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Wildcats, Coach Claim First Win of 2019 Season

By Staff | Sep 24, 2019

Paden City’s Bryant McKay goes for six against Bridgeport.

Paden City Coach Zach Heasley picked up his first career win on Friday, as the Cats put 55 points on the scoreboard in a shootout that saw Bridgeport score 49. Going into Fridays contest both schools were 0-3 and looking for a victory. Bridgeport took a 23-20 halftime lead, but the Wildcats came out of the locker room fired up and ready to get a win.

The visiting Bulldogs got on the board first on a one yard run to take an early 7-0 lead. Paden City answered back on a 5-yard pass from senior Ethan Cross to Bryant McKay. That set the tone for the rest of the game as it was a see-saw affair from start to finish.

Before the first quarter could end however, the Bulldogs got a 75 yard scoring run and tacked on the 2-point conversion for a 15-6 lead. The Wildcats used second period scores from Clayton Thomas and a 39 yard run by Cross to outscore the visitors 14-8 and go into the locker room down just three 23-20.

After the break Paden City continued to have their way and put 14 more on the board compliments of two T.D. catches of 4 yards and 9 yards by McKay from Cross. Cross also added a two point conversion run and the Cats were up 34-29 at the end of three.

“These kids about gave me a heart attack,” Coach Heasley said. “Oh my goodness.”

Early in the fourth quarter it looked like Paden City was in complete control when Cross tossed a pass out in the flat and Freshman Zane Yeater took it to the house from 75 yards out. Thomas tacked on the two point run and Paden City led 42-29. However on their next series Bridgeport got a 74 yard T.D. run to cut the lead to 42-35.

On the ensuing kickoff the Wildcats sophomore sensation Parker Higgins picked up the ball at the18 yard line and rambled untouched down the left sideline for 82 yards putting the Cats back in front by13 with a little over six minutes to play. Higgins added a 5-yard run following a Bridgeport turnover that gave the Cats a 20 point lead, after the extra point kick by Cross with four minutes to go.

The Bulldogs didn’t go away easy however as they put 14 more points on the board on two long pass completions for scores of 59 and 38 yards, plus a conversion pass, but time was on the Cats side and they came away with the win

“I’m so proud of these guys. You figure we came in with high expectations and found ourselves down 60-6 in the opener. The second game we set a West Virginia state record for picks (interceptions). The third game we lost a heartbreaker we shouldn’t have lost. If that isn’t adversity, I don’t know what is.

“I’m so proud of the way these kids fought this week and how they fought in this game to get the win.”

Paden City was 7-9 passing for 4-T.D.’s and no interceptions all by Cross. McKay caught five passes for 39 yards and three scores, while Yeater grabbed the big 75 yard scoring toss. S. Anderson added one catch for a yard.

Rushing the Wildcats picked up a huge 347 yards on 47 carries and 3-T.D.’s. Cross had an outstanding game rushing with 184 yards and 3 T.D.’S on 18 carries. Thomas picked up 120 yards and a score on 21 carries and Higgins got a score and 45 yards on 6-carries. The Wildcats didnt have a turnover in the game, while picking up 19 first downs. They had seven penalties for 60 yards.

The Bulldogs fell to 0-4 on the season while Paden City now stands at 1-3 with an away game at Hundred on Friday. Look for the Wildcats to get win number two 48-18.