The third-seed Bellevue West Thunderbirds are back in the Class A semifinals for the 3rd time in the past 4 years. They'll play their last home game of the season on Friday night against seventh-seed Grand Island. The Islanders will try to make it to the state title game for the first time since 1990.
Grand Island has been making a lot of noise during their playoff run. They were down 24-0 to defending state champ Omaha North in the first round of the playoffs, then went for 38 unanswered points to beat the Vikings for the first time since 2009.
The Islanders then traveled to Millard South, a team that had not lost a home game all year. They were down double digits against the Patriots before scoring 13 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to seal the quarterfinal. Quarterback Cole Evans believes his team is ready for their next challenge.
“We feel well prepared and have a quiet confidence going into [the game],” Evans said.
Bellevue West, the next team in Grand Island's way, has a tradition of offensive firepower: Michael Huffman’s team generates an astonishing average of 47.5 points per game. Running back Jeyvon Ducker said that all of the Thunderbirds' moving pieces make them so successful.
“Anyone who gets the ball at any point has the ability to score,” Ducker said. “Our offensive line has been playing outstanding.”
Bellevue West will play host to Grand Island at 7 p.m. on Friday, November 9. It'll be a snowy one, so make sure to wear a coat.