10/24/2019 3:09:00 PM Wildcats drop finale in OT to Monticello, bounce back for section win
In the Wildcat football team’s final regular season game, the Wildcats (2-6) and the Monticello Magic battled to a 7-7 tie in regulation on Wednesday, October 15 at Monticello. But the Magic led off overtime with a touchdown and stopped the Wildcats on their overtime possession and beat the Wildcats 14-7.
Both teams moved the ball but were stopped deep in the other team’s territory multiple times by a fourth down stop, penalties or turnovers. Wildcat sophomore Nick Wasko, who had been a starting defensive back all season started his first game at quarterback, replacing the injured Austin Siefert. The Wildcats seemed to adjust the playbook a bit for Wasko and he responded with a good first-time performance. He rushed 17 times for 77 yards, completed three of five passes for 37 yards, didn’t throw any interceptions and lost one fumble. He also flashed some speed on a 34-yard touchdown run that was called back because of a penalty.
The Magic moved the ball well on the game’s opening drive, but a couple of penalties slowed things down and they found themselves facing fourth and nine from the 26. A pass to the goal line would have been an easy interception for Tommy Dubbs, but he smartly knocked the ball down instead, giving the Wildcats better field position at the 26. After the Wildcats went three and out, they got the ball back four plays later when Owen Dresel recovered a fumble at the Monticello 45-yard line. On first and ten from the 34, Wasko kept the ball, ran around right and all the way to the end zone for an apparent touchdown. But the Wildcats were called for a block in the back, so the touchdown was negated. The Wildcats pounded the ball down the field. On third and goal from the two, Wasko faked a pass and started to run left. But he was hit and fumbled at the four. Monticello recovered, thwarting the Wildcat scoring opportunity. The Wildcat defense came up big and forced the Magic to punt from the six. A lousy punt rolled dead at the Monticello 30, giving the Wildcats excellent field position. On second and 10, Zach Mueller took a pitch right and ran all the way down to the six. On fourth and one with 39 seconds left in the half, Owen Dresel dove up the middle just over the goal line for a touchdown and the Wildcats led 7-0 after the extra point.
On the opening drive of the second half, the Wildcats moved the ball all the way down to the Magic 32. But a fourth down pass fell incomplete and the Magic took over. Monticello moved the ball, with the help of a penalty for a late hit out of bounds on the Wildcats. On third and four from the 23, the Wildcats tackled workhorse Calvin Schmitz in the backfield, but a face-mask personal foul gave the Magic a first down on the 12. On second down from the 12, Sam Valor took a handoff left, broke a tackle at the one and went into the end zone for a touchdown to tie the game at 7-7 with 4:10 left in the third quarter.
Nick Stone returned the ensuing kickoff all the way to the Monticello 40. But a holding penalty at the end of the play moved the ball back to midfield. After getting a first down, the Wildcats ended up facing third and 18 from the Magic 45. Wasko rolled right and threw the ball deep near the right sideline. Mueller made a nice catch between two defensive backs and the Wildcats had a first down at the 12. Facing fourth and five from the seven, the Wildcats against a field goal attempt and went for it. Wasko rolled left and threw w screen pass to Dubbs. Dubbs was hit at the three and fumbled as he was going down. The Magic recovered, but Dubbs would have been short of the first down even if he hadn’t fumbled. Monticello moved the ball to their own 45 but were forced to punt. The Magic punter unleashed a punt that rolled dead at the Wildcat one-yard line. The Wildcats went three and out, but Mueller had an effective punt that rolled dead at midfield with 2:18 left in the game. On fourth and six from the 21, with 46 seconds left to go in the game, a Monticello field goal attempt fell short, and after a couple of kneel-downs by the Wildcats the game headed to overtime.
The Wildcats won the toss in overtime and decided to let the Magic go first. The Magic lined up at the ten and had four plays to score. On third and goal from the three, Schmitz plowed into the end zone from the right for a touchdown to put the Magic up 14-7. For the Wildcats, Stone gained five yards on first down. Sailor Olson gained zero yards on the next two plays. On fourth and goal from the five, Wasko pitched left to Stone. But the play broke down and Stone was tackled behind the line of scrimmage, ending the game.
Chisago Lakes 49, Hibbing 13 The fourth-seeded Wildcat football team hosted the hosted the fifth-seeded Hibbing Bluejackets this past Tuesday in the Section 7AAAA quarterfinals. The Wildcats scored at will and led 37-0 with ten minutes left in the first half. They called off the dogs after that, playing mostly backups the rest of the game, and cruised to a 49-13 win. The victory sends the Wildcats up to Cloquet this Saturday to take on the top-seeded Lumberjacks at 2 p.m. in the section semifinals. The section final will be held Friday, November 1 at a site yet to be determined.
In the first quarter, senior Owen Dresel broke about half a dozen tackles at the line of scrimmage and ran 48 yards for a touchdown. Senior Nick Stone scored from 22 yards out to make the score 14-0. With just over a minute remaining in the quarter, junior Isiah Klammer tackled Hibbing quarterback Mayson Brown in the end zone for a safety, and the Wildcats led 16-0. Following the safety, Hibbing had to do a free kick from their own 20. Junior Ryan Sanvik fielded the free kick at the Wildcat 40 yard line, ran through a big hole up the middle, cut left twice to avoid tacklers and ran all the way to the end zone for a touchdown and a 23-0 Wildcat lead with just under a minute to go in the first quarter.
At the beginning of the second quarter, the Wildcats removed sophomore starting quarterback Nick Wasko from the game and replaced him with senior Will Saueressig. “Nick is fine,” said Wildcat head coach Bill Weiss. “We took him out because the game was in hand.” And the Wildcats just kept scoring. Senior Max Eickman scored his first career touchdown on a 48-yard run and junior Sailor Olson scored on a 44-yard run to push the Wildcat lead to 37-0. Sophomore Ashton Pearson ran 39 yards for his first career touchdown a minute into the third quarter. And with five minutes left in the game, sophomore Easton Morrison scored his first career touchdown from 10 yards out to make the score 49-13.
Unofficially, the Wildcats rushed for 310 yards, led by Eickman with seven carries for 64 yards. Pearson was close behind, with six carried for 61 yards. And in the second quarter, sophomore Matt Carnes made his first appearance in a game. He also recorded his first career tackle late in the fourth quarter.