‘Cats end season with a win
The Paden City Wildcats traveled to Pine Grove on Friday to take on the Valley Lumberjacks for the last game of their 2014 football season. Though it has been an up and down year for the ‘Cats, everything fell into place as the Green and White closed out the season with their sixth win, 42-20, over the Jacks.
“Our kids had a good game,” said Wildcat head coach Brent Croasmun. “They played hard, stayed focused and we tried a few new things that worked. It’s been a difficult year and it was good to go out with a win for our seniors.”
Valley lifted the enthusiasm of the home town crowd on hand by putting the first points of the night on the scoreboard as they scored on a three yard run with 6:37 to play in the first quarter.
Paden City was quick to answer though, as senior Brandon Cross ran one yard in for the touchdown with just over three minutes to play, followed by a two point conversion pass, to give the Green the lead, 8-6.
With no time left on the clock, Valley’s Streets put the home team ahead with a three yard run in for six to overtake the lead, 14-8.
In the second quarter, Paden City was the only team to score as they put two touchdowns on the visitors side of the scoreboard. About halfway through the quarter, Deven Price brought down a nice 25 yard pass from Zach Heasley for six, followed up by the two point conversion pass; and just over three minutes until the half, senior Craig Allen caught a nine yarder from Heasley to score, also followed by the two point conversion pass. At the half, the Wildcats lead the game, 24-14.
In the third, Valley played right into Heasley’s hands as the senior Wildcat made a huge interception and took it in 32 yards for a touchdown. Then, at the 4:33 mark, sophomore Hayden Hizer ran 40 yards downfield for yet another Wildcat touchdown.
Both teams were able to put points on the board in the fourth quarter with Paden City striking first on a quarterback keeper, going in three yards to cap off their scoring for the evening; and Valley scoring on a three yard run.
“The kids were glad to get the win,” Croasmun said. “Like I said, it’s been a difficult year for us, it’s good to end the season with a win.”
Paden City achieved 16 first downs in the game to Valley’s eight. The Jacks were penalized seven times in the contest, costing them 55 yards, while the ‘Cats were penalized four times for 20 yards.
Valley fumbled the ball three times in the game and recovered them all; Paden City lost two of three fumbles.
The Jacks had 166 rushing yards on 34 carries in the contest and no passing yards as the quarterback completed zero of 12 passes and was intercepted twice.
The Wildcats achieved 109 rushing yards on 30 carries, three touchdowns; and 234 passing yards. Heasley completed 18 of 33 passes and threw two touchdowns; and Hizer completed one of one for 11 yards in the air.
Cross led all ball carriers for the Green and White, collecting 86 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries. Hizer rushed five times for 24 yards; and Heasley ran the ball eight times to gain 18 yards.
Cross brought down five Heasley passes for 94 positive yards; Hizer had six catches for 56 yards; Price caught two passes for 52 yards, one touchdown and one two point conversion pass; Luke Cooper had three catches for 22 yards and also caught one two point conversion pass; Alled brought down two passes for 19 yards and one TD; and Heasley caught Hizer’s pass for 11 yards.
Defensively, Spencer Billings was credited with seven tackles, two for a loss and a fumble cause. Cross had six tackles and one interception; Allen, one interception; Heasley one interception for a td; Dakota Gatain, six tackles; Denton Thomas, six tackles; Rander Amos, six tackles; Cooper, five tackles; and Hizer had three tackles in the effort. The win put the Wildcat win/loss record at 6-4 on the year, which Croasmun feels should have been better. “We end up at 6-4, but very easily could have been 7-3 or even 8-2,” he said. “We lost a couple of games that we shouldn’t have, but a combination of bad weather, injuries to key players and bad decisions on our part, cost us in the long run.”
“We’re losing seven seniors but have a good crop of juniors returning next year. We’ll be looking to get more kids out for football when the time comes.”
Seniors on the team this year include: Zach Heasley, Brandon Cross, Craig Allen, Matthew Greathouse, Denton Thomas, Kane Pyles and Spencer Billings.
“Our seniors have played hard all year long,” the coach said. “And it’s sad when you lose your seniors, we hate to see them go. All of them love to play the game of football and I know they’re going to miss it.”