Junior High Wildcat Football Team Downs Falcon/Knights (Posted 09/28/20)
(Images by Nate Girvan) Above: Great game by the O-line!
(By Coach Jess Quinn)
On Thursday, September 24th, the Central Clarion Wildcat 9th Grade Football Team traveled to Rimersburg to take on the Union/ACV Falcon/Knights and came away with a 22-6 victory.
What seemed to be a drastic start for the Wildcats, turned around after two turnovers on as many possessions. The first two possessions ended when Falcon/Knight defenders tipped and picked off passes from Central Clarion.
But a very stout defensive line that includes T’Khi Alexander, Owen Bauer and Seth Bachman rose to the challenge. These boys dominated the line of scrimmage, allowing the linebackers, Jase Ferguson, Holden Sparks and Coleman Slater to roam free and make tackles.
After quarter number one the game was still scoreless.
Early in the second quarter, the Union/ACV offense got rolling. On a nice counter run by #9, took the ball just inside the 10 yard line. But saying it like that doesn’t do this play justice. The defense was gashed on the play, but defensive end Gabe Simko did not give up as he turned and ran the back down from behind! At this point Union/ACV had all the momentum and looking back, this was in my opinion a game saving tackle. Two plays later, under duress from the huge defensive line, linebacker Jase Ferguson was able to dive under a pass and intercept the ball. This is where the game changed. On the very next possession, the Wildcat offense went to work!
Backed up on their own 3 yard line (after a penalty), the backs started to gain some footing and yardage. On a critical 2nd and 25 play, tailback Brady Quinn found an opening off the right side and scampered for 18 yards, setting up a manageable 3rd down play. The next play saw Braylon Beckwith take the ball straight up the middle for the first down. Those two plays got the boys going. The drive continued with play calling and execution that kept the defense off balance. Power, counter, and play action passes marched the Wildcats right down the field and inside the 15 yard line. Jase Ferguson called his own number and followed Coleman Slater, Brady Quinn, and Braylon Beckwith into the endzone for the first touchdown of the night. The two-point conversion to Kohen Kemmer left the score 8-0.
I cannot express enough to you the reader the play of the offensive line on this drive. From Left to Right, Colby Wright, James Keenan, Holden (Sparky Pants) Sparks, Coleman (Smasher) Slater and Drake (I have no nickname for) Irwin opened enormous holes for the Wildcat runners and gave quarterback Ferguson plenty of time to find his favorite target Gabe (Gronk) Simko. So hats off to that interior line, that does so much of the work and gets very little credit. Keep up the good work boys!
The Falcon/Knights had just over a minute to run their offense, but that’s when Kemmer made a nice play and intercepted the ball.
The score at halftime was left at 8-0.
The second half saw more of the same, offensive and defensive line domination by Central Clarion. T’Khi, Owen, and Seth were incredible on defense and held the Union/ACV offense in check and forced a quick three and out. After a short punt, the Wildcats had the ball at the U/AC forty-five. Again, they went right back to work. Beckwith up the middle, Quinn and Kemmer around the outside and a waggle to Simko took the ball to the 3 yard line. That enabled Quinn to walk into the endzone untouched after Sparks, Slater, Irwin, and Simko crushed the right side of the line. Beckwith added the 2 point conversion and the score 16-0 Cats.
The next defensive possession was controlled by Central Clarion with T’Khi, Seth and Owen again putting pressure on the running backs and quarterback, stuffing the middle of the field and enabling the linebackers and safeties to step up and make tackles. Jake Smith stepped up big at linebacker and had several tackles in the second half, giving the ball back to the offense.
The last scoring possession was an incredibly balanced attack! Runs by Kemmer, Ferguson, Beckwith, Quinn, back to Kemmer, a play action pass/run option by Ferguson, and finally runs by Kemmer and Beckwith left the WIldcats in perfect scoring position. Central opted for a play action pass, which fooled the defense and Ferguson found Simko in the endzone. And after a missed extra point attempt, the score was 22-0.
Union/ACV got on the board with a long pass, coupled with two missed tackles and after a failed 2 point conversion attempt, the score ended 22-6.
The final possession found the Wildcats still pounding the football. Girvan, Quinn, Kemmer, and Beckwith rounded out the game as the clock expired.
Two weeks in a row, the Wildcats showed how versatile they are. They can run inside and outside with a number of backs. They can throw the ball and have great targets in Simko, Kemmer, Miller, and Smith.
As a coaching staff we are very pleased at the level of play and the “coachability” of every single young man that wears the blue and orange. For the second week in a row, a complete TEAM win.
(Thanks to Coach Quinn for this article and to Nate Girvan for the images. GOOD GOING, JUNIOR HIGH WILDCATS!!!!)