Preisman Pre-Cap: Millard West


Brendan Preisman, CP Sports Network

The Creighton Prep Junior Jays do battle with another ranked opponent this week, this time the eighth-ranked Wildcats of Millard West.  Both teams currently sit at 2-2, but those records are slightly deceiving, as both have played multiple top-5 teams.  Millard West lost a tough one to Elkhorn South, 35-21, and got blown out by Millard South, 46-7, but have been very consistent offensively this year otherwise.  They scored 56 against Millard North and are coming off a dominant 37-14 win against Kearney.  However, their opponent is also coming off of a big win, this one against Lincoln Southeast.  

One of the main keys to the Wildcats’ high-octane offense is their sophomore quarterback, Brody Peterson.  So far this year he’s 29/45 for 347 yards and 4 touchdowns to just one interception.  He also may have figured out his run game, rushing for 48 yards last week against Kearney.  Speaking of the run game, the best player on this offense is Nathan Pederson, the senior running back.  Much like Max Buettenback, Pederson has been by far the bellcow for the offense this year, with 106 carries for 857 yards and 9 touchdowns.  Excluding the Millard South game, he’s been going off, with over 225 yards in each of his other 3 games.  

Meanwhile, Creighton Prep has gotten rolling themselves.  After a rough opening week, they had a couple of blowouts and nearly beat Bellevue West.  A big reason for that is that Jack Piernicky, the senior quarterback, has gotten a lot more comfortable in the pocket.  He’s now 38/83 for 464 yards and 3 touchdowns to go along with 3 interceptions.  He’s also got a lot of great players to hand it off to, especially junior Marty Brown.  Brown has already had 65 carries, and he has taken them for 333 yards and 5 touchdowns.  Senior Jack Stessman has also been having a solid year, and he’s coming off of 94 yards and 2 touchdowns against Lincoln Southeast.

Much like last week, the big battle is going to be Millard West’s rush offense against Prep’s great rush defense.  Lincoln Southeast’s Max Buettenback looked human for the first time all year, carrying the ball 16 times for just 37 yards.  All told, the Knights as a whole rushed for just 36 yards total, and that was the key in their 41-7 loss.  Prep, meanwhile, rushed for 240 total yards and was basically unstoppable on the ground all night.  Piernicky had to throw the ball just 10 times as Prep dominated the line on both sides of the ball.  

Both of these teams have very similar résumés: really good when it comes to inferior competition, but only average when it comes to top 5 teams.  At the very least Prep has been competitive well into the game for their losses, whereas Millard West was dominated by Millard South.  That game (which was just 2 weeks ago), plus the fact that last week was the first time all year that the Wildcat defense gave up less than 20, make this prediction slightly easier than one would think.  

My final prediction is 28-14 Creighton Prep.