Football

Wildcats fall in opener; Conference foe Van-Far up next

Jeff Stahlhut, Correspondent
Posted 9/3/21

In a game that was closer for most of the evening than the final score would indicate, the Wright City Wildcats opened the 2021 high school football season with a 32-20 loss to the Clark County …

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Football

Wildcats fall in opener; Conference foe Van-Far up next

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In a game that was closer for most of the evening than the final score would indicate, the Wright City Wildcats opened the 2021 high school football season with a 32-20 loss to the Clark County Indians last Friday night.

Even in defeat, the Wildcats had some strong individual performances of note on the offensive side of the ball.

Senior quarterback Hayden Beck completed 17 passes in 34 attempts on the night, racking up 252 yards passing with a pair of touchdown passes. His top targets were senior Jake Smith, who caught seven passes for 78 yards and a touchdown, freshman Duan McRoberts (four catches, 76 yards), and junior Jeremiah Davis (three catches, 48 yards, one touchdown). Beck also led the team with five tackles.

Junior Nathan Womack, sophomore Mason Newcomb, and sophomore Carle’on Jones added two receptions each for the Wildcats.

“I was really impressed with our ability to throw the ball,” coach Tyler Rickard told The Record. “I knew our talent at quarterback and wide receiver showcased itself. That will be an important piece for us going forward — to refine our passing game and to bring the running game along with it.”

After a scoreless first quarter, the Wildcats trailed 12-0 at halftime but got on the board in the third quarter to make it 12-6. The teams then traded touchdowns to make the score 20-14 in favor of Clark County, but the Wildcats fell behind 32-14 before scoring late to cut the gap to what would be the final score, 32-20.

Coming into the game, Rickard knew that Clark County would present a challenge to his team. “It was hard to get a read on them, but we knew from what we had seen and their history it was going to be a tough one for us, but we thought it was a pretty even matchup,” he said.

“Things played out pretty well like I thought — it was back and forth and tight in the fourth quarter. We just made too many mistakes and didn't capitalize on their mistakes.”

With opening week in the rear view mirror, the Wildcats are set to open conference play this weekend.

“They’re eager to move past it,” said Rickard. “The boys played hard, but we struggled some with the heat. Van-Far is next — our conference opener — and we want to just get the bad taste out of our mouth. We will learn from this game and move on.”

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