The Paden City Wildcats celebrated their homecoming in style as they defeated county rival Hundred 48-8 Sept. 25 at Berger Field.
The 5’11“, 150 pound Wildcat senior quarterback Malakai Anderson had a career game against the Hornets. He ran for 193 yards and three touchdowns, and threw for 76 yards on 7-10 passes and one TD. He also added a two-point conversion run, threw two conversion passes, and kicked a PAT.
“Malakai is one of the most complete athletes I’ve coached,” said Wildcat Head Football Coach Brent Croasmun. “He runs the ball extremely well and has great vision on the field. When he gets the ball into the open field, he sees where the seams are and is able to make big plays. And, every once in a while, he throws a pass.”
Paden City opened the contest with a squibbed kickoff and the Hornets recovered the ball to start in good field position. Hundred moved the chains twice before Paden City recovered a fumble at the nine yard line.
The ‘Cats drove down the field to the Hornet 11, aided by a couple Anderson runs that looked like they were going nowhere. They capped it off with a 11-yard TD pitch-and-catch from Anderson to Mitchell Stewart. Anderson tallied the two-point conversion run to give the hosts a 8-0 lead in the opening period.
After holding Hundred on their next drive, the ‘Cats drove 36 yards in seven plays before Anderson capped it off with a 29 yard scamper that was highlighted by several cutbacks. Anderson hit a wide open Matt Bidwell for the two-point conversion pass for a 16-0 Wildcat lead.
Hundred answered the Wildcat tally with a Logan McDiffitt 67-yard TD run, opened by the Hornet front line, that cut Paden City’s lead in half. Tyrell Watson connected with Dalton Kuhn for the two-point conversion pass.
Anderson seemed to take the Hundred score personally and scored on a 16-yard touchdown run as the Wildcats would build a 24-8 lead at the break.
At the break, 2008 Paden City Homecoming Queen LeaAnn Butcher crowned Amanda Tallman as the new queen.
When play resumed in the third quarter, Wildcat Josh Bennett returned the second-half kick and was rudely met by the Hornets’ Scott Mattingly at the 33 yard line.
Having caught his second wind, Anderson went right back to work. He started the drive with a six-yard run and picked up a first down on a broken play for a 15-yard gain. After being met at the line for no gain, Anderson ended the drive with a 44-yard TD run and added a two-point conversion pass to Jordan Kerns. After holding the Hornets on their next possession, Anderson connected with Bennett for a
first down. Taylor Still’s name was called and he rambled for 12 yards and another first down.
The Hornets’ McDiffitt then intercepted an Anderson-Bennett aerial and Still gained six more yards on a nice carry down the gut of the Hornets’ defense.
The Paden City line moved and was faced with a third and long, but Anderson got the first down to break the hearts of the Hornet crowd. He then connected with Bennett again for a 15-yard gainer. However, an illegal man down field negated the yardage.
Anderson couldn’t work his magic again as Hornet Ray Yoho met the talented quarterback for a sack. Forced to punt, the ‘Cats’ Bennett mishandled the snap and took off, but was tackled short of a first down. A Paden City personal foul left the Hornets only 35 yards away from a score.
Paden City aided the Hornet drive with a pass interference call, but the ‘Cat defense came to life and took over on downs at their own 33 yard line.
A heavy dose of Still moved the ball down the field, aided by runs of 11, 16, and 34 yards, to the one yard line. The effort was rewarded with a one- yard plunge for another Wildcat TD. The Anderson kick was blocked and the score stood at 36-8, Paden City.
Hundred made some noise with a couple nice runs by Dalton Kuhn and by a couple nice pass plays from Kuhn and Watson that had the visitors knocking at the door. But, Anderson stepped in front of a Hornet pass at the five yard line and went 95 yards, untouched, for a Wildcat score, aided by a nice block by Jeff Bidwell for a 42-8 advantage.
With only 4:46 remaining in the game, the Hornets wanted to sustain a drive and end on a positive note. But, after Phillips scampered for a Hornet first down, the Hornets were called on their 10th penalty of the night. Watson tried to make something happen, but Bennett stepped in front of a Hornet receiver and ran 28 yards for another Wildcat touchdown. Anderson split the uprights for the final ‘Cat point.
Anderson had 193 of the 330 yards rushing for Paden City, while Still netted 118 yards and Bennett added 19 yards. In the air, Anderson was 7-11 for 76 yards, with Bennett garnering 55 yards. Stewart gained 11 yards and Bidwell added 10 more.
The Hornets rushed for 191 yards, with McDiffitt getting 101 of them, while Kuhn netted 61 yards. Both Watson and Phillips picked up 19 yards each. In the air, Kuhn connected on one pass for five yards, while Watson was 8-19 for 60 yards.
McDiffitt caught five passes for 32 yards, while Phillips and Dylan Murphy each netted 15 yards on one reception.
Paden City moved the chains 21 times, while Hundred did so nine times. All told, the teams combined for 21 penalties that totaled 173 yards.
Defensively for the Hornets, Roger Stalnaker led with a Baker’s Dozen, while Phillips dropped 11 ‘Cats, including a quarterback sack. Scott Mattingly and Ray Yoho both had nice games defensively for the Hornets, with 10 and nine tackles, respectively.
“The Anderson boy played a whale of a game and my hat’s off to him and the Wildcats,” said Hundred Head Football Coach Rex Rush.
“We are going to work really hard on blocking and tackling. We didn’t do a very good job of that. We should get Zach Watson back shortly and maybe add a few others as well down the road.”
Defensively, Still led the team in tackles with eight. Jamie Billiter and Jared Stewart were credited with six tackles each; Anderson and Keith Hardbarger each had five tackles; Michael Greathouse had two tackles.
Bennett had one fumble recovery, one interception, and two tackles for a loss; Anderson had two interceptions and one tackle for a loss.
The Hornets and Wildcats will each travel to Marshall County Friday, Oct. 2 with Hundred taking on Bishop Donahue at John Marshall High School football field. Meanwhile, the Wildcats take on the Dragons in Cameron. Both games are scheduled for 7:30 p.m.