‘Cats, ‘Hounds eke out one-point wins

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

SLATER - The Slater football team got its season started later than expected, with no jamboree and the Aug. 28 opener against Wellington-Napoleon cancelled due to the coronavirus.

The Wildcats were also short-handed Friday when they hosted Polo, but managed to emerge with a 15-14 non-conference decision.

“I’m really happy our young men were able to get on the field and be able to come out with a victory,” remarked Slater head coach Michael Horton. “We had some hiccups early on, made some adjustments and were able to start moving the ball some.”

Both teams generated a tad over 250 yards in total offense and scored two touchdowns, Slater winning on extra points. The ‘Cats got the only first-half points, sophomore Carmelo Hockaday scoring on an 8-yard run and sophomore Juan Valdez Garcia kicking the conversion.

An 8-yard dash by junior Dalton Bolling and senior Cody Blackwell’s two-point run put the Panthers in front during the third period, but Slater answered with senior Keegan Zdybel’s 20-yard pass to junior Tyler Malin. Hockaday ran for two points to put the ‘Cats ahead, 15-8, heading into the fourth quarter.

Freshman Ayden Baker gave Polo (0-2) a chance to tie with an 8-yard run, but the Purple foiled the two-point try and held on to the end.

Zdybel ran for 109 yards, threw for 78 and made 12 tackles to pace Slater, with Malin and junior Griffin Moore combining for 15 tackles and a pair of interceptions. The ‘Cats (2-0) travel to former Lewis and Clark Conference rival Fayette this week.

Sweet Springs 14, Carrollton 13

SWEET SPRINGS - For three-and-half quarters, Sweet Springs and visiting Carrollton played to a scoreless tie Friday.

“This was one of the craziest games I’ve ever been a part of in my 30 years of coaching,” declared Sweet Springs head coach Jeff Holtzman following his team’s 14-13 victory. “It was a game totally dominated by both defenses … then both offenses exploded,”

The first shot was fired by the Greyhounds as junior Cole Lovercamp broke off a 44-yard run with six minutes remaining in the game, but the two-point attempt failed. That allowed the Trojans to take the lead when senior quarterback Gavin Claud scored on an 11-yard bootleg and senior Xavier Yoakum kicked the extra point.

A deep pass from junior Zapher Lea to senior Wade Phillips - who skied over two defenders - set up a 5-yard touchdown run by Lovercamp with 45 seconds to go, Lea tacking on a conversion run for a 14-7 Sweet Springs lead.

The talented Claud got Carrollton into scoring position quickly, hitting senior Gage Fitzpatrick with a 13-yard TD pass as the horn sounded. The Trojans (0-2) could have forced overtime with a kick, but head coach Scott Finley elected to try for the win. The call went to Claud, whose pass was knocked down by Lea to preserve Sweet Springs’ triumph.

“I’m very proud of the resiliency and mental toughness displayed by our kids,” Horton said.

Lovercamp’s 121 rushing yards led the ‘Hounds (2-0), who also got a sack and forced fumble from senior Ethan Sims. They’ll be at home Friday to meet Russellville.

Worth Co. at Santa Fe

ALMA - Cases of COVID-19 within the school forced Santa Fe to cancel Friday’s home debut against Worth County-Northeast Nodaway.

The Chiefs (0-1) are scheduled to host Rich Hill-Hume this week.

Contact Chris Allen at callen@marshallnews.com

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