Wright City falls short against Montgomery County

By Theo Tate, Staff Writer
Posted 10/5/23

The Wright City Wildcats football team suffered a heartbreaking homecoming loss on Sept. 29. 

Wright City had a chance to celebrate a home victory over the Montgomery County Wildcats. But …

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Wright City falls short against Montgomery County


The Wright City Wildcats football team suffered a heartbreaking homecoming loss on Sept. 29. 

Wright City had a chance to celebrate a home victory over the Montgomery County Wildcats. But the visitors came back from an 11-point deficit in the final two minutes to pull off a 34-33 win, extending its winning streak over Wright City to seven games. 

“It was a tough way to lose,” Wright City coach Tyler Rickard said. 

Despite the loss, Wright City is 4-2 overall and 3-1 in Eastern Missouri Conference play. They will look to finish with their first winning season since 2019. Last year, they got off to a 4-1 start before finishing 5-6. 

Wright City had its three-game winning streak snapped with the loss to Montgomery County. The Wildcats beat Winfield, Mark Twain, South Callaway and Van-Far. 

“I’m proud of these kids,” Rickard said. “They worked really hard. Obviously, we hate to lose. But there are a lot of good things that came through the first six games. We have to use those to springboard us into the last three games of the regular season, then into districts. As I told them, we can’t let this (loss to Montgomery County) divide us. We have to let it drive us.” 

Wright City will look to get back on the winning track at 7 p.m. on Friday, when it travels to North Callaway to take on the Thunderbirds in a Week 7 game. The Kingdom City school takes a 2-4 record into the contest. 

“In every game I’ve been a coach here, we have always responded, no matter what adversity we faced the week before,” Rickard said. “Our kids have always responded. I have no doubt that they will do that again this week.” 

The Wildcats lost to North Callaway in each of the last three years, including a 32-13 defeat in 2022. The Thunderbirds went on to finish with a 7-4 record. 

“I haven’t seen a ton of film on them,” Rickard said. “We saw them in one crossover game earlier in the year. They’re always a solid ballclub. (North Callaway coach Kevin) O’Neal does a good job. I think they’ll present some challenges to us in running the ball and throwing the ball, so we have to get ready to go.” 

The Wildcats also have home games against Bowling Green (Oct. 13) and Louisiana (Oct. 20) left on their regular season schedule. 

Wright City stormed to a 19-0 lead in the second quarter against Montgomery County (4-2 overall, 3-1 EMO play) before losing the contest. Wright City led 33-22 with 2:21 to go before Montgomery County rallied with a pair of touchdowns from its quarterback, Jacob Hogue, to win the game. 

With 1:44 remaining, Montgomery County’s Jacer Brower recovered an onside kick, setting up the game-winning, 6-yard touchdown from Hogue that have the visitors a 34-33 lead. 

“A credit to them,” Rickard said. “They executed the passing game. We couldn’t get stops when we needed to. They executed the onside kick. As coaches, we have to do a better job in putting our kids in a better position and we have to execute.” 

Wright City had a chance to win the game in the closing seconds, but quarterback Duan McRoberts’ Hail Mary pass was intercepted. 

McRoberts, a first-team all-EMO running back a year ago, gave Wright City a 33-22 lead after scoring a 32-yard touchdown run with 2:21 left in the game. 

“That was a great play,” Rickard said. “We were facing a situation where we needed a big play and he made it. It got us a chance to be up there with a couple of minutes left.” 

McRoberts, a junior, finished with 196 yards rushing with two touchdowns. He scored on an 11-yard touchdown run with 4:31 to go in the second quarter that gave Wright City a 19-0 lead. He also threw for 127 yards and a touchdown. 

Wright City also got a touchdown apiece from junior Kayden Allison and seniors Denzel Dowdy and Carle’on Jones. Dowdy scored a 6-yard touchdown run with 7:28 left in the first quarter for his team-leading 10th touchdown of the season, Allison scored a 30-yard touchdown catch with five seconds left in the second quarter and Jones scored on a 1-yard touchdown run with 11:53 left to go in the game. 

Sophomore Quinn Schnarre finished with 13 tackles on defense.