Wright City limps into districts following 27-8 loss

Jeff Stahlhut, Correspondent
Posted 10/29/21

For the Wright City Wildcats, the end of the regular season marks a new opportunity as district play is set to begin.

With a 27-8 loss to South Callaway leading into districts, the Wildcats have …

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Wright City limps into districts following 27-8 loss

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For the Wright City Wildcats, the end of the regular season marks a new opportunity as district play is set to begin.

With a 27-8 loss to South Callaway leading into districts, the Wildcats have a record of 1-7 and will next take on 3-6 Cardinal Ritter in a Class 3, District 3 contest.

Coach Tyler Rickard noted that the Wildcats were able to keep the game closer than the score indicated before things got away.

“The game was close throughout the first half. They jumped out to a 14-0 lead, but we responded with a 56 yard touchdown pass from Joey Gendron to Jeremiah Davis to cut the lead to 14-8. South Callaway then went on a methodical drive using their option run game to build the lead to 20-8,” said Rickard. “Unfortunately, our starting quarterback got hurt in the second quarter and forced us to move Duan McRoberts from wide receiver to quarterback for the remainder of the game.”

With Gendron (109 yards and a touchdown) out in the second quarter, the game went into halftime with the Wildcats down 20-8. South Callaway got back in the end zone in the third quarter to go up 27-8 and put the game out of reach.
Despite the loss, Rickard noted several bright spots for the Wildcats.

“Offensively, we were able to move the ball effectively running the ball with Duan, Jeremiah Davis and Denzel Dowdy. However, we were unable to convert on a few fourth down plays that kept us from keeping our drives moving,” he said. “Joey really stood out early on. Duan ran the ball well totaling 51 yards and also had 38 yards receiving before moving to quarterback. Jeremiah had a big game at wide receiver with seven catches for 76 yards and a touchdown.”

Several players stood out on the defensive side of the ball as well.

“Defensively, Riley Shive, Denzel Dowdy, Carleon Jones had good games for us,” said Rickard. “Denzel had 10 tackles, including two tackles for a loss. Riley had 11 tackles and Carleon had seven tackles, including one for a loss. Duan McRoberts also had two interceptions at key times in the first half.”

As the Wildcats now prepare for Cardinal Ritter, Rickard thinks his team can build off of the growth the players have shown.

“Overall, I was proud of the way we competed against South Callaway. We are continuing to show growth throughout the season and that's exactly what we are looking for,” he said. “No matter the adversity we face, our team continues to preserve and fight through it and I couldn't be more proud of them for that.”

Despite a 3-6 record, though, things are not about to get easier this weekend.

“Cardinal Ritter is a big and athletic team. Their record is not indicative of how talented of a team they are,” said Rickard. “They have played some very good competition this year and just come up short.”

The Wildcats come into the game with a game plan that, if executed, should allow for a competitive game. “Offensively against Ritter we will need to be balanced so they can't key on any one player or play. Defensively, we need to limit their big plays,” said Rickard. “They have some speed on the edge, so we have to keep their receivers in front of us and be sure tacklers in the open field. If we are able to do these things, along with winning the turnover battle and sustaining drives on offense we will put ourselves in a good spot to come away with a win.”

Cardinal Ritter will host Wright City on Friday evening at 7 p.m.

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