It was a great night to be a Wildcat in Paden City on Sept. 13 as the home town football team found a way to get past the Gilmer County Titans and get their first win of the season, 18-15.
"All of our kids stepped up and played a good game in this one," said head coach of the Wildcats, Brent Croasmun. "Gilmer was not a bad team and we finally got it together and played well both offensively and defensively."
The game started out on an even keel with both teams battling for yardage without either giving up a score for the majority of the first quarter.
Paden City quarterback Zach Heasley follows his blockers as he tries to score against Gilmer County Friday, Sept. 20 at Berger Field. (Photo by Chuck Clegg)
With just over two minutes to play in the first, the Titans made good on a three yard run followed by the extra point kick to light up the scoreboard in their favor for the first time in the game, giving them the lead, 7-0. At halftime, the score stood the same.
Paden City came out more determined in the third quarter, and with 7:35 to play, it was the home team's turn to take advantage of field position with junior quarterback, Zach Heasley, hitting sophomore Luke Cooper with a 19 yard pass for six points.
The Gilmer County quarterback connected on a nice 20 yarder with 4:30 to go in the quarter and the team made good on the two point conversion to give the visitors the 15-6 lead.
In the fourth quarter though, it was all Paden City, recovering fumbles, intercepting the quarterback, forcing turnovers, sacking the quarterback and scoring two touchdowns in the space of seven minutes to take control of the game.
Heasley put up a nice 30 yard pass to Hayden Hizer with seven minutes to play in the game to score six and before time could run off, the junior quarterback found Deven Price 20 yards downfield for six more.
At the buzzer, the Wildcats pocketed their first win of the season, 18-15, handing the Titans their second loss of 2013.
Prior to the game, Croasmun spoke of a former player, Mark Doty, who was killed earlier in the week in an automobile crash. "He was one of my favorite players." said Croasmun. "A perfect role model. We dedicated this game to him."
Heasley completed 17 of 31 passes for 203 yards in the game, his best effort of the season thus far.
Cooper was the leading receiver with six catches for 54 yards and one touchdown; Hayden Hizer caught four passes for 58 yards and a touchdown; Deven Price had three catches for 68 yards and one touchdown; Brandon Cross caught three for 11 yards; and Craig Allen had one catch for for 12 yards.
Sophomore Brandon Cross led the Wildcat rushers in the contest, carrying the ball 16 times for 57 yards. Kane Pyle had six carries for 36 yards; Hizer, one for four yards.
Defensively, the 'Cats were led by junior Spencer Billings who had 10 tackles, one sack of the Gilmer quarterback and one tackle for a loss. Kane Pyles had eight tackles, three quarterback sacks; Logan Carroll, seven tackles; Hizer, seven tackles; Cooper, seven tackles, one for a loss and recovered a fumble; Heasley had five tackles, three quarterback sacks; Allen, five tackles; and Isaac Hall had five tackles.
Homecoming festivities will take place on Friday in Paden City with events beginning at 6 p.m. with a parade starting at St. Paul's United Methodist Church and ending at the High School. After the parade, the Boosters will sponsor tail gating in front of the school, with everyone invited to attend. The crowning of the Homecoming Queen will be held at half-time of the Wildcat - Hundred Hornet football game. Events will conclude on Saturday with the Middle School and High School dance.
The Homecoming Queen will be announced at half-time festivities of the Wildcat - Hundred Hornet game. Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m.