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Patriots scrape by Westside, earn A-5 title

In football, a safety is worth two points.

And that's all fourth-ranked Millard South needed late in their matchup against second-ranked Omaha Westside to take home the district A-5 championship by a 14-13 score.

Following a 12-yard touchdown pass from Cole Payton to Grant Tagge, putting the Warriors up 7-0 early, the Patriots would score nine unanswered points to take a 9-7 lead into the locker room after two quarters of play. In the second half, Millard South's Cole Lammel hit a 29-yard field goal, and Westside answered with a touchdown of their own. This gave the Warriors a 13-12 advantage three seconds into the fourth quarter.

Then the game-deciding play took place.

Payton was sacked in the end zone for a nine-yard loss with 7:37 left in the game, giving the Patriots a 14-13 advantage. This safety would win the game for Millard South.

Quarterback TJ Urban said that the defense backed up the offense well on Thursday.

"[There was] a great defensive effort to pick us up," Urban said.

The win gave Millard South the district A-5 championship by a margin of .333 wild card points, solidifying themselves as a top seed in the upcoming state playoffs. Head coach Andy Means believes that the win will keep the momentum train rolling into the postseason.

"It was a big win," Means said. "It gives us a lot of confidence to go on. But now everybody's 0-0."

Millard South improves to 8-1 with the victory, while Westside falls to 8-1.

The official Class A state playoff brackets are expected to be released on Saturday.

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