Wildcat mission accomplished Friday
By LaDonna Swedberg
The Wallace football team went to Wauneta with a purpose Friday night; to play a complete game in all areas. The offensive line opened up huge holes, the back field was hitting the holes for good yardage and the defense came up with big plays as they needed. The end result was a victory for the Wildcats as they defeated the Wauneta/Palisade Broncos 44-37.
Wauneta/Palisade was the first to bring their offense to the field and they came out passing. Their first play was a big 31-yard reception from Connor Kayton to Logan Bischoff.
The Broncos’ second pass, however, was intercepted by Taylor Doell in the end zone. The Wildcats turned the ball right back when the Broncos came up with an interception of their own. Both teams then settled down and came up with touchdowns on their next possessions.
The Broncos scored with the pass and the Wildcats went with the run. Taylor Doell capped off a nine play drive with a one-yard run to put the Cats on the board. Eric Koop added the two-point conversion to go on top 8-7 with 7:16 left in the first quarter. Both teams scored one more touchdown before the quarter was up.
Hayden Pollmann pulled in a 40-yard touchdown pass for the Broncos and Taylor Doell continued his amazing night of football with a 65-yard sprint down the sideline to earn six more points for the Wildcats. Koop once again bullied his way across the goal line for the extra two points putting his team up 16-15.
The second quarter was a difficult one for the Wildcats, they were unable to move the ball and the defense struggled with Wauneta/Palisade’s passing game. The Broncos scored two more passing touchdowns and Wallace was held scoreless making the halftime score 16-29.
The Wildcats started the second half using a passing game of their own. Taylor Doell found Landon Swedberg for a 72-yard touchdown pass reception. Eric Koop continued his successful two-point conversion streak cutting the Bronco lead to 24-29.
Bo Fanning quickly hushed the Wallace sidelines when he returned the ensuing kickoff 69 yards for another six points for the Broncos. The two-point conversion was successful and Wauneta/Palisade had increased their lead 24 - 37. At that point, Eric Koop took over. He had been running the ball well but on the next drive he was unstoppable.
Even when the Broncos made contact, Eric continued for two or three more yards. It was only fitting that he was the one to take the ball the final two yards to cut the Bronco lead to seven and the Wildcats were looking for more.
Taylor Doell and John Marquardt each came up with an interception to stop Wauneta/Palisade on their next two possessions. Following Marquardt’s pic, Doell got around the outside corner and went 39 yards for another Wildcat score. Koop wanted the lead so he once again added the two point conversion to put his Cats up 38-37.
The final quarter proved to be a defensive battle with both teams turning the ball over on downs and having to punt the ball away. Each team was looking for a big play when Doell was able to make it happen.
The Broncos had completed a couple of big pass plays when Taylor came up with his fourth interception of the night, this one, however, was a pic 6. With 6:04 left in the game, Wallace increased their lead to 44-37.
The remainder of the game the Wallace defense came up huge by stopping the Broncos and the offense was able to move the ball enough to run the clock out and finish the game with a big win.
The Wildcat offense had their best showing so far this season with three players putting up big numbers. Eric Koop led his team carrying the ball 25 times for 148 yards rushing. Taylor Doell had 111 yards rushing on 14 carries and he was three for six passing for 117 yards. Landon Swedberg had 95 yards rushing on 21 carries and 108 yards in pass reception.
John Marquardt and Landon Swedberg lead the Cats on defense with five solo tackles and one assisted tackle. Taylor Doell had three solo tackles, two assisted tackles and four interceptions.
The Wildcats’ next game will be their homecoming game against Hayes Center on Friday.