PADEN CITY – Every school’s homecoming brings excitement to the community.
Paden City’s started with a bang. First the annual parade and then the marching of the Wildcat band with the addition of the alumni band. Next came the playing of the national anthem and then the schools alma mater followed by the schools fight song, “wow what a start!”
Then it came time for the Wildcats’ football team to shine! Hayden Hizer returned the opening kickoff 24 yards to the P.C. 49 and the Wildcats put together an eight play drive that ended with Aaron Heasley finding a wide open Marcus Allen for seven yards and the game’s first score. After a motion penalty on Paden City, the extra point try was set back five yards. Hizer flipped a pass to Wesley Smith for the two-point conversion and with 8:36 remaining in the first period, the Wildcats held a 8-0 lead.
The lead was short lived, however, as Hannan’s Aaron Turner took the ensuing kickoff at the 25 and raced 75 yards untouched to put six points on the board and cut the lead to 8-6. The two-point conversion try run by John Niebert tied the game at eight with only 13 seconds gone since the Wildcats took the lead.
Hannan then tried an onside kick, but the Wildcats recovered at the 48 and immediately went to work. Hizer carried for 11 yards to put the ball on the 37 thus giving the Wildcats a first down. Heasley found Mike Shreves on a six yard pass and another 16 gain by Hizer moved the ball to the 16. After a false start set the ball back to the 21, Heasley ripped off 15 on a nice tackle breaking carry and the Wildcats had a first and goal from the six. Hizer then burst through the middle for the games next score to put the Wildcats ahead 14-8. Heasley went in for the two-point conversion and with 5:01 left in the first the score stood at 16-8.
On their next possession Hannan started on their own 30 and drove down to the Wildcats’ 18 where the drive stalled when a 4-9 pass fell incomplete. Paden City took over on the 18 and on the first play, Hizer cut around right end and outraced three defenders as he covered 82 yards for his second and the Wildcats’ third score as time ran out in the first quarter. The two-point conversion toss failed and the Wildcats held a 22-8 first quarter lead.
To start the second quarter, Mike Shreves recovered Heasley’s onside kick giving the Wildcats the ball right back on their own 45. A pass interference call on an incomplete pass from Heasley to Smith moved the ball down to the 30. Heasley converted two straight passes for 13 yards putting the ball on the 17. Hizer picked up five yards and Heasley scrambled for eight. On a first and goal from the four yard line, Heasley went the distance to raise the lead to 28-8. Heasley then completed the two-point conversion toss to Hizer for a 30-8 lead with 7:14 left in the second period.
Hannan failed to move the ball on their next possession and when facing a 4-24, they punted to give the Wildcats the ball back with six minutes left in the half. Both teams traded possession before the clock ran out and the Wildcats went into halftime with the big lead.
The halftime Homecoming ceremonies were highlighted by the crowning of Kallie Arnett as Homecoming Queen and a fine performance by the Wildcat marching band in combination with participating alumni.
Coming out of the locker room, the fired up Wildcats kicked off to Hannan. But after forcing the visitors into a 4-9 punt situation, a bad snap and fumble gave the Wildcats excellent field position at the 43. Hizer picked up 17 yards on two straight carries, but Heasley was thrown for a loss of six and then was sacked to lose nine more and the Wildcats were forced to punt.
Hannan got the ball back on their own 34, but the drive ended with a 4-17 and a punt. Paden City then took control on Hannan’s 33 and on the first play, Hizer went the distance for his third score of the game to shove the lead to 36-8 with 3:28 left in the third. Dalton Schultheis was good on the extra point kick and Paden City led 37-8
Hannan started their next drive from their own 48 following a 15 yard kickoff return and quickly moved down field with the help of a 37 yard run and a pass interference call. Charles Mayes found the end zone on a 10 yard run with .58 seconds to play in the third. The two-point run was no good and the score stood at 37-14.
Both teams found the end zone in the fourth quarter with the Wildcats striking first on a five yard run by Heasley. The extra point try was no good and with 8:29 left to play, Paden City held a commanding 43-14 lead. Both teams turned the ball over on downs before Hannan got their final score on a fourth and goal six yard pass completion from Mayes to Tristan McReynolds. The conversion was no good and with 1: 39 left on the clock. The Wildcats wrapped up their second win of the season.
Paden City was led by Aaron Hizer with 176 yards on 17 carries and three scores plus a two point conversion catch from Heasley. He also tossed a two point pass to Smith and caught four passes for 51 yards. Heasley went 10-12 passing for 97 yards and no interceptions and a touchdown while also rushing for 54 yards an a score. Marcus Allen back from an injury caught two passes for 13 yards an a score and Smith grabbed two passes for 23 yards. Mike Shreves got nine yards on two catches. Dalton Schultheis had to carries for 19 yards.
The Wildcats led in first downs 14-11 and gained 335 total yards to Hannan’s 242. Paden City had six penalties for 67 yards while Hannan was flagged 11 times for 60 yards. Paden City recovered two fumbles and lost none. Paden City will be at home again on Friday when they host long time rival Bishop Donahue at 7 p.m.