Paden City Wildcats defeat St. Johns, 29-12
The Paden City Wildcat football team played St. Johns Central at Bridgeport on Friday night, defeating the Fighting Irish 29-12, putting the ‘Cats season at an even 4-4, with two games yet to play.
The Wildcats were first to hit pay dirt with sophomore Taylor Still adding six points with a 26 yard run for the first touchdown of the game in the first quarter. The score was followed by a Malachi Anderson extra point kick, giving the ‘Cats the lead by seven.
The Fighting Irish answered that score with one of their own, but failed to make good on the extra point kick, and still trailing, 7-6.
The two teams played a scoreless second period and headed to the locker room at the half, with Paden City still in the lead by one.
In the third period, St. John’s saw daylight with a 25 yard pass for the TD, taking the lead for the first time in the contest.
Still again crossed the goal line for the ‘Cats on a 22 yard run to take back the lead. Mitchell Stewart caught the extra point conversion pass from Anderson for two points, putting the visitors ahead by three.
In the fourth quarter, the Wildcats added two more touchdowns, one on a Keith Hardbarger four yard run and the other on a Still catch from Anderson.
“We didn’t play all that well in the first half,” said head coach of the Wildcats, Brent Croasmun. “We had a couple of touchdowns called back, and kinda struggled but finally pulled ourselves together and got the win.”
“Keith Hardbarger did a good job for us carrying the ball in this game. He was able to run up the middle and get some yards. And Taylor Still also had a good game. He gained the most yards he’s ever gained.”
Still carried the ball 21 times for Paden City in the game collecting 143 yards and two touchdowns. Hardbarger rushed 16 times for 78 yards and a touch down; and Anderson gained 77 yards on 20 carries.
In total, the ‘Cats gained 304 yards on 59 carries against the Irish. The home team ran the ball 22 times for 56 yards.
Anderson connected three times on seven passes for 51 yards and one interception. St. John’s passed for 131 yards.
Josh Bennett was the leading receiver for Paden City, gaining 27 yards on one catch. Mitchell Stewart caught a five yard pass; and Still caught a 19 yard touchdown pass.
Defensively, Jamie Billiter had eight tackles for the Wildcats and was credited with three quarterback sacks. Still completed his game performance with eight tackles, one for a loss. Anderson had eight tackles in the game and one fumble recovery; Stewart recovered a fumble; Michael Greathouse caused a fumble and had seven tackles; and Silas Davis had one quarterback sack.
Paden City acquired 22 first downs in the ball game while St. John’s had 12. The ‘Cats were penalized 10 times costing them 70 yards. The Irish lost 60 yards on five penalties.
The Wildcats will host the Beallsville Blue Devils on Oct. 23 at home on Berger Field. The Devils are fresh from a defeat at the hands of Bridgeport, and the ‘Cats look to add to their season win total. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m.