By Greg Perkins
Hosting Duncan on Friday, the Joseph City Wildcats found themselves in a defensive battle at least through the first quarter.
Early in the second quarter the Wildcats began to find their stride on offense and subsequently began to find the end zone. On the first play of the second period, Jacob Fields scored on a one-yard dive for the first points of the game. Just under two minutes later, Chance Rush found open field, scoring on a 77-yard run to push the lead to 16-0 with the successful conversion run. Josh Burt closed out the first half by scoring on an eight-yard run, leaving the hometown Wildcats on top of the visiting Wildkats 22-0.
Burt scored again in the third quarter, this time from 10 yards out, pushing the margin to 28-0. Duncan got on the board early in the fourth with a 22-yard run to cut into Joseph City’s lead. Less than a minute later Fields regained the home team’s momentum by scoring on a 62-yard run. Wyatt Johnson intercepted a Wildkat pass, returning it for another score to extend the lead to 44-8. Fields then hooked up with Jaden Parra on a 43-yard scoring toss for the Wildcats’ final points of the night for a 50-20 home field win.
“We improved a lot and are back on track to make some noise in the playoffs. We are not the favorite, but I like the improvements and we still have championship goals,” said Coach John Bryant.
Joseph City racked up 529 yards of total offense, with 436 of those coming on the ground. Fields rushed for 172 yards on 22 runs with a pair of scores. Rush also had a big game with 160 yards on 12 carries, scoring once. Connor Neal gained 82 yards on 15 runs. Burt rushed six times for 29 yards and two scores.
Through the air Fields completed four of six attempts for 93 yards with one touchdown and one pick. Parra was his favorite target, catching three for 95 yards with a score.
Robert Larsen led the defense with 9.5 tackles. Neal had nine stops, including a sack. Chance Bray, TJ Hendricks, Fields and Burt each made 4.5 tackles.
Just two weeks remain in the regular season for the Wildcats and they will spend those on the road. This week they make a long trip to Bagdad to meet the Sultans.
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By Greg Perkins