Football

Fast start leads to Wildcats’ first win of season

By Dave Faries, Staff Writer
Posted 9/10/21

Numbers favored Wright City on Saturday at Van-Far. The Wildcats brought a roster of 42 compared to the host’s 26. Hayden Beck threw for 204 yards. And most importantly, they came away with a …

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Football

Fast start leads to Wildcats’ first win of season

Posted

Numbers favored Wright City on Saturday at Van-Far. The Wildcats brought a roster of 42 compared to the host’s 26. Hayden Beck threw for 204 yards. And most importantly, they came away with a 48-32 victory.

What had been a comfortable 28-6 advantage at the half turned into a relative squeaker for two reasons. First was Van-Far’s relentless rushing game. Brandon Eoff, Gage Gibson, Bryson Lay and their comrades piled up 294 yards on the ground.

The other was a decision by Wright City head coach Tyler Rickard to give his squad some useful experience.

“We were able to get a lot of people in the game in the second half,” he explained.

The Wildcats scored in the opening seconds. Jake Smith scooped up the kickoff and sprinted 84 yards for a touchdown. Minutes later Duan McRoberts hauled in a five yard toss from Beck to extend the lead.

Beck tacked on a two point conversion and Wright City was on top 14-0.

The undermanned Indians rallied, with Brandon Eoff doing much of the heavy lifting. But Beck responded with a five yard burst of his own. And Demetrice Le Noir turned a blocked punt into six more for the Wildcats.

Van-Far dialed their offense up in the second half as Rickard rotated reserves in and out. But the Wildcats were able to keep them at arm’s length thanks to Jeremiah Davis, who collected a 22 yard touchdown reception in the third and scored on runs of 12 and 54 yards in the final period.

“The pieces are there,” Rickard observed. “We just have to put a full game together.”

Davis carved up most of the yards on the ground, carrying 9 times for 94 yards. Beck scrambled for 41. Denzel Dowdy added 35 and McRoberts tacked on 25.

Following his kick return, Smith focused on pass patterns. He only caught three passes, but made the most of them, covering 90 yards.

McRoberts was targeted for 72 yards. Nate Womack picked up 22.

Rickard credited the offensive line for giving Beck time to find open receivers.

“We were able to air the ball out,” he said.

The Wildcats are now 1-1 on the young season. They host Winfield on Friday. Kickoff is 7 p.m.

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