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Westlake a "Payne" to Viewmont in Overtime

The first Class-C semifinal match-up, featuring the No. 2 Westlake Thunder and No. 3 Viewmont Vikings, was a gritty, physical, leave-it-all-on-the-field contest, including several game stoppages due to injury and a plethora of penalties. The Thunder, who were 8-0 against Class-C teams so far this season, and the Vikings, 5-0 vs Class-C, looked like old rivals–despite this being the first-ever meeting between the two teams.
The Thunder took an early 2-0 lead on the back of a stellar performance by goalie Jared Heer, turning away some good Viewmont shots. But the Vikings responded in the second, tying things up, and the game became a back-and-forth dogfight from there. After many ties and a lead change, the Vikings were up 6-5 with time winding down; Westlake’s Kyle McOmber drove hard to the cage and bounced a shot to the top shelf to equalize, eventually sending the game into overtime. In the overtime period, the Thunder got a rare faceoff win, worked the ball around the horn, and Brock Payne found himself all alone with the ball behind the cage and sprinted from X to put the one-on-one shot in the back of the net, sealing the 7-6 victory and ending the Vikings’ season.
“Our defense played great…especially while man down late,” reflected Westlake coach Mitch Francis, “We had a few players get banged up and so had some of our bench players make some big plays late. We’re lucky to have the depth we do. It was pretty big for us to be able to show resilience to push back after they took the lead late, our guys have a lot of heart and that’s what won it for us at the end.”
Westlake got contributions from several players on the offensive end: Payne, Brad Larsen, and Parker Smith each scored two goals on the night. Viewmont’s Collin Christiansen and Jake Fujikawa also tallied two apiece in the contest and face-off specialist Trevin Hales gave the Vikings the first look at most possessions. Both defenses played a stellar game with lots of forced turnovers, and keepers Zack Skok for the Vikings and Heer and Mike Schreiner for the Thunder all had superb performances.
“Saturday will be tough,” said Coach Francis, “Lehi is a great team with very good players all over the field, a llot of talent, and can hurt you in a number of different ways. But I believe we have the talent, depth, and guts to finish this out. If we carry the momentum and intensity we had at the end of the game, we’ll come home champions.”
Westlake will take on crosstown rival and Class-C number one seed Lehi on Saturday, 10:00 am at Brighton High School for the Class-C title.

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