Avondale Westview came into Friday’s game against Goodyear Millennium with two big goals in mind: clinch the Division I, Section II title and keep alive the dream of the program’s first undefeated season.
Check and check.
Westview used its bread-and-butter run game to wear down visiting Millennium and come away with a 21-14 victory, improving to 9-0 overall and 4-0 in its section.
“It was just two neighborhood teams that really wanted to get after each other,” Westview coach Jeff Bowen said. “Both teams played with a lot of heart and a lot of toughness. Millennium played hard, but our kids got it done when we needed to.”
It was a matchup of two old-school offenses, as both Westview and Millennium (5-4, 3-1) employ run-heavy attacks and use a huddle on nearly every play in an era of lightning-fast, no-huddle schemes.
Westview won the battle in the trenches, allowing running backs Desmond Washington and Jalen Johnson to combine for 237 rushing yards on 37 carries.
Washington tied the game at 7-all on a 9-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and gave Westview the advantage with a 3-yard scamper to start the fourth. Johnson punched it in from a yard out four minutes later to extend Westview’s lead to 21-7.
“When they key on one player, then obviously the other player has to rise up to the challenge,” said Washington, who was down on the turf for several minutes after taking a nasty blow to the head on his final carry, but was all right.
“That’s just what we did.”
Millennium made a desperate comeback attempt, scoring with 51 seconds remaining to make it 21-14, but its onside kick was recovered by Westview, which took three knees to end it.
“It’s a west-side rivalry game,” Bowen said. “There’s a lot of top teams that have been falling the last couple weeks in rivalry games, and we avoided it. So we move on.”