Edmonson Voice Sports Staff
The ECHS Wildcat football team improved its record to 3-1 on the season as they defeated the AAAA Warren East Raiders 19-13 last Friday night in Brownsville.
Both teams played good defense in the first quarter as each traded punts twice. The second quarter began with the Wildcats forcing another Raider punt. As the Wildcats received the ball around midfield, they only needed five plays as junior running back Daniel Caudill took a sweep to the left side 23 yards for a touchdown. The extra point was missed to keep the score at 6-0.
The Wildcat defense came up with a big play on the next series when senior free safety Jarod Hines caused a Raider fumble and recovered it near midfield. The Wildcats were forced to punt, but senior punter Dylan Skaggs pinned the Raiders inside the 10-yard line. Then, after forcing the Raiders to punt, a high snap gave the ball back to the Wildcats at the Warren East 5-yard line. Caudill punched in his second touchdown, bouncing around the right edge for the score. The Wildcats failed on their two point conversion attempt to keep the score at 12-0. Solid defense from the Wildcats held the Raiders out twice before the end of the first half keeping the 12-0 advantage at halftime.
The Raiders went on a 13-play drive to open the second half but the Wildcat defense held Warren East on downs. Both teams traded punts as ECHS got the ball back around their own 45-yard line. Caudill broke a trap for 40 yards, and two plays later, sophomore quarterback Tucker Cole found Hines down the middle of the field for a 20-yard touchdown pass. Sophomore kicker Brett Brannon added the extra point for a 19-0 lead with a few minutes left in the third quarter.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Wildcats used an onside kick and sophomore outside linebacker Brayden Carey jumped on the ball giving the Wildcats the ball at the Raider 40-yard line. Although the Wildcats were forced to punt on the series, it did keep the field position advantage in the Wildcats favor.
The Raiders got the spark they needed when on 4th and 22, the Wildcats ran into the punter, giving the ball back to the Raiders. The Raiders then went on an 11-play drive, finally scoring on a 9-yard pass to sophomore running back Willie Reynolds. The Raiders were halted on their two-point conversion attempt as Carey met Reynolds at the goal line for the stop to keep the score 19-6.
The Wildcats moved the ball to midfield before having to punt the ball back deep to the Raiders. On 3rd and 10, Reynolds took a swing pass on the right side of the field, changed direction to the left and broke through the Wildcats for an 85-yard touchdown. The Raiders made the extra point to move the score to 19-13 with just under two minutes left in the game. The Wildcats jumped on the onside kick attempt by the Raiders and took three victory quarterback kneels to secure the victory.
ECHS head football coach Kyle Pierce said that the Wildcats played well but need to work on better finishing out their games. “Our kids played well," he said. "We played solid defensively and we were pretty good on special teams. We really controlled the field positon game. We had a 19-0 lead with about 8 minutes to go and we force them to punt out of their own endzone. After we roughed their punter, it gave them some life. We got a little conservative toward the end trying to run clock and we did not do a good job tackling Reynolds on their last two series. But, overall we played well and stuck with our game plan of running the football right at them, playing solid defense and special teams. It may have gotten a little too tense there toward the end, but we'll take the win and move on to next week.”
The Wildcats will now turn their attention to Metcalfe County as they travel to Edmonton on Friday night. Pierce said the Hornets will be another tough task for the Wildcats. “They have a good football team. They have played some really good teams but they have improved every week. They had the ball with a chance to win this past week at Adair County but came up a little short. Their kids play extremely hard and are well-coached. We will have to continue to improve and play well Friday night.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00. You can listen to the live broadcast with Scott and Bryan on WildcatsLive with the pre-game show starting at 6:40pm.