Wallace Wildcats enjoy 64-50 homecoming victory
By LaDonna Swedberg
The homecoming game proved to be a game of ups and downs and momentum changes for the Wildcats. Wallace was able to accomplish more when they had the momentum than Hayes Center did so they were able to come away with a 64–50 victory.
The first quarter belonged to the Cardinals. They took the opening possession and moved right down the field getting positive yardage on every play.
With less than two minutes ticking off the clock, Hayes Center had seven points on the board. Wallace was not quite as successful moving the ball and had to punt their first possession. The Cardinal offense picked up where they left off and once again had little trouble moving the ball but the Wildcat defense did not allow a score this time round.
Both defenses were controlling the game until late in the quarter when Hayes Center put together another successful drive which put them up 0–14 at the end of the quarter.
Wallace wasted little time letting the large crowd know who was going to control the second quarter. John Marquardt went 20 yards on the second play of the quarter to put six points on the board for the Cats. Taylor Doell then ended the Cardinals next drive by intercepting Tristan Johnson and running it back to Hayes Centers end of the field.
Two plays later, Marquardt scampered 29 yards for his second touchdown of the evening and the Wildcats were just getting started with their scoring. Marquardt found his favorite receiver, Taylor Doell, for two 14 yard pass plays in a row; the second reception was good for six more points. With a successful two point conversion, Wallace had their first lead at 20–14 and there was still 3:10 left on the clock; plenty of time for more scoring.
Mark Jameson came up with the next score for the Wildcats when he blocked a punt for a two-point safety. The Wildcats then got the ball after a free kick following the safety so they decided to add another touchdown.
The drive was completed when Marquardt once again found Doell; this time for a nine yard touchdown reception. With only 42 seconds left on the clock, it would have appeared that Wallace had done enough damage but they wanted more.
Hayes Center fumbled the ball on the kick off return so Wallace had the ball and 40 ticks on the clock, that was all that they needed. Tanner Clough made an amazing catch on the two yard line to set his team up for another touchdown. Doell switched roles and this time he passed the ball to a wide open Josh Grauerholz for another Wildcat touchdown and a 34–14 halftime lead.
The second half ended up being pretty evenly matched compared to the first half. Hayes Center started the half with great field position after the Wildcats fumbled the opening kickoff. They wasted no time taking advantage of the opportunity. Johnson found an opening for a 13 yard touchdown run.
The Cardinal defense then came up with an interception on the Wildcats first possession and turned it into a great drive which ended with a nine yard Kasey Schwenk run and with another successful two point conversion, Hayes Center was right back in the game only down 34–30.
The Wildcats were not about to quit after a couple of mistakes. The offense and the defense both came up with some points before the quarter ended. Marquardt went to the air again and found Jose Arvizo for a 25 yard touchdown reception and Doell added the two-point conversion.
A few plays later Shane Anders caught Johnson in the end zone. Johnson tried unloading the ball before being tackled but he was flagged with intentional grounding which gave the Wildcats another two- point safety and a 44–30 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Anyone knowing the history of these two teams knew that the final quarter would be action packed and a battle to the end.
Hayes Center struck first 24 seconds into the quarter. Seth Gohl found an open field for a 27 yard run which left Johnson with only five yards to go for the touchdown on the next play. Wallace came right back with a score of their own which was made possible by a 21 yard run by Doell. A 15 yard penalty was tacked on to give the Wildcats great field position. Doell only had to go one yard for his first rushing touchdown.
Hayes Center was quick to respond. Seth Gohl only need two plays to add another touchdown to the Cardinal’s side of the score board so Wallace needed another successful drive. Marquardt connected with Doell one more time for a 43 yard pass reception which gave the Wildcats a first and goal. Marquardt went the needed four yards for another touchdown for his team.
The quarter was only half over so there was plenty of time for more touchdowns. Johnson went to the air to Gohl to give Hayes Center their final touchdown. Wallace responded with a nice drive to kill some clock. They just ran the ball at the Cardinals to get the needed yards to move the chains. Doell went the final four yards for his second rushing touchdown which created the final score of 64–50.
The Wildcats once again had a very impressive offensive showing which was led by John Marquardt who again put up some outstanding numbers of his own. He had 150 yards rushing on 24 carries and he was 11 for 20 passing for 168 yards.
Taylor Doell was on the receiving end of six passes for 102 yards. A number of players also did some outstanding defensive work for the Wildcats. Mark Jameson had three solo tackles and 10 assisted, Jeff harms had four solos and nine assists and Shane Anders had one solo and six assists.
The victory was a huge district win for Wallace.
This week they will play their second district game when they travel to Brady to do battle with the Eagles. Kick off is scheduled for 7 p.m.