Paden City Wildcats Open Against Frontier
Paden City made their initial appearance on Friday night to open the 2021 football season at New Matamoras against a good Frontier High School team.
The Wildcats entered the contest outmanned and under staffed as they only had 12 players suited up. However they came to play and gave the old Wildcat try before injuries closed the gate in the third quarter.
Frontier had little trouble finding the end zone as they scored early in the first quarter of their opening drive on a one yard run from veteran QB J.D. Schmidt to grab the lead on their way to a 34-0 halftime lead that ended up being the final score when the game was called in the third quarter as the Cat’s were down to 9 or 10 players. Schmidt also scored after recovering a fumble in the end zone following a bad snap by the Wildcats near their own goal.
The Cougars defense picked off four passes, completed a safety and limited the Wildcats to just eight total yards of offense in the game
Paden City’s defense played well for much of the first quarter holding the hosts for three possessions without a score, but another miscue on a snap gave the home team a safety after the Cat’s Parker Higgins was tackled in the end zone. Parker Higgins recovered the football in the end zone for Paden City but was unable to get out before being tackled by a swarm of Cougar tacklers for a safety.
After the punt, Frontier went 35 yards for a score in two plays with junior Lucas Cox getting the score to up the margin to 22-0. Cox and Schmidt teamed up on a 16 yard touchdown pass on the Cougars next possession to make it 28-0. They then intercepted a pass with under two minutes to play in the first half and returned it 38 yards for a score for the final score of 34-0
Following the halftime break Paden City suffered another injury which put them down to nine players forcing the cancellation of the remainder of the contest.
Schmidt led the way for the Cougars by completing 7-of-13 pass attempts for 63 yards to go along with the pair of defensive scores while Tanner Bills rushed for a team-high 84 yards on four carries while also leading the Cougars in receiving with four catches for 46.
Cox accumulated his two touchdowns on just four touches in the game while Walker Hendershot came up with a pair of interceptions.
“My hats off to Paden City because they are trying to play football and they came over here with 12 or 13 guys and despite some guys getting banged up they played hard,” said Morris, who pushed his career coaching record past the .500 mark (77-76) with the win. “I’ve got a lot of respect for them for trying to play and if a kid wants to play football then they ought to have that opportunity.”
The Cougars improved to 2-0 with the win with their first road game on tap next Friday when they travel to Beallsville.
Hopefully the Wildcat injuries are not serious and they can return to the playing field. Coach Robert Price will certainly look out for the best interest of the players and the school. Good Luck to the Wildcats!