Preisman Pre-Cap: Papillion La Vista


Brendan Priesman, Jay Journal Sports

The #9 Creighton Prep Junior Jays didn’t get the start to the season that they wanted after a blowout loss to crosstown rival #1 Westside, and are looking to bounce back against another team that had a Week 1 rivalry game.  

The #8 Papillion La Vista Monarchs played the Papillion La Vista South Titans and won for the first time since 2017, giving the Monarch’s seniors their first win in the biggest rivalry in Papillion.  

Creighton Prep and Papillion are both similar in talent level, but winning Week 1 does a lot more for a team’s psyche than losing Week 1.  While Prep is banged up (especially at running back, with last year’s starter Vinny Cacioppo out with an ankle injury), there are no excuses to be made for last Thursday’s performance other than that Westside was the superior team.  After the way the Monarchs played in their last 3 quarters, Junior Jay fans should be at least a little bit worried about this matchup.

The Prep-Westside game actually had quite auspicious beginnings, despite an early fumble from Prep junior Jack Stessman.  Despite great field position for Westside, the Warriors were unable to convert on 4th and goal and the score remained tied at 0.  Indeed, the game would remain scoreless for the entire 1st quarter.  However, after the quarter break, Westside went on one of their patented quarter-long runs that led to a 28-0 halftime score.  Cole Payton, the star senior QB for the Warriors, added insult to injury with a touchdown catch in the third quarter.  A pick-six from Warrior defensive back Cedrian Haywood provided the exclamation point for a dominant 42-0 Westside victory.  

Meanwhile, the situation for the Monarchs was nearly reversed.  While Prep played well the entire first quarter, the Monarch defense looked a little weak and allowed a long touchdown drive near the end of the first quarter, leading to an 11-7 deficit.  The Monarchs would finally retake the lead with about 4:30 to go in the half and wouldn’t relinquish it again.  In fact, after that first quarter touchdown drive for the Titans, they wouldn’t score again.  Much like Westside, the Monarchs punctuated their victory with a pick six, this one from Justin Wallace. 

The thing that stands out from the Monarchs’ victory is the defense.  Aside from the aforementioned pick-six, the defense also forced 3 other turnovers and garnered 5 sacks.  Against a team like Prep, whose offense involves a lot of slow-developing play action plays, that could spell disaster.  It’s also notable that both the Monarchs and Westside appear to get stronger the further into the game they get.  However, when Prep’s offense is clicking, it can (at the very least) get into Pat Foley’s range.  This is going to be a battle of which defense can make more big plays, and despite what the stat sheet will tell you, Prep came very close to forcing some turnovers in the first half last weekend.  

As for how the game is going to go, I think it will be far closer than either team’s first game.  The Monarchs have a solid team on both sides of the ball (33 straight points is quite a bit), but the Junior Jays also played Nebraska’s best team to a standstill for at least a quarter.  

Prep can win this game by getting some offensive consistency.  While the team looked like they had some decent drives going last week, the offense got into  3rd and long situations and it was like they were stuck in the mud.  If the offense can keep getting first downs drive after drive, they’re going to win this game.  Papio can win this game by capitalizing on opportunities.  We saw Westside do this against Prep time and time again, whether with big plays on offense or stops on defense.  Papio was able to do this against South, but Prep is far more talented than South, so Papio will have to bring their A game.

As I said earlier, it’s going to be a game decided by big defensive plays, which I think will give the edge to Papillion La Vista.  The Monarchs proved that they can not only make big plays on that side of the ball, but turn them into victories.  So far, the Junior Jays haven’t.  

My final prediction is 27-17 Papillion La Vista.


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