Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

5 Thoughts on Gretna’s Thrilling 7-3 Win Over Omaha Westside for Class A Title

November 23, 2021

Hail Varsity was on the scene in Lincoln for the Class A championship matchup between Omaha Westside and Gretna. We got a low-scoring defensive battle in a game that no one could have predicted. The Dragons ended up taking the game 7-3 after making a goal line stand to seal the state title. It’s the first state title for Gretna after only being in Class A for a handful of years.

Here are my five thoughts on the game.

Electric Atmosphere

A reported 8,600 fans were in attendance to watch the Class A championship matchup. Gretna had a larger chunk of that number and its fans were loud from the opening kickoff. Hats off to the Gretna faithful and the student section for helping to create a big game atmosphere. Each coach and player that was interviewed after the game spoke about how the energy from the crowd was a big boost.

Defensive Clinic for Dragons

The scoreboard tells you that the game was a defensive battle. That doesn’t show the full picture of how good Gretna’s defense was on Tuesday night. Omaha Westside was averaging 43.6 points per game during the playoffs this year. Gretna’s defense was swarming all night long and it tackled very well. The team had eight tackles for loss by six different players. It was a point of emphasis for Gretna to get pressure on Westside quarterback Anthony Rezac. He got hurried him six times. This was quite the defensive performance by the Dragons.

Flores’ on Big Stage

The junior quarterback has been talked about as one of the best signal-callers in the state. A lot of people got to witness how good he is on Tuesday night. Flores went 28-for-42 with 320 yards and one interception to help his team win a state championship. He did chip in the game winning touchdown run on a sneak at the goal line too. A lot of us that have seen Flores play believe he should be getting more college attention. A performance like this against a top defense might put him on the map.

Joe Roll for MVP

If I had a vote for MVP of the Class A championship game, it would be for junior wide receiver Joe Roll. He was a favorite target of Flores all night. Roll racked up 11 catches for 207 yards on the evening against a good Omaha Westside secondary. The Dragons’ lone touchdown of the night came after a long Roll catch for 53-yards. That got the team down to the one-yard line for the Flores sneak. That was one of several long catches for Roll on the evening including this diving 41-yard grab.

This will be a night to remember for a long time for the wideout.

Westside Will be Back

This was a tough way to end the season for Omaha Westside. The team had been flying high all season long. It’s proved each week that the team was capable of repeating as Class A champions. Westside entered the game with a 24-game winning streak having last lost a game in the 2019 playoffs. It’s difficult for the seniors but this won’t be the end for Omaha Westside. There is a lot of young talent on this team led by sophomore trio Caleb Benning, Anthony Rezac and Jahmez Ross. It would be surprising to not see Westside back in the mix next season.

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