Wildcats Still Searching
Van High School made the 4.5 hour journey to Paden City on Friday a worthwhile trip as the Bulldogs picked up their third straight win of the season, cruising to a 40-14 win over the winless Wildcats. Paden City won the opening toss and deferred the kick-off until the second half.
The visitors, however, wasted no time in scoring as they drove the ball 35 yards down field with a combination of running and passing plays before completing a 35-yard scoring strike to a wide open receiver for a 6-0 lead. The extra point kick was good and the score stood at 7-0.
Paden City took the ensusing kick-off and was unable to move the chains, forcing a punt that the Bulldogs fielded near mid-field. After picking up one first down, they again scored on a criss cross pass that was good for 25 yards to up the count to 13-0; the point after attempt found its mark, and the Bulldogs had a 14-0 advantage with plenty of time left in the first quarter.
The Wildcats offense was all but non-existant, and they became fumble prone turning the ball over time and time again. Van took advantage and added two more scores in the first half to make it a 27-0 lead at the break.
Paden City took the opening kick-off but quickly turned the ball over on a fumble, giving the Bulldogs yet another score for a 34-0 lead early in the third. After another turnover by Paden City, Van aded another score to make it 40-0 with 6:18 still left to play in the third.
The visitors then called off the Dogs and started subbing freely and trying players at different positions to keep the game from getting too far out of hand. Paden City, however, kept on playing through it all and managed two fourth period scores with Alex McCoy getting the Wildcats’ first score on a 10 yard run with 7:53 to go in the game. During the drive Matt Saxon, Michael Shreves and Clayton Thomas had key runs to keep the drive alive.
Paden City kicked off and stopped the Bulldogs on the next possession when Van fumbled at their own 27. Paden City took over, and after three short runs by Saxon and Thomas, Saxon broke free down the sideline for a 24 yard touchdown. Mc Coy added the two-point conversion run, and with 2:40 to play in the game, Paden City had cut the lead to 28, 40-14. From there the visitors took the kick-off, ran a few plays and time ended.
“We had to use some very young and inexperienced players tonight. Some of these kids are first time players. We tried to make changes to help with our injuries, but it’s hard to throw someone in and expect them to compete well against veteran athletes. Next week we have Bridgeport on Saturday, and hopefully by then we will have some kids back. Our kids played hard, and they want to win; they still come out and work hard in practice. They are trying to get better, but again, without the numbers, we are at a big disadvantage. Injuries have depleted our line, and even some of our veteran skill players are a little banged up.
“One thing about these kids though, they don’t give up,” Coach Croasmun stated.