Wildcats Lose Thriller, 34-28
Aaron Heasley tosses three touchdowns in the second half, but it wasn’t quite enough for Paden City to get by the Bridgeport Bulldogs, 34-28 in the Wildcats home-opener Friday night.
Logan Carroll capped off the games opening score with a one-yard touchdown plunge to give the hosts a 6-0 lead after the Dogs blocked a Luke Cooper PAT with 3:04 showing in the first period.
The Bulldogs scored 20 points in the second period on a pair of big plays, a 70-yard touchdown pass and a 75-yard interception return for a 20-6 lead at the break.
Paden City’s quarterback took a thumping in the first half, and in the third period came out and Heasley came in. Heasley in his first appearance behind center tossed a 22-yard touchdown to Cooper to pull the ‘Cats to 20-12 after three periods of play.
In the fourth period, Hizer returned to the offense when Cooper got a cramp and was on the receiving end of two Heasley touchdowns to take a 28-26 with 2:48 to go in regulation after a Hizer two point conversion run and a Hizer to Price two point conversion pass.
The Dogs would cash in on a big play late in the game to take a 34-28 lead with 49 seconds remaining.
Paden City would get it down to mid-field before running out of time in a old-fashion dog-fight.
Heasley passed for 159 yards on nine completions and three touchdown passes, while Cooper hauled in seven catches for 138 yards and a touchdown. Hizer completed five passes for 90 yards and a two point conversion. He had two passes intercepted. He also caught three passes for 38 yards and two scores.
In addition, Price and Zach Yeater each caught two passes for 31 yards. Yeater added 31 yards on the ground, while Carroll scampered for 16 yards and a touchdown Price and Heasley each had positive yardage on the ground, while Hizer had negative yardage on a fistful of quarterback sacks.
Defensively, Daulton Schultheis led the way with nine tackles, one for loss of yardage and a quarterback sack. Marcus Allen sat down eight Dogs, while Rander Amos laid to rest seven. Carroll, Cooper and Bryce Blake each recorded five, including a Cooper quarterback sack. Hizer and Kris Byers each made five tackles for Paden City.
“Aaron Heasley really stepped it up for us in the second half and Daulton Schultheis came up big defensively,” said Croasmun. “Luke Cooper had a great game himself, while Hayden Hizer fought off some nasty hits to come back and gave us a shot in the arm down the stretch. We have some bumps and bruises, but all-in-all we are okay, besides the loss of Dakota Gatian.”
The Wildcats will lick their wounds and travel over to face the River Pilots Friday night at 7 p.m.