The reaction from the Welsh sideline following the Greyhounds' 30-point win over rival Kinder in the quarterfinals was that of relief. Welsh accomplished its goal of paying back Kinder for the semifinal loss in 2015.
"I wasn't a starter back then, but just watching the team and the feeling of just making it to the semifinals and being on that team, it was a great thing and great feeling," said Welsh defensive end Dominic Prudhomme,"
"We just didn't get the job done," said Welsh quarterback Zach Hayes who played receiver in 2015. "I think this year, with us being seniors and going through that, I think [the 2015 season] really helped us this year."
Welsh may need some help slowing down Many's rushing attack. The Tigers are led by UCLA commit, A.J. Carter. The bruising back has only played in eight games this season, but he has already totaled over 1,600 yards and 22 touchdowns on the ground.
He's joined in the backfield by Sharcori Collier. The pair has combined for over 3,200 rushing yards and 40 touchdowns.
"We have to stop [Carter] before he gets that momentum-push that he's very capable of getting," admitted Welsh safety Cade Iguess. "We have to stop him up front first. His size and speed can really hurt somebody. He's hard to bring down."
"You can't let him get going. He's 220 pounds running in the open field, and a 4.5 guy on paper," Greyhound coach John Richardson said. "You can't let a guy that big get going in the open field."
Welsh enters the semifinal round in similar fashion as they did heading into the district championship vs. Notre Dame. The Pios handed the Hounds their only loss of the season.
Welsh is determined to not let history repeat itself.
"Our team was reminded of that [Monday] at the end of practice, I brought that up. We came off that emotional win against Kinder and then we came in flat the next week. Notre Dame had a lot to do with us playing bad, but we played poorly," said Richardson. "I wanted them to make sure to remember that, so that it doesn't happen again."
"I think we have learned our lesson coming from that Notre Dame game, we got stomped. Give credit to them, they are in the dome right now," Hayes admitted. "We have to keep our heads straight and keep everyone on the same page and I think we can pretty much accomplish what we need to."
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