulldogs.
"We're kind of bummed out. We feel like we're the two best teams in division two. We think we kind of got screwed by CIF," Nelson said. "We're definitely up for the challenge and we'll prepare well and it'll be great to play them one last time."
PREVIEW: The road to a CIF championship begins this Friday night when the Westview Wolverines travel to El Cajon to take on the Christian Patriots.
This San Diego Section Division 2 playoff game features the ninth versus the eighth seed.
Westview, 9th, finished the regular season 6-4 and third in the Palomar League at 4-2.
Christian, a strong 8th seed, finished 8-2 and second in the Eastern League at 3-1.
The Patriots are coming off a 2016 season that saw them lose the SDS Division 3 championship game to Bishop's. Up a division, Christian hopes to make another deep run in the playoffs.
Christian brings a high-powered offense that averaged 42.4 points per game. Their defense was just as impressive. They allowed just 18.9 points per game, had 11 interceptions and seven fumble recoveries.
Westview, despite having a winning record, were outscored by their opponents this season, scoring 22.3 ppg and allowing 23 ppg.
Christian quarterback and Silver Pigskin Fan Vote Finalist Brad Jeremiah should be the key to the game. This season he has passed for over 3000 yards, thrown 41 touchdowns with just five interceptions.
With Jeremiah under center, the Patriots have confidence they can compete with anyone in this division.
The Wolverines finished the season winning three of their last four to bring some momentum into the postseason. Their focus will be slowing Jeremiah down. If they could make him uncomfortable, they have a chance.
It will be a tough task for a defense who struggled at times against solid passers.
The winner will move on to face undefeated top-seed Ramona.
This game kicks off at 7 p.m. at El Cajon Valley High.
Tune in to the Prep Pigskin Report Friday night at 10:30 p.m. on KUSI for highlights from this game and other playoff games throughout the county.