By Greg Perkins
The Wildcats opened the 2015 gridiron campaign with a decisive 42-18 road win over Ft. Thomas on Friday night. This year’s team is under the tutelage of new coaches Eldon Larsen and Shawn Layden, who guided their troops to the first week’s win.
Hayden Hendricks completed nine of 15 passes for 53 yards, while Bryndon Buckley was good on his only pass for 15 yards. Koby Smith was the leading receiver with seven catches for 58 yards. On the ground, Matt Fields gained 187 yards on 13 attempts and scored twice. Troy Poudrier rushed 14 times, gaining 126 yards and also scoring twice.
Defensively, the Cats were led by Fields, Smith, Troy Poudrier, Cody Runyan and Tyler Fenn, with each credited with eight tackles.
Last year’s team went 4-4 and missed out on the state playoffs. This year the Wildcats have 22 players on the varsity roster. While last year’s leading rusher, Chance Bray, has since moved on through graduation, the Cats still return plenty of offensive firepower. Both quarterbacks, Fields and Hendricks, return. Their second leading rusher, Poudrier, is also back. In total the Wildcats have seven seniors, six juniors, three sophomores and six freshmen on the roster. Co-Captains Hendricks, Smith and Poudrier should lead a talented group back to the state playoffs in Division VI.
This week Joseph City will host Salome. The Frogs dropped their first game last week, losing 24-6 to what is traditionally a very solid St. David squad. Salome went 5-4 last season and should provide a tougher test for the Cats this week.