By Greg Perkins
The Wildcats entered the Division VI State Baseball Tournament as the 12th and final seed, and the Joseph City squad had to go on the road last Saturday for a matchup with fifth seeded St. David. The Tigers had just two losses on the year, and those losses came against the top two teams in the standings. The Wildcats faced an uphill battle and came out on the short end of a 58-14 final score.
St. David scored six unanswered touchdowns in the first half, then added a seventh before the half ended to lead 52-6 and leave little doubt as to the final outcome of the game. Joseph City got on the board with 2:52 left in the second period on a 60-yard kickoff return by Matt Fields to avoid the first half shutout.
The Tigers added their final six points with five minutes left in the third to lead 58-6. The Wildcats got one final score for the season with Aaron Johnstun’s interception and return for a score early in the fourth period. Hayden Hendricks converted his final two-point play of the season with a pass to Koby Smith, making the score 58-14.
“It was a rough last game, but I am still proud to have coached these boys. They are a good group and they never gave me any trouble. They played hard and never gave up on me,” said Wildcat Coach Eldon Larson.
“For this game I chose Aaron Johnston as the defensive player for his great defending and for his interception that earned us a touchdown. The offensive player was Matthew Fields. He always tried to keep going on runs and had great hands that caught the most complete passes. Along with that, he also had our first touchdown on a kickoff return. The overall player was given to Kaden Westover; he had the second most tackles along with one of our three sacks. He also played center for me and did an excellent job the entire game.”
Hendricks wrapped up the season by completing five of 19 pass attempts for 72 yards. Bryndon Buckley had two attempts with one completion for nine yards. Fields had four catches for 66 yards. Sam Johnstun caught one ball for nine yards. Smith had one catch for six yards.
On the ground, Hendricks rushed 10 times for a total of 29 yards. Smith had one carry for 10 yards. Troy Poudrier carried four times for one net yard.
Smith led the defense with eight tackles. Westover added six stops. Fields and Tyler Fenn each made four tackles.
The Wildcats completed the season with an overall record of 5-5.