|9/10/2021 10:52:00 AM|
Wildcats defense creates havoc in 33-6 drubbing over Big Lake
Chisago Lakes 33, Big Lake 6
The Wildcats turned three Big Lake turnovers into touchdowns in the first half and went on to beat the Hornets 33-6 Thursday, September 2 at Big Lake High School. Quarterback Nick Wasko led the Wildcats’ offensive dominance with 28 carries for 184 yards and three touchdowns as the Wildcats piled up 325 yards on the ground. Fullback Ashton Pearson took care of most of the rest of the workload, carrying the ball 13 times for 94 yards and two touchdowns.
It didn’t look good for the Wildcats on Big Lake’s opening drive. The Hornets took the opening kickoff and needed just five plays to score. To end the drive, they had a run of 32 yards followed by a touchdown run of 25 yards. The Wildcats blocked the extra point to keep the score at 6-0. The Hornets had made it look easy to score on the Wildcats. But the Wildcats answered with a long drive of their own, with Wasko doing most of the damage. He scored on a sneak from the two. On the extra point, the center bounced the snap a couple of feet short of holder Tyler Drury. But Drury quickly grabbed the ball and got it set without disrupting the rhythm of kicker Bryce Morley. Morley knocked the ball through the uprights to give the Wildcats a 7-6 lead.
The Hornets had the ball at their own 30 on the ensuing drive. As they dropped back to pass, Wildcat lineman Cole Smith dropped back in coverage to his right. A pass came in his direction, and he leaped to snatch it out of the air, giving the Wildcats a first down at the Hornet 43. A few plays later, on first and goal from the nine, Wasko weaved his way up the middle and dove across the goal line for a TD. The extra point was no good and the Wildcats led 13-6. On the first play of Big Lake’s next drive, a receiver caught a ball over the middle but was hit hard after a few steps and coughed up the ball, which was recovered by the Wildcats. A few plays later, Wasko snuck up the middle for another touchdown and, after a try for two failed, the Wildcats had a 19-6 lead.
The Hornets’ woes continued on the very next play as they fumbled the kickoff after a hard hit and the Wildcats recovered at the Hornet 19. After a couple of runs and a holding penalty, the Wildcats faced first and goal at the 17. Pearson took the handoff and blasted through a hole up the middle. A defender grabbed his ankle at the two, but Pearson twisted and dove into the end one for another Wildcat touchdown. The try for two was no good and the Wildcats led 25-6 going into halftime. In the space of four plays, including two kickoffs, the Hornets had turned the ball over three times.
Any thoughts the Hornets had about coming back in the second half were crushed early. The Wildcats received the opening kickoff and went on a 14 play, 76-yard drive that took over eight minutes off the clock. The drive’s biggest play was a 32-yard run by Wasko that moved the ball from down to the Big Lake 11. Three plays later, Pearson went up the middle for a touchdown, and Wasko used a nice spin move for the two-point conversion to make the score 33-6. They shut down the Hornets’ offense for the rest of the game.
Wildcat head coach Bill Weiss said “We started off outthinking ourselves a little bit on defense. After that, we went back to our base look and that and base stuff seemed to work rest of the game. And the scoring after three first half takeaways was big. There’s nothing better than turning a takeaway into a touchdown to give a team momentum. Overall, it was a good night for us offensively. We got most of our work done between the tackles. Our offensive line did a great job. Nick made good decisions all night long on the option, and Pearson got a lot of hard yards up the middle.”
Weiss continued “On defense, Cole Smith had an interception and a fumble recovery, and overall, just played very well. Braden Carr played very well on both sides of the ball. He led the offensive line and the defensive line, did the little things right and made some big plays.”
The Wildcats have a bye this week. On Friday, September 17, they will host Becker at home at 7 p.m.